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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?

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

What is a Query Letter SASE – Mailing Address

The SASE should be addressed to you.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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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"I got the number one agent on my wish list thanks to Mark. He’s done more than 100 deals in just two year and has a long list of accolades, including being talked about in the New York Times. Within 4 minutes of sending out my revised query letter, my literary agent called me on the phone. Less than 30 days later I had three major publishers making offers. And, a few days after that, I signed a deal with Random House. Mark’s query letter did that." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

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"Before I revised my query letter with Mark, I got no responses. When I sent out my new query, I got four requests for more material within 24 hours The support Mark provides is fantastic. His suggestions changed my original query significantly, but they also helped me see that I had something to offer. Now I have a top agent! Mark is smart and reliable and working with him has made all the difference." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

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"Before I decided to work with Mark, I submitted my book to literary agents but didn’t get any interest. After I revised my query letter and book proposal, I got several agencies interested and decided to sign with Fine Print Lit, a top literary agency in New York. They got publishers bidding against each other and I ended up signing a contract with Thomas Nelson (an imprint of Harper Collins) for what I’ve been told by several people is a very large advance. What cloud is higher than 9?" [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

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"Not long after Mark helped me land a top literary agent, I got a call from my agent letting me know that I had three different publishing offers from well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and McGraw-Hill who recently published my book in hardcover! It was a fantastic feeling and a huge smile came over my face. For a moment I felt like life was perfect and the angels were singing." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

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"Berkley Books recently published my book in hardcover after Mark helped me get multiple agents interested in my work. I was able to speak with literary agents from top agencies such as Janklow & Nesbit, Trident Media, Anderson Lit, and Folio. I signed with Don Fehr at Trident Media and a short time later I had a publishing contract! Having Mark on your side is incredibly valuable." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

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"It has been an awfully long and bloody road towards publication but I’m finally on my way. Hard work, struggle, disappointments, and perseverance are important. So is following the advice of publishing industry experts like Mark. He helped me get a top literary agent and now my novel, The Wrong Hand is being published by Penguin Books and their prestigious Michael Joseph imprint, which is ‘principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers’. It’s hard not to be excited." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author of the novel The Wrong Hand (Penguin / Michael Joseph)   

About Mark Malatesta

Photo of Mark Malatesta - Former Literary Agent 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.
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