2/23/07

Don't Waste Your Money!

I've received several manuscript submissions lately that were sent to me Priority Mail. Just opened one today--that has been sitting on my desk for a month.

Folks, Priority Mail gives you no advantage in the query/submission process--especially if you're sending unsolicited manuscripts. Send it Parcel Post. Or Media Mail. Or even First Class. All are usually quite a bit cheaper than Priority. Unless an editor specifically requests that you send your manuscript Priority, save your money for more useful stuff--like toner and paper.

And if you really want to save money, do not send a full manuscript as your first contact with a publisher. Send a query letter. And don't let anyone tell you that it's harder for a publisher to reject a full manuscript than it is for them to reject a query or that we're more willing to read a manuscript sitting on our desk than we are to ask for one to be sent. That's nonsense.

When I see an unsolicited manuscript show up on my desk marked Priority Mail, I think, "Poor soul. They don't have a clue how this business works. This manuscript better be good because I'm going to have to spend extra time educating this author." When I see a well written query letter show up on my desk, I think, "Great! They've done their research. They know something about this business. I probably won't have to hold their hand all day, every day...yes, I'll give their manuscript a chance." (Assuming, of course, the query is for something that I'm looking for.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your timing is great. I was just going to ask you today about query verses full manuscript! Thanks for all your posts.

Darvell Hunt said...

I like to send submissions via Priority Mail because I can add delivery confirmation for 50 cents more. It's easier and more reliable than adding a postcard for the receiver to toss into the outgoing mail.

So I guess my question is this: Does receiving submissions via Priority Mail annoy the receiver? I don't add anything that will require the receiver to sign for it, but I do like the delivery confirmation that I get and it's worth the extra postage to me to be sure that it arrived.

I have usually spent SO MUCH time writing each piece that I submit that it really IS worth the peace of mind in not worry if my submission got lost in the mail or not.

Darvell

LDS Publisher said...

Okay, Darvell, you have a point. I hadn't thought of that. Can't you do a delivery confirmation on regular mail?

Getting a Priority Mail submission doesn't annoy me (unless I have to sign for it), it just makes me feel bad that people spent more money than they needed to.

Darvell Hunt said...

There are lots of different options in mailing something with the USPS. I just went to the USPS.com site and fiddled with the postage calculator. Apparently there is an option for confirmation delivery for 60c for media mail, which WOULD make it cheaper to send. I didn't know that was available. I will probably use that option in the future, so thanks for the suggestion.

Delivery confirmation is also available for Parcel Post for 60c, but that option appears to only save you 10c over Priority Mail.

The only option for First Class mail appears to be certified mail, which I believe requires the receiver to sign for it. It also costs an extra $2.40 to add. As such, I wouldn't use that option.

So, Media Mail with confirmation delivery seems to be the way to go.

Darvell