Pathetic Postage Plea

I am currently sending off The Novel to those pointy-headed demons known as “agents” so that they can ridicule me with their form-letter replies. Nothing new there. Except now I have exhausted all relevant agents and publishers in the UK who accept email submissions (about eight, all told) and have to move to the next step. This entails printing out a lump of the The Novel and actually posting it. In the mail. With a stamp and everything.

In theory, this is fine. In practise, it’s akin to an itchy case of pubic lice. You see, since the fine ladies and gentlemen of the publishing world will not reply by email even to say “piss off” to aspiring writers, I have to send them a stamped self-addressed envelope for the conveyance their hateful little notes. This requires that I either get hold of some British stamps to put on said letters, or else send international reply coupons.

And there the shit deepens. The Swedish post office stopped selling international reply coupons about ten years ago. “There’s too little demand,” they told me. Well, maybe, but aren’t you the fucking POST OFFICE? And if you don’t sell them in Sweden, who does? Nobody, turns out to be the answer.

So onto option two – get hold of some UK stamps. Which seemed easy to do via the Royal Mail’s site. I picked out my stamps, picked my country, paid with my Visa card, and got a confirmation mail. And then the next day I got a mail from a dude at the Royal Mail to tell me that unfortunately, they couldn’t sell me the stamps I had already paid for since I lived “abroad”.

But why, I asked, did your site allow me to buy stamps at all, since it asked me for my country, and I told it, before it TOOK MY MONEY? Our site is shit, the dude explained. So sorry, but no stamps today. Money shall be returned. And here, contact this office in the Royal Mail and they can help you.

I mailed that office. They never replied. Plus my money was not returned. I mean, Jesus on a hover-board, how hard can it be to buy some fucking UK stamps from the fucking UK POST OFFICE?

Deep breath. Right, the only other option (short of taking a Ryanair flight to London) is to find a nice English person and ask them to go down the road, buy a booklet of first-class international UK stamps, and post them to me. So that’s what I have been reduced to.

Please, blog readers in the UK, buy me some stamps and I’ll send you a number of shiny new shillings to cover their purchase and transport. Or else the story of two Irish expats in Stockholm and their sexual misadventures will never see the light of day at all. And that would be a bloody shame.

/ paddy

16 thoughts on “Pathetic Postage Plea

  1. There is a special irony that the YouTube-video you embedded doesn’t work “on request”.

    Oh bureaucracy, how I would love to take you out back and KICK YOUR HEAD IN.

    • Yeah I noticed that. It does indeed add to the irony though. And bureaucracy is just a system to protect idiots from being blamed for their own mistakes.

  2. Well, Paddy, I can’t help you with UK potage stamps, but should you get desparate enough to submit The Novel to an Astralian publisher, I would love to send you some Aussie stamps. Hey, it’s coming up for Xmas – they might even have some ‘Santa on a surfboard’ type stamps.

  3. Sure, I’ll send you stamps. Just tell me how many, how much, where to and when. I’m logged in with a functional e-mail address, though yoy’ll have to prove you’re not a bot.

    I’ll expect a signed 1st edition of the opus though, when it’s published.



  4. Paddy, I heard the local radio the other day saying of a bloke who wrote a book and could not get it published. So he printed some himself though the internet and took them to the local bookshop who sold them for him. Things grew and he got a publisher soon afterwards with proof that the book was selling.

    If you can’t get a bookshop to buy them then I will buy one from you through ebay. Good plan?

    • Thanks for the idea, but having a book self-published is basically admitting that it isn’t very good. Although maybe after another year of rejections, I might start to consider it…

  5. % years ago, self publishing was admitting a book wasn’t very good. Today, self publishing is almost a necessity for new authors. Seriously, publishing houses have practically closed their doors to everything but the same fiction writers who have been selling books for years, writers who built a following through self publishing or non-fiction. Just sayin’.

    As for the stamps, that is bullshit!!!!

  6. My name is Mrs. Sophie Banda. I am the widow of the late Hastings Banda, president of Malawi, and I need to buy $40000000 worth of British stamps. Please send me your bank details and I will transfer you the money to buy me the stamps for which your commission will be 20% of their face value.

  7. Paddy, an example of a now-successful fiction author who started by self-publishing is John Scalzi, though he was an experienced author of published non-fiction and had a blog with a large audience already built. He has posts on it on Whatever. The most complete post I found in a tragically brief search (long story) is here, which has some useful advice and analysis.

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