Sunday, August 24, 2008


I am a Canadian writer with a problem. I went online today to order US postage stamps for SASEs. However, USPS is no longer shipping US stamps internationally. Publishers and agents will not accept postal coupons, and many state that packages not containing SASEs will be recycled upon receipt. What's the solution? Is it possible to crawl out of the slush with a sticky note attached saying, "please, recycle if rejected" or must I spend my spare time in chat rooms looking for some lonely old american man to be my stamp daddy (well, it does give new meaning to the words "mail order bride")?
Can't you buy stamps on ebay? And other places? Though your sticky note idea sounds fine to me, it's hard to predict how finicky different publishers' submissions processing is truly going to be.


Anonymous said...

Do you really need them anymore? I live in Canada too and just sent all my US stamps back to my mum in the US because I never used them. My husband's going down to the States in a few weeks. Send me a note through my website and we'll figure out how to get you some if you can wait that long.


Susan at Stony River said...

You can indeed buy stamps on ebay; that's where I get mine.

Oddly enough, you can get a whole sheet sometimes for under the face value, though it often means using ugly/unpopular stamps.

It IS funny that we still need them in such an electronic age, but quite a few presses or journals still want hardcover submissions.

(And some of us goofballs still want to submit to them, so...)

Jean said...

Would it work to purchase postage electronically and print it through a label printer, maybe? (Dymo and Brother both make label printers that will also print legal US postage -- I believe you purchase it via the USPS site.) No shipping involved.

Anonymous said...

At one time you could buy US stamps (and other countries) from Canada Post. I went to check online, but I didn't seem them - but then my login wouldn't work, so I couldn't see all the products.
At the USPS site it says (in FAQS) "If you wish to place an international order you can do so over the phone, by fax, or by mail." It gives phone numbers and mailing addresses.
It was under FAQ HOME - BUYING (the third page from this section).

Have you called to ask about purchasing stamps this way?

Mommy C said...

Thank you EA, and everyone else who took the time to comment. I know, it seems strange in this day and age, but so many publishers and agents won't accept equeries. I once read something from an agent or editor (can't remember which). She said she liked to make authors mail in submissions because it prevented them from firing off half-cocked, drunken submissions in the middle of the night.

And, I'm an idiot. It never occurred to me to use ebay. That time I needed a piece of toast with the face of Jesus on it, I knew- just click on ebay. I even remembered it when I wanted a piece of chewing gum from Marie Osmond, but US postage? I drew a blank.

I was also so irritated that I missed the part about being able to call USPS for the postage. I used to hang out with a couple of Suadi princes so, hopefully there is no screenig process for the stamps ;)

Joelle, thank you so much for your kindness. I think that I will just hit up ebay. Who knows? I may be able to wow an agent with a SASE featuring Yoda or, maybe if I'm lucky I can find one featuring the Osmonds.

Christine Tripp said...

I find it easy to have a US Illustrator friend just mail stamps to you, I'm sure you know some too. I then mail a US money order to them (as it seems US banks laugh at Cheques drawn on Canuck banks... weird, Canadian banks have no problem cashing US cheques, maybe it's the spelling:)
I've also used this need for stamps as a great excuse to have my husband take me on a day trip to NY state, but luckily we live only an hours drive from the border.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that agents still require snailmail queries. One agent who required snailmail only and did not have a phone number or email address on their website requested a full from me when I was agent hunting. By the time his request came, I already had several agent offers and I couldn't even email him to let him know. I had to send him a snailmail back saying thanks, but I'm signing already. I can understand the theory behind forcing authors to think about what they're doing (snailmail versus sending stuff off at 2am), but it could sometimes prove counterproductive, I think.

Anonymous said...

If you register for an account with Canada Post online, you can purchase International stamps (US, UK etc) from them. You can't see the list of stamps without registering though. It takes a couple days for Canada Post to send you an email with your login and password.

Mommy C said...

Thanks, you're a lifesave Anon 6:23. I'll register right away. Though, it will take the fun out of hunting for Yoda stamps on ebay.

Jennie said...

I know that you can design and print your own postage on such sites as or CafePress-- but I don't know if they can work in Canada but! personalized stamps!