I didn’t realize the complexity of mail management until I became a writer. In stocking up the materials I need for my regular correspondence, my office has become a mini-office supply store. I recommend that you do the same by stocking up on these mailing basics:
· #10 envelopes — 4 1/8″ x 9 ½” business envelope for a tri-fold letter. These are absolutely necessary for the SASE required by agents, editors and publishers. Use self-adhesive envelopes (with peel-off tabs) if you can afford them. The folks on the other end will appreciate not having to lick the envelope. Make sure not to use these for submissions, even if only sending a query letter. Unfolding paper is one more obstacle between you and that editorial assistant reading tons of proposals
· 9″ x 12″ flat white envelopes — Use this envelope for your submissions, as it will hold your query and sample chapter or your magazine pitch neatly with no folds. The white has a cleaner, more professional appeal than yellow or manila-colored.
· 8.5″ x 11″ bubble envelopes — The perfect size for a trade paperback or a side-by-side stack of postcards about your book or business.
· Manuscript boxes, white 9″ x 12″ x 2 ½” — These will hold your manuscripts in neat order. Papyrus Place offers a sturdy box at a low price.
· Stationery — If you can afford it, and if you have committed to your writing business, splurge for stationery with a logo, address and url. A ream of paper and a box of 250 matching envelopes will last forever, and the professional image may get your foot in the door of a writing gig that can easily pay for the investment.
· Return labels — Unless you have a logo, go with plain black text on white, preferably Times New Roman or whatever font best matches your mailing label.
· Mailing labels — If your envelope won’t fit in your printer, use address-size labels for smaller envelopes and mailing-size labels for boxes and large envelopes. Learn how to prepare them centered and place them perfectly straight on the outside of the envelope. Use your best print quality. To mail The Shy Writer, I put a picture of the book to the left of the mailing address so the recipient can see what’s inside the envelope before she opens it. For more ideas, go to Avery.com , a well-known label manufacturer . Even the infamous Miss Snark, the blogging literary agent, has an Avery address label recommendation.
Neatness and a professional appearance send a significant message to the receiver.
Don’t cut corners after devoting hours, weeks and months on your masterpiece. Treat the mailing container as tenderly as you do the manuscript. Show the recipient that you are a class act with everything you do.
C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.