Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My least favorite acronym...

Todd Wheeler talks about hunting the fabled International Reply Coupon, one of those mythical beasts like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot that people pretend exists but really doesnt.

I have had similar nightmares with IRCs. I was trying to send a query to a British agent that I really admire. The people at the post office near my house insisted that IRCs no longer existed, until I finally showed them a printout of the Post Office web page. Then they tried to claim they actually just said they were out of them.

Worse, if your manuscript/query has any heft, there's no real way to know how many IRCs you need. And then the fact that an IRC isn't like a SASE that you can just drop back in the mail. They have to go down to the post office and cash them in.

I think the solution is to mail a disposable manuscript with your e-mail for their response. Anyone who doesn't see that it's far more convenient to just e-mail your rejection (or, God help me, acceptance!) than to go down to the PO to redeem an IRC is so insane you don't want them looking at your story.


Denni said...

To my knowledge, nobody bothers to cash IRCs. It's just another test: is the SASE/IRC included? No? Manuscript goes straight into the bin.

Cemetery Dance not only doesn't accept IRCs (or hands out email replies), but insist on the correct postage in US stamps!

Todd Wheeler said...

Jim, Thanks for the link. Glad to see I wasn't alone in that little adventure.

Jim Stewart said...

Denni, you're probably right. The good news is, some magazines like InterZone take e-mail subs during certain times of year.

Todd, I'll probably link to your blog again. I quite enjoy reading it.