Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book in a Box

Some agents and editors want the first five, ten, or fifty pages of an aspiring author’s manuscript. And they usually want that as part of an e-mail—they won’t open an attachment from some unknown person.

But then there is one particular entity that wants the entire manuscript—printed out.


My address and their address are covered by napkins

To give you the scale: This box I bought for a little over $3.00 can snugly fit an 8½ x 11 manuscript. The manuscript, which is over 400 pages and took me all evening to print, turned out to be a surprising 1½ inches tall. (It took all evening because I printed 50 pages at a time, and I looked through the pages to make sure they had printed out okay.) So the box is about 2 inches tall.

I showed it to a few people at work before mailing it. They were suitably impressed. One woman wanted to hold it to see how much it weighed.

I went to the Post Office on Tuesday evening. The inner part where the clerks are had closed about ten minutes before I got there, so those doors were locked. So I used the automated machine in the lobby.

First class would cost over $18.00. (As to why I didn’t consider something cheaper will be revealed below). But their two-day express would cost about $20.00. So I chose that. If the Post Office is doing its job, it’ll get there right after Thanksgiving.

Why the rush? November is NaNoWriMo. Aspiring writers are challenged to write 50,000 words, or the equivalent of a small novel, during the 30 days of November. What then happens is agents and editors are then flooded with lousy novels in December, because many of these writers don’t take the time to improve their manuscripts before sending them off. 

I know my box may just end up being in the bottom of a bin. But I like to think that my willingness to spend the money to get it there before the rush of hastily-written manuscripts, and the quality of my 85,000 word manuscript will make it stand out. But it’s out of my hands now.


What is the story? Fairy War. Read an excerpt. 

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