Two weeks from querying agents again! There is one minor little issue in this round of querying. If you’ve been around the blog a while you know I’m pregnant. The OB/GYN assures me it’s not a high risk pregnancy. I’m just bedridden (by their orders), have to see the OB/GYN on Thursdays (aka: high risk day at the practice), and they are slightly worried about me living until the baby’s born. But I’m just fine and not high risk at all. Uh huh, let’s just go with that idea and run as far as we can with it.
Anywho, the baby isn’t due until late August. (Fingers crossed that we get to at least early August before we have a baby.) And I’m querying in August. This creates a minor problem querying those agents that want things the old-fashioned way. I’m pretty sure that “Stay in bed” means no trips to the post office. When you consider it’s all the way in town, and it always has a line that takes me at least 30 minutes to get through, I’m guessing it might be one of those off-limits places.
I was about to push all agents who either require the query letter or manuscripts delivered by snail mail off until after this parasite is born. That’s a few months down the road. I really didn’t want to wait that long for some of these agents. And that’s when I remembered that USPS will actually pickup packages, and I thought they might pick up pre-paid flat rate envelopes. A quick trip to the USPS website confirmed that my friendly mail carrier will indeed pickup things from my front door.
I can get the envelopes delivered to my mailbox (a perk when one is on bed rest.) USPS has free printable labels for said pre-paid envelopes that they will kindly put in my mailbox. (All for free. No shipping and handling charges!) USPS also delivers the stamps I need for the Self-Addressed Stamped Envelopes (SASE) that all agents request with your snail mail query letter. I can get the mailing labels for the SASE delivered directly to my front door by my local office supply store. Plus they will print my query letter(s) and the requested material. Obviously, not for free, but for a decent enough cost that I used their services last go around.
All of that delivered to my mailbox or front door? I can put those agents back on the “To Query” list before the baby comes. I was a little upset that some of the agents I really liked were okay with email queries, but wanted hard copies for the requested material. It annoyed me that agents became “Maybes” just because I can’t leave my house. Thanks to this brilliant realization that USPS will pick up and drop off almost every single thing I need, we’re back to querying people!
And the best part? We live all the way in the Great Southwest. New York City is all the way across the country. If I go down to the good ol’ post office I pay for gas, and the Starbucks coffee I know I’ll wind up buying (shouldn’t be right by the post office!), the envelope, and mailing the materials off. Let’s just use the amount it’ll cost for shipping to calculate my savings staying at home. It costs roughly $5.95 to send my query letter across the country. (Plus the gas, Starbucks & envelope.) With the flat rate envelope it costs me $4.75. That’s a huge savings! One which I will gladly take!
If anyone needs me, I’ll be stuck in bed writing and finishing up the last bits of getting ready to query.
PS: I didn’t get paid for all of this from USPS. They probably don’t even know Amanda’s Blog exists. Trust me, I’m just excited about a way to keep querying while in my bed! Though I’d love to leave my bed.