What is a SASE - How to Write an Agent Query

What Is a Query Letter SASE – How to Write an Agent Query

Photo of Postage Stamp - What Is a Query Letter SASE?What is a SASE for a query letter? This article explains. It’s part of our free 15-part guidelines on How to Write a Query Letter by Mark Malatesta, a former literary agent and former Marketing & Licensing Manager of a well-known book publisher.

These free guidelines will answer any concerns and questions that you have about query letters. What is a query letter and why is it so important? What’s the best query letter length?  Where can you get a query letter critique or get help to write an agent query? What does a successful agent query look like? What is the best query format? And where can you see a sample query letter or query letter examples?

This article answers the question:
What is a query letter SASE?

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What Is a SASE for An Agent Query?

Believe it or not, not all literary agents accept email queries.

That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not competent book agents; there are plenty of very established literary agents that prefer to receive queries by mail. When you come across someone like that on a list of literary agents or in a Literary Agent Directory, you’re likely to see references to something called a SASE.

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What is a Query Letter SASE?

Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope.

Standard practice in the United States’ publishing industry is that all authors submitting agent queries include a return envelope with their query. Literary agents will then use that envelope to send you a rejection letter or, much better, an invitation to submit additional material.

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What is a SASE – No. 10 Envelope

Most literary agents require you to use a No. 10 envelope for your SASE. That’s simply a normal business-size envelope, the kind you get in the mail with bills.

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What is a SASE – Folded into Thirds

When you include your SASE, fold it into thirds so it fits easily in the envelope you’ll be mailing.

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What is a Query Letter SASE – Mailing Address

The SASE should be addressed to you.

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What is a SASE – Prepaid Postage

Include sufficient postage to cover the cost of:

  • An acceptance letter or request for additional material
  • A rejection letter
  • A rejection letter and any original material (if you would like it returned)

Why don’t literary agents pay for the postage? If literary agencies had to pay return postage for all the submissions they receive every month (more than 1,000), they’d go broke!

Not really, but they aren’t
going to pay for the postage.

So you’d better.

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What is a Query Letter SASE – Moneysaving Tip

If you want to save a few dollars, submit a self-addressed stamped postcard instead of a SASE. Just make sure you make it easy for the literary agents to reply. They won’t be able to mail you any form letter that they might normally use. And they won’t be able to type any comments on your postcard.

So you might want to print something
like this on your postcard:

____ Please send the complete manuscript.

____ Please send the first three chapters.

____ Thank you for your interest but this project isn’t right for us.

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What Is a SASE for Query Letters?

Something that’s definitely going out of style.

Although every literary agency used to accept SASE submissions, most book agents no longer accept hard copy submissions. Instead they prefer the speed and efficiency of email. Others appreciate the fact that email is easier on the environment.

Now that I’ve told you… What Is a SASE for a Query Letter?
click here to see the best Email Query Letter Format.

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About Mark Malatesta

MARK MALATESTA is a former literary agent turned author coach. Mark now helps authors of all genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children's books) get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals through his company Literary Agent Undercover and The Bestselling Author. Mark's authors have gotten six-figure book deals, been on the NYT bestseller list, and published with houses such as Random House, Scholastic, and Thomas Nelson. Click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta and click here for Reviews of Mark Malatesta.