Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mail Call

I used to look forward to mail delivery each day at the office. When I first started here in 1993, mail was delivered to my desk. Then they established boxes where we’d go and pick up our own mail.

Back in the day—before much email—mail time was fun. I’d get lots of interesting things each day:
  • manuscripts on disk and hard copy from contracted authors that were ready to process into books.
  • proposals fully printed out in interesting folders with attention-grabbing stationery and the like. Some presentations were gaudy and goofy, but it was part of the fun about the mail.
  • notes, cards, postcards, and the like and sometimes even photographs from authors. More thank-you notes and vacation postcards were received before electronics made it easier to just to shoot off an instant message. More letters and comments from readers.
  • marketing gifts and ploys to get us to work with certain service providers and the like (back before costs of gifts and postage skyrocketed).
  • more magazines and newsletters put out by reading clubs, reviewers, and the like.
Now the mail is a drag and just adds to the clutter in my office. We still get readers’ notes and survey sheets, but not as many. We still get book proposals (though we have asked not to), but now 98% of them are not even going to be on target for what we do—let alone worth reviewing.

The most fun mail is still around the Christmas holidays. LOL I also look forward to the Romantic Times magazine and the CBD fiction catalog. That’s about it.

You would think that the paperwork clutter would go away with all the forms of electronic mail and storage that we have -- but it hasn't. Grrrrr

So, do you think we’ve really lost anything by going with electronic mail? Just curious.


Erica Vetsch said...

I don't usually think about it until I get a handwritten letter from my friend, Julie. She has a real gift for letter writing.

E-mail doesn't seem to have diminished the amount of mail I get, but most of it is junk I pitch into the recycling bin right away.

Wish I could do that with bills...

Vickie McDonough said...

I don't think my snail mail has changed much, even though I do receive and write many emails daily. I love the convenience and quick feedback from emails, but it can be a distraction (says I who am heading downstairs right after this message to work on my wip).

Kaye Dacus said...

I'm kind of like a dog when it comes to receiving mail. I get really excited when I hear the mail truck pull up outside, and, if I can, I immediately run out to see what's come. Usually, I'm very disappointed, because it's just junk mail--catalogs, sales flyers/postcards--or bills (even though I pay all of them electronically, some still insist on killing trees in addition to my bank balance). Occasionally my excitement is rewarded by the receipt of a check for freelance work, a wedding invitation, a graduation announcement, a copy of my next book . . .

And that's nothing compared to how excited I get when the UPS truck pulls up!

::sigh:: I need to get out more.

NancyMehl said...

I enjoy how easy it is to stay in touch electronically. I especially love Face Book. But I have to say that when someone sends me an actual card or writes me a letter, it seems more special now than it used to. It's the effort, I guess.

However, spam is spam, whether it's in my email box or my mail box, it's irritating.

Beth Loughner said...

I still get excited when the mailman drops the post in the our slot. Sometimes it passes right through and dumps on the floor if we failed to latch the wooden door. It's one thing (among others)I love about our house.

But you're right, it's not the same. Very few write personal snail-mail letters anymore. It's nice to see some Barbour mail come. :-)

E-mail is wonderful, too. And fast!

Do you want us to send you a real letter to make your mail pile a bit more exciting? :-)