Thursday, August 17, 2006

A pause to reflect on e-submissions

Can I just say how much I love e-submissions? For some reason the act of going to the post office with your dear manuscript in hand - passing it over to the mail lady - and watching it disappear into the clutter that is the back-room of the post office is just unnerving.

Take for example my last snail mail submission - which was LAST October (and I still have not gotten an official decision yet...but that's another story all-together):

I'm at work and today is the day that I'm going to send my manuscript to big-time NY editor. At exactly 11am I will leave work and (running) calmy take my already printed out manuscript (Office Depot the night before - never a good experience I tell you) to the Mail Boxes Etc place a block away. This lady knows me. She is very sweet in a gruff chain smoking kind of way. I have sent manuscripts through her before and they have arrived safely at their destinations. But, she insists on putting the postage on my outside envelope, inserting the SASE after printing up its own postage, and closing the envelope - HERSELF. But I'm an easy going person and I let her do it (or maybe it's because she ultimately determines if my manuscript will be sent to big time NY editor or a remote Ethopian village). I mention at least fifty times during my ten minutes in her store that the SASE must go INSIDE the big envelope containing my hopes and dreams. She gets it the first time, but lets me repeat myself regardless. She prints out my postage and puts a hand out, expecting me to put my package in it. It looks clean enough, but wait. I must check to make sure something wierd didn't happen and mess the order of - cover letter - synopsis - manuscript - in my envelope. I take everything back out and mail lady sighs and waits patiently. It's in the right order. Phew. I put everything back in the envelope. But wait. What if Office Depot did not print all the pages of my manuscript? How bad would that look if famous NY editor opens my submission - reads to page 186 and finds the last page - 187 - missing? Insta-rejection. That's what happens. Remove my manuscript again - check for last page - it's there. Ahhh. Put everything back in. Mail lady is relieved with me. She knows my ritual is over. But then - disaster. I get a MASSIVE paper cut. Blood everywhere. Mail lady is horrified. I play it cool. I'm fine, really. Nothing to see here. Except there is blood on my outside ENVELOPE! Panic. Mail lady asks me if everything is ok. Do I need a bandage? No, I'm fine I say, blood spurting everywhere. She ignores me and brings me a clump of paper towels and a band-aid. I clean myself up, thankful there is no one else in the store but me and mail lady. She gets me a new envelope - I check my manuscript - every page. Miraculously there is no blood. Mail lady extends her hand again, I give her my submission and she takes it from there. I return to work 15 years older than when I left.



Post a Comment

<< Home