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Snail Mail or E-mail?

When sending queries, many writers are perplexed by the snail mail/email debate. Snail mail is old-fashioned and expensive, and email is quick and snazzy. So, do you stick with the days-of-old, or do you cruise down the submission superhighway.

I'll 'fess up. I've tried both methods, and found a considerable difference in their response. My vote: go for SNAIL MAIL.

Sure, email's fast. But guess how many of my magazine/book queries and manuscripts have been accepted via email? None. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

That's not to say that I haven't received any responses. A few editors have typed back a quick note (usually very helpful), with a "Thanks, but no thanks" reply. Hey, that works for me. I'm always happy with friendly email rapport. It's the "no responses" that bug me.

But snail mail absolutely does the trick for me. Yes, I know that I have to pay for envelopes, nice paper, postage, printing costs, etc. But you know what they say: you have to spend money to make money. And in this case, it's absolutely true.

My only guess is that editors are like me. They like the feel of paper in their hands. They're visual---they want to see the finished product. Maybe the extra effort that I spent shows that I am more diligent. Anyone can send an email. But how many people will actually invest the time and/or money in snail-mail queries and manuscripts.

The only two exceptions center around cold calls and repeat business. I have been known to test the local waters with newspapers (which did result in an assigned story!), and I absolutely rely on email once I've sold a story. Once an editor emails me, it's fair game (as long as there's no stalking involved!).

The bottom line: Buy some ivory stock with matching envelopes. Your efforts will pay off.


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