Writer's Postage Chart
By Gene Stewart
It happens all the time.
You've just put the final touches on your latest manuscript. You've
researched markets. You've decided on the best place to send it. You've
found out the current editor's name and preferences. You've reworked your
story so it is a perfect fit.
You've written a concise
covering letter mentioning your name, address, telephone number, email
address, and website URL. If the editor likes it, he or she needs to be
able to get in touch with you right away, after all. You've also included a
brief sample of any credits you have, and have maintained a professionally
polite tone throughout.
Everything's ready to go.
You've spell-checked and proofread, you've printed it out in clear
typescript, and you've gotten the right kind of manila envelopes. You've
professionally printed, either using a typewriter or carefully by hand, the
addresses for both the outgoing envelope and the self-addressed, stamped
envelope you hope never to see again.
All that remains is a trip to
the post office, a long wait in line, and the awkward explanations about
needing it weighed two times, since the return will be minus one envelope
and, maybe, the covering letter.
Wouldn't it be nice, you
think, if there were a way to figure out how much postage will be needed
ahead of time, so the trip to the post office won't be needed, and the long
wait in line and the explanations won't take up a good chunk of your day? A
chunk you might use better by writing some more?
Well, wish no more: it is
One of the most useful sites
I've found for writers is the Writer's Postage Chart at:
Put together and maintained
by Terry Hickman and Gregory Koster, it's a great place for calculating how
much postage one needs for those unavoidable snail mail submissions.
Clearly arranged, they cover
postage to and from USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, and
Singapore. By following the prompts, one is guided through the process
One first answers: What
country is your manuscript originating from? By clicking on a country, one
is taken to the page that asks: Where do you want to send it? From
there, one reaches a page with a chart on it. Above the chart one finds an
explanation of which postage rate it falls under, and why.
One simply follows the chart,
which is calculated by weight, by the number of 20 pound bond pages, and by
postage. Everything's calculated in American dollars. By using this chart,
you can save yourself much time and many headaches. Even better, you can
take on an even more professional attitude toward your work. Budgeting for
postage can become part of your everyday writing routine.
You've gone to all the
trouble of bulletproofing your manuscript, and making sure your story's
presentation is as clean and clear as possible. Isn't it simply reasonable
to take that last step toward writing autonomy by having your material ready
to go as soon as it leaves your desk?
This becomes easy when you
use the Writer's Postage Chart. Now all that's left is for those editors to
get back to you with good news and, best of all, a check. Good luck, and