Thursday, March 27, 2008

Writer Beware - A New Form of HighJacking

Do you send your books media mail? I have an alert for you - If for any reason that book has to come back to you, you will wind up paying the postage again.

Recently, I sent a book I was donating to our Marinette County Sheriff's Department because they are mentioned (in a good light) in my book Small Town Secrets. I dedicated it to the men in blue (or brown as is the case here). So the book is of absolutely no use to me or anyone else - but -- Please excuse me while I rant.

So here's the story. I used the address listed in our phone book for the Marinette County Sheriff's Department physical location--the book was returned - the post mistress informed me their forwarding address had expired--HUH??????

It's not like I'm sending this package to Chicago, or Denver or New York even - where there are probably as many police stations as churches. I'm sending it to a small Midwestern Wisconsin town, sure it's 50 miles away but that is our county--it stretches for miles. But there is only one Sheriff's Department. They left and left no forwarding address - or at least none that the Post Office knows of. So in order for me to get my book back that is now worthless, I had to pay another $2.13 --so here is the breakdown of that stellar attempt to donate a book in appreciation for services rendered.

The book cost me $10.15, I paid $2.13 to send it out after it already cost me 70 cents in postage when I ordered it from my publisher, so we are already at $12.98 for the book, now I pay another $2.13 to get it back in my hands

- now this book has cost me $15.11 cents. Considering my royalty on this book is $1.80 cents, but I don't get that because I bought the book at the author's discount -- I am in the hole to the tune of $7.46 even if I don't count the book a total loss - which it is.

So Writer beware - do not send your printed words by media mail unless you are absolutely sure your recipient hasn't moved and had their forwarding order expire.
Live and learn. And the underpaid, over worked, get socked again. Thank you United States Postal Service!!!!!


Bradley said...

Eeep, that is really rough Billie. Sounds like the only one making out is the post office on this one..

Word Crafter said...

Thanks for stopping by Bradley - yup I think you're right on that one.
Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

You put so much effort into writing the book, now you must put just as much when you 'donate' it - at a loss! Sorry to hear that, Billie. Thanks for sharing the lesson, though.

Ashley Ladd said...

Billie, the Post Office will usually forward up to a year and then return things. We're having that problem where I work. We moved in January 2007 and even though we sent out several notices, a lot of people still mail us at the old address. The post office forwarded things for a long time, but now people are beginning to contact us by email and phone wondering why mail they sent to our old address is being returned to them by the PO. It's not our choice, it's all the PO doing this.

Word Crafter said...

Thanks for your words Ashly - well now they only forward for 6 months here - but you would think in a smaller town the Sheriff's office would be something everyone would know where it is and just stick it with their mail - I mean come on...this is so silly and the price we pay to be treated like --well - anyway it sure is frustrating.
Thanks for your visit - sorry about your angst with the P.O. too.