January 15, 2010

It's in the Mail?

I've just finished reviewing my marketing data for 2009 and noticed again the number of submissions to editors and/or agents for which I received no reply. The policy of not returning a manuscript unless interested in developing it as a project leaves writers in a quandary. Did the manuscript arrived safely at the agency or publishing house? Did someone actually look at it? There's apparently no way of knowing. Those who follow this policy advise writers not to send an SASE because no answer will be forthcoming unless "we're interested."

Now that more and more houses are accepting only agented material, this no-return practice narrows even more the field of submissions.

Rejections are never what a writer wants to receive, but it's helpful to know that your work arrived and was looked at before being turned down. It seems just common courtesy to acknowledge the writer who's waiting to hear something. How hard can it be to tuck a rejection letter into the envelope that's already addressed and stamped?

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