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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Adios, Gordon Van Gelder, alas 
11th-Apr-2011 09:56 am

Dear Gordon,

I hope you enjoy the story I just sent you, because it's the last you're going to get from me.

I hadn't sent a short story manuscript by snailmail to an American editor in a while, so I got a surprised at my local post office here in Spain. The price of postage had gone up — a lot. It cost me €9.60 to send you that story.

That's US $13.71.

It would have cost me $1.39 to mail that manuscript within the United States, according to the USPS website — about ten times less, and not a bad price. But I live overseas.

Much has changed in publishing recently. Some publications now take electronic submissions, but The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction does not. Pro rates have not risen, but postal rates have for overseas mail. Everything now goes air mail, like it or not, and air mail is expensive. The dollar is likely to continue to fall, making the relative price climb even higher.

So, Gordon, sorry, postage is a business cost, and I have to make a business decision. I can't afford to submit to you anymore. I would be proud to be in your magazine, but with this story, I must bid you adios, alas.

Sue Burke

11th-Apr-2011 08:12 am (UTC)
This is what I faced a few years ago. A publisher was interested in a novel ms of mine and it cost me so much to post that when they lost it and said I could send it again if I liked, I'm afraid I didn't like. It would have cost me a week's grocery money to send a replacement.
11th-Apr-2011 11:23 am (UTC)
Ugh, how frustrating! Hopefully they'll join the 21st century soon and accept electronic submissions. Some journals and magazines make special exceptions to people living abroad, otherwise it seems it's going to be a very limited submission crowd which would be sad.
14th-Apr-2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
I can understand that going to electronic submissions is a big step -- not a trivial decision for publications. But international postage is far from trivial, too, and it just keeps getting worse.
14th-Apr-2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I got a nasty surprise when I snailed something to Interzone recently. I won't be going that route, either. Really, really too bad.
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