TTM Tip: Getting Started; Writing a Letter of Request
Star Wars Autograph Universe is THE place to help you build your autograph collection. With the rising prices from celebrities and companies to obtain autographs, one of the most popular and fiscally responsible ways of obtaining autographs nowadays is through-the mail (TTM).
I want you to be both successful AND respectful in your requests to celebrities. My hope is to share with you some advice and tips. I also acknowledge that my way is not the only way, so I hope that this becomes a discussion. I’d love your feedback and to hear how you do things in the comments section below.
THE OVERALL VIBE
With all of that said… The vibe of your letter of request (LOR) is very important. We live in a time where celebrities are very apprehensive to sign because they feel they are being taken advantage of by dealers and eBay flippers. So, it is very important that your letter ensures that you are a true fan.
Some say that only suckers send printed letters. So, they hand write their letters. But then many others who have had TTM success say that they type their letters up. Some feel like typing them up is their only option because their handwriting is bad. And, that’s okay. I’ve had success with both. The important thing is to make sure that your letter is original, researched, and customized for each celebrity. However, if you type yours, I would HIGHLY recommend that you hand write a little note at the bottom of your printed letter and hand sign it in blue ink.
Having done both, I feel that handwritten works best for me. To me, it comes off much warmer and more personal. And, it takes time which is the most valuable, non-renewable asset that we all have. I feel like it also reinforces that it’s a fan writing them.
Most people that I know would say to keep your overall autograph request to no more than 2… maybe 3… items that you want to get signed. More than that gives off the vibe that you’re selling on eBay.
I think it’s best in your letter’s “ask” section (we will cover the letter contents in just a moment) to mention that your autograph request is for your personal collection and give them the freedom to sign however they’d like. It’s like the old adage says… never look a gift horse in the mouth. At the end of the day, the celebrity is doing us a HUGE favor by taking their time to sign for us. So, we shouldn’t get too demanding about how/what they should sign.
A new thing that I have been experimenting with is sending personal photos showing them that I’m a fan. The way I have been doing that is by printing lined paper with Star Wars related photos of my family since I mainly send to Star Wars actors and crew. You can see an example of that what I’m talking at the bottom of this post. But, again, I feel like it reinforces the fan vibe. I’ve attached a photo below to show you what it looks like. Try it out and let me know what you think.
The contents of a LOR is pretty consistent across the board. However, the order may vary. So, I’d say to go with what feels right for you. A good LOR includes…
1. Date – I like to include the date that I am sending on
2. Return Address – I think it’s a good idea to include your return address somewhere (usually include mine in my signature) in case your letter, envelope and/or SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) gets separated.
3. Introduce Yourself – I think a brief paragraph giving the actor some insight into who you are is a good thing.
4. Why Them – Why do you enjoy this celebrity? How have you connected with their work? Why are they important to you?
5. The Ask – This is where you ask them to sign your enclosed items for your personal collection. I usually include some kind of line saying, “I know you’re busy but it’d mean the world to me.”
6. Conclusion/Well Wishes – This is where you wrap things up, tell them you look forward to their upcoming projects (be specific if you can), wish them all the best and thank them.
7. Signature – I typically sign off with “Your Fan” and then sign in blue ink.
I think that sums it all up! Did I miss anything? What would you add? What advice do you have in regards to writing a killer LOR? Leave it all in the comment section below. And… feel free to check out our Through The Mail Star Wars Collectors Group on Facebook HERE for more help on getting started!