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Instead of Using Return Receipts…

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Use a self-addressed, stamped-postcard.

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “In addition to the freaking SASE, now I gotta fool around with a stinking postcard!” But it’s a good idea if you just can’t stand the possibility of the mailman stealing your manuscript for his bathroom reading.

Here’s the deal… Some authors, leery of our postal service’s invulnerability to snow or rain or heat or gloom of night, attach return receipt or delivery confirmation to their submissions. They want to know, for certain, that the BigTime Publishing Company or The Prestigious Literary Quarterly received their manuscript. But numerous publishing professionals tell me this is a horrendous idea. They have processes in place for receiving the mail and having to send an intern to the PO to sign a delivery confirmation can throw off that process.

But in the Writer’s Digest 2007 Writer’s Yearbook issue, Debby Mayne provides a useful compromise. “If you want some assurance that your proposal gets there, include a self-addressed, stamped postcard that says, ‘I received your proposal,'” Maybe suggests. “When it lands back in your mailbox, you’ll know your work is safe and sound in the editor’s office.”

I typically don’t worry about my manuscript arriving. I blindly put my faith in the postal gods, but then again, my friends often criticize my steadfast belief in the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot as well. So what do I know?