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Again with the stamps

Fri 1 Apr 2011 by mskala Tags used:

After all the nonsense I went through to get US stamps for my agent-query self-addressed stamped envelopes, it turns out that the US Postal Service is raising their prices effective April 17; the relevant price goes from 75 to 80 cents. I'd built in a safety margin by buying 78-cent stamps, but they jumped right past that. So any agents who currently have SASEs from me had just better use them soon, and I can't really send out any more (including the packages I just prepared and sealed tonight before discovering this, intending to drop them in the mail tomorrow morning) until I go through another round of silliness to get some 2-cent stamps. I hate playing this game, and I'm angry about the US Postal Service's online store refusing to sell to me in Canada, and over the fact that although they claim they announced this upcoming change in January, they didn't do that anywhere I could see it (for instance, on their Web site) so that this came as a surprise to me when it shouldn't have.

7 comments

Anonymous
Domestically the US has FOREVER stamps, I don't know if you can't just double up 2 FOREVER stamps (you'll be paying extra initially).


See this:
Customers can use Forever Stamps for international mail, but since all international prices are higher than domestic prices, customers will need to attach additional postage. The value of the Forever Stamp is the domestic First-Class Mail letter price in effect on the day of use.

SO I think you'd be safe with 2 forever stamps. So 84 to 88 cents.

The liberty bell is a popular forever stamp, there's a Reagan one too if you want to be edgy. Anonymous - 2011-04-02 02:17
Matt
I think that would work as long as the ratio of domestic to international prices doesn't fluctuate too much - according to the USPS's literature, a "forever stamp" is worth a standard domestic letter postage, or that amount towards any other postage. So if two standard domestic letters is enough to cover one letter to Canada, then two "forever stamps" will cover it.

However, US "forever stamps" are not any easier to purchase in Canada than any other US stamps. Matt - 2011-04-02 14:16
Tony H.
What you logically need is International Business Reply Mail (IBRM). But it's not cost effective for your requirements, because there's an annual fee of $650. To say nothing of the $1.90 per piece actually delivered.
https://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/supportdocuments/brm_pricesheet-e.pdf
On the other hand it would work for agents in pretty much any country.

One must assume that it would be illegal to set up any sort of remailing business that would use a single address for multiple IBRM customers. Reselling CPC services - oh the horror! Tony H. - 2011-04-04 15:30
Matt
I think many agents would, if they received a query with a business reply envelope in it, count that against the query - because it looks like you're mass-producing them. They treat queries in a mass way but authors have to visibly treat agents in an individual way. This would especially apply if it were visibly the case that the business reply envelope pointed to a remailing service rather than directly at the querying author; then it looks like you're going through one of those mass-query-mailing services and your query will be discarded. They also refuse to cash international reply coupons, which might otherwise be a better fit than business reply mail; and many *claim* that US Postal Service regulations forbid the use of meter impressions for reply envelopes. The bottom line is that between the postal regulations which may or may not be for real, and the concern of making a good impression, it really does have to be stamps as such, nothing else.

True internationalization isn't really an issue - the way this game is played is that you query agents in New York City, and possibly maybe in your own country if that isn't the USA.

Publishing is a silly and a dirty industry, but it's not quite as bad as music... Matt - 2011-04-04 16:16
Tony H.
I wonder if you can hand write a business reply envelope so as to meet postal requirements, and yet leave a suitable impression of handcraftedness. How exact do the bars and such have to be? India ink on a hand-made and folded envelope? I suppose that just says all the more that you paid serious bucks to someone to crank them out en masse... Tony H. - 2011-04-07 15:32
Matt
I dunno, I think if I had that level of artistic skill, I'd use it doing commissions for the furries and piling up the money and sexual favours, instead of wasting my time on this *writing* nonsense...

And what that kind of effort would say to me would be "obsessive-compulsive nutcase." Matt - 2011-04-07 20:19
Daniel
Let me know if it would help at all to mail you american stamps - they're easy to come by here in Boston! And the canada post website has a number for what their "forever" stamps are currently worth, so maybe the US site does too. Rooting for you to find an agent! Daniel - 2011-05-16 21:06


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