Friday, February 20, 2009

Postage Rates and the Mail (and Online Submissions)

Yesterday, I spent a small fortune mailing manuscripts to various publishers. My poetry manuscript and cover letter came to less than 80 pages, and I still paid $4.55 per envelope. For just a few dimes more, I could have upgraded to Priority Mail, but I was afraid that would look too needy.

And postage rates are going up in May. Again. Two more cents. I wish they'd just raise our rates 8 pennies to get us to an even 50 cents, and then quit raising the rates for a few years.

I know, I know, I should just get that stamp that will always be a first class stamp, no matter when you bought it. A few years ago, I thought about buying them, but I foolishly thought we were done with postage increases for awhile.

I'm glad that I turned my attention to poetry and away from my novel manuscript. How much must it cost to mail 300-400 pages?

With postage rates on the brain, I was happy to see Diane Lockward's latest post on journals that accept submissions via e-mail. I was slow to adjust to this submission method, but in some ways, I now prefer it.

However, I'm still one of those strange people who loves the minute she pulls the paper mail out of the mailbox. It's a thrill unmatched by e-mail or other ways of communicating. I love opening the envelope, hoping for good news. I know that the best news--book publication!--is likely to come by way of a phone call or e-mail, but I still love that moment in the day when the mail comes.

Unlike e-mail, it only comes once a day. I can get the mail and then get on with the day. E-mail requires constant checking, and perhaps that's why it doesn't have the same thrill.

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