I just finished marking yet another large, manuscript-filled envelope as “Refused-Return to Sender” and dropped it into the mailbox. This time, the author sent it to us via Priority Mail, and paid $11.15 for the privilege. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, because Barking Rain Press does not accept paper submissions.
I believe that Barking Rain Press makes this very clear in our Submission FAQ Guidelines, and yet, we have not had a single submission period go by without at least one paper submission.
Postage costs aside, the person who sent us this latest manuscript had other time and material costs that probably brought this effort up to at least $20 — the cost for the toner and paper, the time to print it all out and place it in the envelope, the gas for the drive to the post office to pay for the postage and mail the package… which was never even opened. In fact, it never even left the post office; we had a stamper made so that we can quickly (and neatly) take care of any mailed submissions when we check the PO box.
The question is, why? Why do people choose to spend $10-$20 to mail a paper submissions package when Barking Rain Press clearly states on its website that we don’t accept paper submissions?
- Do they think that going “above and beyond” our requirements will impress us somehow?
- Are they “old school” and just unused to uploading queries online?
- Did they not bother to read the instructions?
- Did they read the instructions, but decide they didn’t agree with them and so followed their own guidelines?
We may never know. But one thing I DO know is that Barking Rain Press does not accept mailed submissions packages, period. So before you waste the time, money, paper, and postage, please understand that your paper submission will be returned unopened — no exceptions.
We have a rubber stamp, and we’re not afraid to use it.