The Journey to Finding U.S. Postage

For writers who live outside of the States, just so you don’t freak out like me, here is a forewarning:

Stamps are Serious Business.

After I received a partial request from an agent, I prepared my synopsis, author’s bio, and first 50 pages along with my query letter, to send off to her. But when I got to the post office, I learned that they were unable to include an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope), which is needed for an agent to reply back to me with. I was advised to order U.S. postage through the USPS (United States postal service) website. But I later learned that USPS does not deliver to foreign countries!

My other option was to use an International Reply Coupon, but the cons to this is that 1) Agents would have to take the trouble of going all the way to their post office to exchange the coupon for a U.S. stamp and send their response from there—so if it was a formal rejection letter, I doubt they’d take the trouble, and so you would be across the border sighing and waiting for their response that will never be sent, and 2) the IRC has an expiry date!!!! I really did not want to take the chance.

Arcade Coin co. is on 10 King Street East Suite 301

In my struggle to find out what other options I had, Savannah from Let The Words Flow offered to send me (smuggle over the borders?) a booklet of U.S. stamps since she lives in the States. I would have had to impose upon her kindness had I not discovered that on King and Yonge street there was a shop called Arcade Coin Co. that sold the current issues of U.S. postage. It would cost 70-something cent for a letter-sized envelope to be delivered from New York to Toronto, so I bought an extra 10 cent stamp to paste on, since there is price fluctuations for postage at times.

I was going to send the requested material via priority mail but the lady at the post office said the receiver would have to give a signature for this (In the State, however, it seems that priority mail doesn’t require a signature). Thus, if the agent isn’t home when the postman comes by, she would have to take the trouble of going to the post office to pick it up. I doubt she’d bother—what with the hundreds of manuscripts she probably receives every month. So I sent the material via Xpresspost with the words “REQUESTED SUBMISSION” written on the bottom right-hand corner.

 For the specifics on how to mail a partial or full, check out the guidelines here AgentQuery