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Author Topic: mailed submissions and the state of the USPS  (Read 1384 times)
Posts: 3187

I place things in locations which later elude me.

« on: September 06, 2011, 08:38:00 AM »

Just yesterday I went to the post office and used an APC (marvelous devices, really) to submit to a magazine that still only accepts subs via mail.

Then, this morning, I read this:

I suppose the author has some good points -- I don't mail anything except submissions (and the occasional birthday card, because my family for some reason still believes in them). But what's going to happen to all these mags that still only take subs by mail?

I went to Staples a couple of weeks ago to make some copies and mail a DVD to a friend. The cost for FedEx or UPS, I forgot which they had at that location, would've been $9. At the APC I sent it for $1.50. It's nice to have that cheaper option.

I imagine if USPS shuts down, FedEx and UPS (and maybe DHL) will have a cheaper option for mailing stuff. I mean, my mother-in-law has to order from catalogs somehow.

But I'm hoping that all these postal-mail-only-for-submissions publications will start doing online. Because, really, do we need to be wasting 50 sheets of paper to send something to a magazine that will probably say no? Especially if that magazine is on another continent? *coughinterzonecough*

Something to think about.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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Posts: 4847

Amateur wordsmith

« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 09:24:41 AM »

There are a lot of reasons not to accept e-mailed submissions, but I don't think any of them are tremendously good ones.  There's the fear of being flooded and overwhelmed by submissions, with the cost to submit reduced to a fraction of a fraction of a penny and a much lesser time investment.  I don't think the effect is quite as large as would be feared, personally, and more to the point, it is simple enough to find a few people willing to work for free or a nominal fee and be the frontline "is this complete crap?" slushers.  There's also the infrastructure work; you need a functional website that is easy to navigate, and you need links and an appropriate e-mail and so on.  A 'zine with very limited technological expertise or resources might justifiably feel that refraining from e-mail submissions is better than doing it poorly.  And there's also a sort of snobbery about online media in general, that pure paper is somehow morally and spiritually superior (for all that the works in question were almost certainly composed and workshopped using computers and digital media.)

I think any 'zine that isn't accepting e-mail or electronic submissions by now is making a mistake, myself.  This is just one more step down the inevitable road.

Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
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Posts: 8660

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 10:29:08 AM »

A different reason, this one that Warren Lapine puts as part of his submissions guidelines for his Fantastic Stories of the Imagination anthology:

Sorry no e-mail submissions. Why is this? Don’t you know that e-mail submissions is the future? Yes I do know that, but it’s not the way I want to do this. For me the best part of being an editor is having people over to have slush parties and interacting with them during the reading process. Editing on a screen is a thing devoid of fun or joy, I edit for the fun and joy of it.
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