Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get that manuscript in the mail!

Yes, even here in the 21st century, I still have to do a fair amount of snail mail submitting. For short stories, which I've been doing for years, this is really easy. I just mail it in a manila envelope with a standard business envelope for the SASE, since it's really no skin off my nose if I have to print up another copy of the story. It's okay because they're short and don't take much paper or ink. Incidentally, I have never received an acceptance through my return envelope. I wonder if they even use those for acceptances? Anyway, this week I had to mail my novel manuscript to an editor who requested the full. (Hooray, hooray! Much happy dancing ensued.) I was confused, though. How exactly do you mail a novel manuscript? How do you handle the return postage? If I'm printing out my entire novel, then yeah, I want it back if the publisher doesn't accept it. Well, if I have been doing this submitting thing for years and didn't quite know what to do, I thought some of you might like to hear the process too. First of all, make sure your manuscript is in standard format, or whatever format the publisher requires. Once I did that, I decided to mail it in a manuscript box. You can get them at office supply stores. But what about return postage? I couldn't cram another box into the box. I opted for a large, indestructible Tyvex envelope (that I happened to have on hand--another plus. Here's hoping I never see that envelope again!) I addressed the envelope and took the whole thing down to the post office. Here's the part where it's nice to have a kind and patient postal employee to help. I was lucky. We took the manuscript out of the box and weighed it to see how much return postage I would need, then we put that postage on the envelope, loaded the whole thing back into the box, he taped it shut, put the postage on the box, and off it went with happy and positive thoughts. Not too difficult at all. So, that's how it's done, unless you know a better way? I just realized that this may be the most boring post of all time. Sorry. I'll try to come up with something more exciting next time. In the meantime, happy writing!

6 comments:

Linz said...

That was really informative! If I ever mail out a novel, I will know just what to do! Thanks! ;)

Tess said...

I never considered putting in return postage. I always used a heavy duty envelope with a standard SASE. But, you are right...rejections come back in those SASE's and acceptances come in their own pretty envelope, or better yet -- phone call!

Eric said...

Not boring at all. This is good to know, so thanks for sharing. And good luck on your submission. Here's hoping your next post will be about acceptance and eventual publication.

tiff said...

so not boring very good info good things to know

Suzette Saxton said...

Having the right postal employee makes all the difference in the world. It seems the smaller the town, the better!

jumptolightspeed said...

Another important tidbit of information is to mail it out "Book Rate" or known as "Media Rate". It is a substantial drop in price. For example a 200 page manuscript first class is 4 or 5 bucks, but book rate, it's about a 1.70 or so, (depending on where in the country you mail it) but it's really nice and cheap. This makes a big difference when you have a mail out a bunch of stuff. And it goes almost as fast as first class.