I realize this isn't exactly earth shattering news, but I'm amazed and a little bit dumbfounded.
Back during the Stone Age, when I first ventured into the romance writing community--before YahooGroups even--every bit of contact with editors and agents was done via snail mail. It was a slow, torturous process. In fact, it took forever. I remember the turnaround time on the very first partial I submitted was one year. An entire year. For a partial. Can you imagine?
Anyway, it wasn't long before the internet got its hooks into everyone. YahooGroups came into existence, and all the loops and groups shortly followed. I remember when agents first started taking email queries. It was only a handful at first, then more and more. Now, it's unusual to run across an agent who doesn't take an email query. And it's great. Sometimes, you get a reply with a request or a "no, thank you" within an hour or two instead of a week or two.
During the anthrax scare right after 9/11, Avon went to email queries only. Now, other NY pubs have joined in and put their addresses online and invited queries, too. But today was the first time I've ever seen one of the major romance print publishers invite submissions of entire manuscripts via email attachment. And unsolicited, for Pete's sake! How great would it be if all publishers did this? (Yes, I know. Harlequin allows unsolicited email subs for their shorts that are aimed for digital publishing. This is a whole nother ballgame.) Just think of the postage that would be saved, not to mention not having to stand in line at the post office to mail those bulky Priority envelopes.
Anyway, I'm tempted to email something to Dorchester just to mark the occasion. I wonder if they send out that same crappy, faded, Xeroxed form rejection for email submissions. If I find out, I'll let you know. That thing is the pits. ;o)