I am working on getting my first book published. I’ve recieved about 15 rejections that have been very brief, offering no useful information on how to fix my manuscript. I was considering forgoing the SASE, thinking that if the agent liked my work s/he would email me and ask for it. Is this going to cause me trouble?
Unfortunately, Agent Manners must point out that you did not follow instructions in submitting your question. Nonetheless an answer will be provided. However, it appears that it may take the form of an admonition to follow instructions.
If an agent asks for queries by mail, then, yes, do include an SASE, or it is entirely likely that you will not receive a reply at all. Regardless of how backwards that may seem in this day and age, it’s a policy many agencies subscribe to. On the other hand, you can send a submission by email instead, but only if the agency in question actually states in their guidelines that they are open to electronic submissions. Just by checking submission guidelines and following them, your query will stand out. So very many seem to not do one jot of homework in this regard.
Unfortunately, most rejections will be brief and rarely helpful in any specific way. This is regretfully due to the volume of submissions received.