Many publishers are adopting a policy of "don't include a SASE, if we want your manuscript, we'll call.."
And many authors are upset, because they feel like they're submitting to a black hole and who knows if anyone ever even READ their manuscript?
Since I am nothing if not a cock-eyed optimist, I'd like to make a couple of points about why this situation isn't really all gloom and doom.
1. You NEVER had a guarantee that someone read your manuscript. A rejection slip gives no information on this point. For all you know, an intern opened your submission, glanced at the cover letter, said "hmm... we don't need any more 135-word picture books about depressed amphibians" and stuffed your SASE......
At least under the new system, any reply from the publisher would actually MEAN something.
2. Less work for the publisher saves money-- money that can be used to produce more books, thereby INCREASING your odds of acceptance.
3. Good for the environment/landfills/etc. -- Hopefully, most people aren't psychotic enough to save EVERY LAST rejection slip. After all, if they're not personalized, they're all the same (well, different paper colors and weights, and different letterheads -- but not useful) So they go right into the trash/recycle pile, like junk mail. Why contribute to the waste?
*note -- my children are very disappointed by the trend-- they liked using rejection slips as art supplies.... but we have other, much more generous, sources of doodling paper! *
4. Saves the Author money -- the cost of envelopes and stamps can really add up. Do you really WANT to spend .43 just to hear "Your manuscript is not suited to our list. Good luck placing it elsewhere"? You can just recite the mantra to yourself after the deadline day passes.... and save the .43 for another submission!
5. Author Record Keeping is easier -- Now you don't have to wonder as a reply date passes. You don't have to think "Should I send a status Query? Or give them a few more weeks?" Instead, you can just fill in "rejected" in your log and get back to work on something else.
Maybe I'm just unusually cold-hearted and hard-headed on this subject-- but how can something that saves everyone involved time and money be a bad thing?