This mangled pile of postcards is very special to me. Long ago I tucked away the advice to submit a SASP when submitting illustration samples to publishers. These are the ones that have found their way back to me out of about 40+ submissions.
The idea is to put a few options for the AD to check, typically 'We like your work and will keep your samples on file for future assignments' or the dreaded 'Your work is not a good fit for us and we will not keep your samples on file.'. You should leave some extra room for comments and (I learned this one the hard way) make a quick note of who you sent the card to! I forgot this on the first batch I sent out and still have a mystery-card because the NY postmark told me nothing since 80% of the packets I sent out went to NY.
After a few weeks I had a great run of getting a few postcards a week back in the mail. Not all the responses were positive, but actually more than half which made up for the occassional clear rejection. But at least it felt like I wasn't totally alone in the world, sending things off into the abyss. Then, nothing. For about two months I got back MAYBE one a month.
Today was a good (and rare) day where I got a postcard and the bonus was that it was 'good' and from a publisher I really like.
I have a giant stack of Daniel's Dream postcards set to go out tomorrow to all the publishers who either liked my work or didn't respond (heck, why not?). But this begins the stage of mailings I must do several times a year that will likely elicit either no response or the more rare (does it exist for me yet?) book contract. This career is largely based in faith it seems. So I will send them off at the post office tomorrow with positive energy and hope!