Big SASE, Little SASE

Howdy LDSP,

Is there really a point to sending enough postage to have a novel-length manuscript returned? Doesn’t it make more sense to just send the SASE for your reply?


No. There is really no point in sending a large envelope with postage for the return of your manuscript. By the time it goes through the mail twice, plus gets read through several times, it’s really beat up. You won’t be able to send that same copy to another publisher and most of the time, there will not be notes of any value in the margins.

If I do have notes that I think would be helpful to the author, I e-mail them and tell them that they have a week to send me a large SASE if they want the mss back. Then I date a stickie, slap it on the mss and put it on my assistant’s desk. If the SASE doesn’t show up by that date, I assume she tosses it.

A #10 SASE is all you need to include.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

3 thoughts on “Big SASE, Little SASE”

  1. Does it annoy an editor when the submitter says they prefer the manuscript be discarded or recycled? I can’t think of a single time I’ve ever resubmitted the same manuscript to someone else after having gotten it back as rejected.

    Generally, if the manuscript is not accepted, I don’t really need it back and I don’t want to pay for its return trip when I’m just going to toss it myself anyway. The only way I would include a large SASE for the entire manuscript is if I was annoying the editor by not including it.


  2. No, it does not annoy me when you do that. In fact, I love it when you tell me in your query/cover letter to toss it because then I know you won’t be calling in 6 months wondering why I didn’t mail it back to you.

  3. Oh, good. That’s exactly what I do (I mean, I say “toss it,” I don’t call asking for it!). I mention in the cover that I’m including a SASE for the editor’s response, but then ask that the manuscript be recycled or discarded if it’s rejected.

    I thought maybe editors got annoyed for having stacks of papers that nobody wanted.


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