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View Full Version : No more excuses - got my U.S. stamps (for SASE)



JohnJStephens
10-13-2005, 05:33 PM
Well, very soon I will be joining the rest of this gang. No more excuses, my U.S. stamps arrived today, ready for my genuine American SASE.

I am not sure about the Customs Declaration that accompanied my stamps. It reads

US POSTAGE STAMPS FOR PHILATELIC PURPOSES

But this is wrong! These stamps are for real, man! They are my path to success!

Or is somebody up there trying to tell me something?

Jamesaritchie
10-13-2005, 08:00 PM
Well, very soon I will be joining the rest of this gang. No more excuses, my U.S. stamps arrived today, ready for my genuine American SASE.

I am not sure about the Customs Declaration that accompanied my stamps. It reads

US POSTAGE STAMPS FOR PHILATELIC PURPOSES

But this is wrong! These stamps are for real, man! They are my path to success!

Or is somebody up there trying to tell me something?

Sounds like someone is trying to tell you to save your stamps, doesn't it?

blacbird
10-13-2005, 08:10 PM
Don't sweat it, John, that's just USPS jargon. Every United States postage stamp issued since the Civil War remains valid for postage today. So if you want to send me something, just put one of those 1920s Zeppelins on it, okay?

bird

Jenny
10-14-2005, 09:02 AM
That's right, make me and my IRCs look bad.

Greenwolf103
10-14-2005, 11:35 AM
I think what Jamesaritchie is trying to point out here is the efficiency of email queries/submissions.

But, then again, that's just me. *shrugs*

JohnJStephens
10-14-2005, 12:41 PM
That's right, make me and my IRCs look bad.Have you ever had any problems with IRCs? I am probably being overcautious about our American friends' ability to handle anything that sophisticated :-)
Given the ease with which U.S. stamps can be ordered, anywhere in the world, why go the IRC route when contacting U.S. publishers or agents?

Jamesaritchie
10-14-2005, 06:28 PM
I think what Jamesaritchie is trying to point out here is the efficiency of email queries/submissions.

But, then again, that's just me. *shrugs*

Yep.

Jamesaritchie
10-14-2005, 06:38 PM
The problem with IRCs is twofold. 1. Despite it's cost, one IRC is good for one stamp equivalent to that countries postage for an unregistered airmail letter. 2. You have to take an IRC to the post office and redeem it for that stamp, and then put the stamp on the envelope.

So one IRC equals one airmail letter that doesn't exceed a certain weight. If you want a full manuscript returned, it will, at $1.75 per coupon, cost you your child's college education to have it returned with IRCs.

And no one likes having to make a trip to the post office just to use IRCs. It's a lot of extra work.

It used to be that IRCs were the only recourse for most people in most countries. It's still the case for many, and it's still a heck of a lot faster to buy an IRC in many countries than it is to get foriegn postage stamps, even from the internet, assuming you have internet, which hundreds of millions are without.

Jenny
10-15-2005, 07:03 AM
I don't think I've ever had a problem with IRCs - at any rate, using them hasn't slowed down the rate of rejection from editors. Yes, I should use appropriate stamps (US, UK, Canada, whatever), but it's a combination of habit, dislike of handing over money and not getting something immediate in return, and the fact that most submissions go by email. As I type this, I think I'm being guilted into changing my habits. What's the address for the US Post office? (Kidding, I'll google)

Jenny

Jamesaritchie
10-15-2005, 10:50 PM
I don't think I've ever had a problem with IRCs - at any rate, using them hasn't slowed down the rate of rejection from editors. Yes, I should use appropriate stamps (US, UK, Canada, whatever), but it's a combination of habit, dislike of handing over money and not getting something immediate in return, and the fact that most submissions go by email. As I type this, I think I'm being guilted into changing my habits. What's the address for the US Post office? (Kidding, I'll google)

Jenny

I've used a big bunch of IRCs over the years, and still use them fairly often because getting non-US stamps over the internet isn't always easy, and sometimes seems nearly impossible, depending on the country.

Storyteller5
10-15-2005, 11:31 PM
So for those of you who buy international stamps, how do you know what postage your piece will need on that SASE? :idea:

Jamesaritchie
10-16-2005, 02:26 AM
So for those of you who buy international stamps, how do you know what postage your piece will need on that SASE? :idea:

All the postal sites I've been to have this information, though sometimes you have to dig around teh site a bit to find it.

Ralyks
11-05-2005, 11:47 PM
Have you ever had any problems with IRCs? I am probably being overcautious about our American friends' ability to handle anything that sophisticated :-)
Given the ease with which U.S. stamps can be ordered, anywhere in the world, why go the IRC route when contacting U.S. publishers or agents?

I am a U.S. editor of a small press literary magazine. I well know what an IRC is. My problem is, every time I bring one to the post office to exchange it for postage, I am confronted with dumb stares from the postal clerk. "Just a minute," I hear as he disappears to make a phone call, and then searches through a book, and then returns several minutes later...and finally I get my postage for the IRC so I can return the submission. This whole process takes ten minutes or more. It happens at every post office I have ever been to. I have tried to explain to the clerks the moment I hand them the IRC what they are and what they are to do...but alas, to no avail. Editors know what these things are, but postal employees apparently don't. It's so very much of a bother, that I have started encouraging international submission by e-mail (though I still only take U.S. submissions by regular mail).

Jenny
11-10-2005, 05:50 AM
Skylar, I'm no longer one of those people causing editors enormous hassle - well, at least, not US editors. I've braved the USPS website, suffered through enrolling myself (technical hiccup) and danged the system for not writing my Australian address in the right order ... and now I have beautiful (not really) US stamps - hooray for the courier who deciphered the address, braved the dog and delivered them to me. Now I only need to write a story to post.

Also, and this is the important bit, thanks to all understanding editors who let us overseas writers submit via email. It's a huge help.

Jenny

waylander
11-11-2005, 08:31 PM
I take payment in stamps if I sell a story to a US mag that doesn't pay 5c a word or more. It's not worth my bother cashing their check for $10, but $10 worth of stamps is a good for a dozen SASE.

BTW I use 80c stamps for my SASEs

Jamesaritchie
11-12-2005, 01:50 AM
Skylar, I'm no longer one of those people causing editors enormous hassle - well, at least, not US editors. I've braved the USPS website, suffered through enrolling myself (technical hiccup) and danged the system for not writing my Australian address in the right order ... and now I have beautiful (not really) US stamps - hooray for the courier who deciphered the address, braved the dog and delivered them to me. Now I only need to write a story to post.

Also, and this is the important bit, thanks to all understanding editors who let us overseas writers submit via email. It's a huge help.

Jenny

The only time I ever use IRCs these days is when an editor specifically requests them. There are still out of the way countries where IRCs are standard, and actually easy for editors to use because they're so common.

Beyondian
11-13-2005, 12:27 PM
Ohhhhhhh, so that's what you do! I've been wondering what to put on my SASEs when I send them out to America. So I can get US stamps, hmm? Fascinating...