View Full Version : Are postcards a better alternative to SASEs?

March Or Die
08-30-2004, 01:20 PM

A page back, there was a discussion about SASEing. On balance, the response was negative, but I was wondering if a preformatted self-addressed postcard (SAP) would be useful.

The pros: SAPs can't be clipped for postage by the gatekeepers, they are cheaper than SASEs after you send out about 100 queries, and writing feedback on them is less taxing than printing a form rejection letter.

The cons: SAPs can still be tossed out by recipients who are lazy, inattentive, or just don't care (in other words, facilitating feedback is a dead end); they still cost money, unlike putting all your contact info in your letter; and SAPs (even more than SASEs) might be perceived as a sign of desperation or weakness by agents and buyers, who are apparently like banks in that they're most likely to help those who need help the least.

So, SASE, SAP, or save the effort altogether? And does the answer vary depending on whether you're contacting agents, prodcos, or other types of players?

BTW, I made a few dozen qualifying cold calls to agencies, and about 20% of them specifically asked for a SASE.

Thanks for any feedback.

08-31-2004, 01:12 PM
The way I've heard it is that if you send a query asking an agent, or producer, or whoever to read your work, sending a postcard with two check boxes, marked "Yes, please send," or "Not at this time," will ensure that you are more likely to receive a response. It's easier for them, as all they have to do is check the box and send it out with the mail.

08-31-2004, 02:42 PM
Regarding Q-Letters, in my experience when an agent wanted to read my material they would call me. If they weren't interested, they would either send my letter back in my enclosed SASE or throw out both my Q-letter and the SASE. If your write a well written letter that blows them away, they're going to contact you immediately by phone so they can get a jump on anyone else who might be interested in your work. I wouldn't waste my time sending either a postcard or the SASE. Just my two cents.

09-01-2004, 04:08 PM
This is ridiculous. Do whatever floats your boat.

March Or Die
09-19-2004, 07:17 PM
Thanks all. Maybe I'll do half & half, see if there's any difference.

09-20-2004, 06:01 AM
Don't waste your money on SASEs. Even CE has said they scream "amatuer."

I agree with mlv above -
> If you write a well written letter that blows them away, they're going to contact you immediately ..<

I sent out 20 query snailmail letters last week (sans SASEs) and within 48 hours got 3 emails asking for my script.

09-21-2004, 11:18 AM
Everyone who wanted to contact me to express interest in reading my script or perhaps to work on a deal has always called me, or emailed me.

Save your money and do not use SASE. That is so outdated.

09-21-2004, 09:13 PM
Good luck, Phatgirl.

Postcards make sense.

Keith Kocaine
09-22-2004, 04:01 PM
You've invested a lot of time and money in writing your screenplay. You'll be investing lots of time and money in cold queries. Common sense dictates you should make it as easy as possible for them to reply. How to go about this? Include both a SASE and SASpostcard with your query.

09-23-2004, 10:55 AM
Why not just include a cellphone with our number on speed dial?

Why not lurk outside their doors at midnight?

Maybe we should hypnotize into inviting us to tea?

If they cared they would call us, if they have time they will check a box yes or no and if they have a new intern with nothing better to do or a very fancy legal department we might get letters.

That's my experience. Not that I know anything.

Keith Kocaine
09-23-2004, 06:14 PM
I've made a number of showbiz connections by simply including a SASE. Why would any screenwriter NOT want to make it AS EASY AS POSSIBLE for the agent/manager/producer to respond.

BTW, when you include the SASpostcard, leave the back blank. No boxes for them to check. Works a lot better that way.

E J Pennypacker
09-24-2004, 09:41 AM
JustinoIV & Phatgirl are spot on.


09-25-2004, 06:24 PM
If the query is so great the producer immediately drops everything and calls you, seeing a SASE or postcard in the envelope isn't going to change that, is it?

09-25-2004, 10:19 PM
Actually, you can fax queries. And some companies prefer to recieve email queries.

Any producer or agent can afford to make a phone call. Long distance rates have never been cheaper.

And everyone has email these days.

No one in the film business uses SASE!

That is an old holdout from publishing,and from back during the day when people typed manuscripts. Then, because photocopying was expensive, publishers and producers would mail your scripts back to you if you included SASE.

Today, everyone has computers and printers. Printing out a new copy is less expensive than it would be to do the SASE thing. And so no one does it.

Evil Elf the One and Only
09-26-2004, 02:04 AM
I write articles for a living and I've emailed a ton of queries, and they do have a higher rejection rate than hard copies. Dunno why, but they do. And a hard copy followed up by a phone call works the best. I would expect that to be true for scripts as well, even if you just get routed to voicemail. Somehow it's brownie points that you cared.

Even today book publishers want you to mail in the manuscript, along with a copy on disk. They resent emailed MS because they like to read it in hard copy and you're using their paper and ink to print it out in that case. Unless someone specifically gave me permission to email them the script, I'd still put it on paper and include a SASE. Can't hurt, and you can always put in your query a question about "do you prefer emailed, faxed or hard copy submissions?".
Strictly Digital (http://terminalcity.diary-x.com)

09-26-2004, 07:43 AM
>> I write articles for a living and I've emailed a ton of queries, and they do have a higher rejection rate than hard copies. Dunno why, but they do. <<

Evil Elf - I went to a panel this past week and all the agents/managers speaking said that they much prefer query letters rather than emails. Their view was that emails are very impersonal; too abrupt; gave them a feeling of invading their space somewhat; and were usually deleted without being read.

Letters, on the other hand, were more personal, professional, and offered some space/distance between them and the writer.

(And you know I ran all the way home and quickly sent a fantastically written hard-copy query letter to every one of them! ;) )