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Autograph Collecting: What to write and send with your letter

You may be wondering what to send: well, as a general rule, I think there is little point in sending a photo yourself, as it is costly, and I believe there no evidence that this increases your chances of getting a signed photo.

The only advantage is that, should it be returned, you have chosen your favourite photo of that person to be personalised. If there's no return, it's just more frustrating.

Now, you need to send a SASE, preferably about 10x8 in size to cover 99% of possible returns. Whilst you may be anxious that what comes back will be protected and not bent out of shape, unfortunately whatever you do, you are unlikely to be able to get away with writing 'PHOTOS ENCLOSED' on the SASE, as this looks arrogant: it implies you are assuming that you will get a reply, and hence some people will make a point of NOT responding to your letter.

If you have cards of some sort, especially relating to sports, then there is no reason why you should not send them. in fact, one key tip is to be creative; if you have, for instance, a first day cover relating to the person or topic for which they are well-known, for instance if you are writing to a scientist, then you can include that; and say how you'd love to have it personalised.

After all, if the person is going to make the effort of replying, it's nice to see you've taken the time to send something of value to yourself. Oh, and the right postage on both envelopes is a must: the worst thing possible is that there's not enough postage on the envelopes! This is highly embarrassing.

Also, you need a good, reliable source of addresses: obviously Autograph Finder would fit the bill here

For more detailed autograph collecting advice, read these articles:

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