4.02.2007

Postage rate increases




First off, love the blog. It’s absolutely a necessity for me anymore.

This may be an idiotic question, but I’d figure you’d let me know if it was. With postage rates rising as of May 14, would you recommend to writers that we affix an extra stamp to our SASEs if we even suspect that the reply time will overlap that date? Seems like the logical thing to do, but I would guess many writers would rather not unnecessarily dip into gin funds to produce extra postage, however small that may be. Though I suspect slathering our SASE with postage may scream “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Thanks for the fount of valuable advice and having the patience to indoctrinate the clueless.


Oh you haven't heard about the "Forever" stamp!
It's always a first class stamp, no matter what you paid for it.
Here's the link to USPS.

You pay 41cents NOW and your SASEs don't need an extra stamp even if Miss Lolly Gag delays replying until the cows come home in June, 2009.

I think this is pretty darn brilliant.

20 comments:

Kate said...

Gah...but what if I have a book of stamps here, on my desk, that are old ones? There's still most of them left...I don't want to just trash them...or should I just use them for other things than sticking on a SASE?

Oh, the little things wannabes torture themselves with!

Tammy said...

Oh that is brilliant!

I'm going to use my old ones to send George Clooney fan letters!

*snickers* ;D

Anonymous said...

Forever stamps may be good forever, but I'm not sure whether you can buy them forever. Or maybe you can, but they'll always be purchased at whatever the current postage rate is. So buy them now at 41 cents and save them for the SASEs and manuscript postage after the rates go up again.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Arrgghh. I'd like to do unmentionable things to the post office right now. I just bought a friggin' roll of stamps.

Good thing I still have 2c stamps leftover from the last rate increase.

Thanks for the heads-up, Miss Snark.

Anonymous said...

This whole querying process reminds me a little of the intense hazing depicted in movies like "An Officer and a Gentleman" that is not necessarily designed to choose the best but to see who can tolerate the most abuse.

There has to be a better way, one that assumes an aspiring writer -- no matter how many there are of us versus the agents -- actually might have the potential to produce some great books and, therefore is a process. If said assumption were the basis for the querying process, everyone would benefit.

I'm not saying I am that undiscovered, great writer. I'm sure I am not. All I'm saying is that the current system SUX BIG TIME! I'm sure many of you will jump all over me - Who the hell ar you?! - but I think I speak for more than just myself.

Despite the bullshit, I have remained professional and hopeful, working hard to improve my craft. But even if one of my 3 fulls out there right now hits paydirt, I believe there has to be a better way.

I bless the Miss Snarks of this world and the agents who have taken the time to write my name on a reject and/or have been thoughtful in creating their form letter (how hard is that anyway?)or written a personal note explaining how much they enjoyed the writing using specifics to show they've actually read it.

Anonymous said...

'The whole querying process' - sorry for all the mistakes - written pre-coffee -

dan said...

I stocked up on the Longfellow stamps (http://tinyurl.com/2vwc43) just, like, a day before I learned about the forever stamp coming out soon. I figured: ooh, a writer, how quaint to put this on my SASEs. Alas, I will be dealing with penny stamps for a wee bit longer...

foggidawn said...

For those of you who, like me, just bought a book or roll of 39 cent stamps, I'd say go ahead and get some two-cent stamps to make up the difference and start putting those on your SASEs now. Of course, Tammy's idea is good, too. . .

Thanks for the heads-up on the Forever stamp, Miss Snark. What a cool idea that is!

Heather said...

Anonymous.... if you know a better way, then by all means, enlighten the world with your brilliance.

Sure there's a better way... but if it ain't broke, nobody's gonna fix it. The agents make money. The publishers make money. Even a few writers make money. There is no impetus for change.

When the first two stop making money... then it'll change.

Laughing at word verification: fxtgdi - FIX IT GOSH DARN IT! (insert appropriate blasphemy where you desire)

merlinsmuse said...

This is great for people living in the good ole U.S of A., but what about your northern neighbours? Can anyone tell me what postage will cost for a letter from the US to Canada, so I can place proper postage on my SASE's.

Thanks,
Cathy

Robin S. said...

I had no idea there were "forever" stamps. Thanks!

Rei said...

Given that I have a number of SASEs already prepared with 39 cent stamps, would it be a sin to tack two cent stamps onto them? I have a note in my Snark Log stating that an SASE should have only one stamp (of correct postage) on it.

EGP said...

anonymous -

Miss Snark has said this before - if there is a better way, then come up with it. She gave a breakdown on the amount of time she spends on slush under the current system, and whatever alternative there is has to require no extra time. Unless there is the real likelihood that the extra time will pay off with extra sales.

Agents who only respond if they are interested and agents who do not accept simultaneous queries are definitely being part of the problem in today's day and age, but they are not the majority of agents.

If you can write a decent query (not perfect but decent), send it to a lot of agents, perservere with multiple books, and continue to hone your craft, then if you write saleable stuff, you are likely to be published. If you leave out any one of those things, then you are not taking a professional approach, and you'd be likely to achieve mediocrity in any self-employed situation with that approach.

I'd love it if all agents made their own guidelines crystal clear, and were professional enough to at least respond with a form rejection to queries. So if what you mean by a better way is more clarity along these lines, I agree. But I highly doubt that there are many rejections that would have been acceptances if the agent had just been a little more clear with guidelines. And if writers are giving up because the querying process is difficult, an agent would have reason to believe that those writers might also give up when it came to publishers, book signings, meeting deadlines for future books, etc.

I started querying this week. If after many, many submissions, I don't have an agent, I'm not going to assume that it's because the system sucks.

EGP
http://www.edwardgtalbot.com

--E said...

Rei--

I am certain that no editor of any worth will be distressed by an author putting a 39-cent plus 2-cent stamp on their SASE. I rather suspect they will note and admire the attention to detail such an act reveals, not to mention the implication that the author possesses the patience to wait at least 6 weeks for a reply.

Honestly--of all the hoops an author is expected to jump through on the route to publication, "controlling the USPS" is not one of them.

Michelle said...

I don't get the idea of the forever stamp...

It will save you two sense if you happen to buy a few before the next rate increase but not after?

Missing the point here.

Elektra said...

Is the USPS giving any sort of guarantee that these will be good forever? 'Cause I really wouldn't put it past them to change their minds a year or so from now, and no longer honour them...

Tori Scott said...

Dang. Just sent out a requested partial and stuck a 39 cent and two one-cent stamps on the SASE. Wish the lady at the post office had mentioned the forever stamp.

Hopefully I won't get labeled a nitwit. At least I did put 41 cents on it. :)

Tori Scott said...

Merlinsmuse, go to www.usps.com. They have all kinds of info, plus you can buy U.S. stamps online.

MWT said...

Arrrghhh...

It used to be I could actually get through an entire 100-stamp roll without having to buy more stamps.

Now I'm still working on a 37-cent roll, with a stack of 2-cent stamps to go with them. I have to go out and get another stack of 2-cent stamps??

Arrrrrghhhhh.....

Smith said...

Forever stamps seem to offer a way to protect capital from inflation. Buy stamps now with all those publishing profits and sell them later at the inflated price.