Just as I was about to start my first read-through of Hubris (and still am), I received another partial request from an agent interested in The Northerners. I was just about ready to give up on querying The Northerners - I was even saying so as I opened the envelope, since I was convinced it was another rejection - but once again I spoke too soon. Of course, as I’ve learned, a partial request only means that I’ve gone from about a 99% chance of rejection to more like a 90% chance of rejection, but hey, I’ll take it.
Thanks to this agent, I’ve learned something new: some agents actually do reply positively via mail. I’ve heard some authors advise you to not bother including a self-addressed stamped envelope with your query; it’s a sign of self-respect, they say, and if the agent is really interested they’ll call you or email you, since they only use the SASE for rejections. Well, here’s a nice counter-example. Now this advice is not just questionable, but demonstrably wrong.
I was never really convinced by the no-SASE argument. Even if the agent only wants the SASE for rejections, why would you want to immediately antagonize them? When you’re just another unsolicited query in a big slush pile, you’ve got enough going against you as it is. There’s nothing wrong with being professional and giving the agent what they asked for.
Anyway, we’ll see where this leads. This has renewed my faith in the querying process if nothing else. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but meanwhile I’ve got Hubris to read and revise. Let’s hope it’s worth shopping around.