Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Will That Be Non-Smoking?

A friend of mine from my online writing group asked the members if they had heard of a certain publisher as she was interested in sending a manuscript to them. As she had not heard anything about them, negative or otherwise, I thought I would help her out and go see what I could dig up.

I found their submission guidelines and the second paragraph goes like this...

Please be aware that **** ******* is a smoke-free environment. Manuscripts that arrive smelling like cigarette smoke may not receive the completely positive reception that they deserve.

O...kay. Well, this was a first. I've heard of restaurants and any public place in the entire county going by this rule, but publishers?

I mean, how can they tell you are a smoker? Is it actually all over everything, including paper? If when you stuff that paper in a box or whatever and send it off to a publisher and they open it, is smoke the first thing they smell or think of? Is this possible?

My aunt was an avid smoker. She would send me letters now and then and not once did I smell cigarette smoke. Now, if someone were to go outside, take a puff and come back in, sure you could smell it, but can someone actually smell it on paper?

When I was young and would send letters to my sweet-heart, I'd spray a bit of perfume on them and, yes, the recipient would smell it first thing when opening, but smoke?

I say this is ridiculous and it can't happen. What I ought to do is write a letter to myself, blow smoke on it and send it to myself to see if this is possible. I really don't think so.

So, anyway, this publisher thinks that this is going to deter smokers from sending anything to them? So what if the writer spritzes Fabreeze on the paper and the mailing envelope or box? Would that work?

As if we don't have enough to worry about...ack....wonder if Stephen King smokes. Would this publisher turn him away because his latest work reeks of smoke?

It's crazy...I'm telling you...it's just crazy....


  1. Oh, that gave me a chuckle. Non-smoking ms? I can't imagine a pile of papers retaining the smell after being mailed. But I dunno.... I guess they are just making a statement about smoking.

  2. This isn't surprising. My agent remarked in an interview that she's turned off when she receives submissions reeking of smoke. I have to say honestly that I've judged contests where the entire submission package smelled of smoke (the contest coordinator was a heavy smoker) and it made me queasy. See, unless you're a non-smoker you can't really appreciate how bad it smells. I say this as an ex-smoker.

  3. Actually our xerox guy must live in a studio apt and he must chain smoke. Everything he touches smells like smoke, and so does every manual he brings in.

    I'm a light smoker - but I can smell this smoke and it is very, very heavy. I can only imagine that the smell permeates in the paper of a manuscript as well, especially if the smoker is a heavy one who goes over the MS with a cigarette for every word.

    A suggestion is to place a Febreeze dryer sheet in the envelope with the MS for a day or two to evaporate the smoke smell - before sending it.

    Lady M

  4. Next thing you know, they are going to be saying that touching anything with 2nd hand smoke on it, increases the chances of the nicotene being absorbed into the skin of anyone handling it. Geesh!!!!!!!!

  5. Dot,

    It's not blowing smoke on it that does it. It's the paper/whatever staying in an enviroment with a lot of smoke over an extended period of time.

    We get transciption packets from one of the transcriptionists that reeks of smoke. THere have been times we've had to let it air out overnight before we could do anything with it.

    I realize you smoke, but I don't know how heavily/lightly. It could be you're used to it (even in small amounts) and don't notice it. (Sorry if that part sounds bad. I don't mean for it to.)

  6. Wow. I had no idea that packages that went through the US postal system (or FedEx or whatever) could still smell of smoke days later! Interesting...

  7. I say this is ridiculous and it can't happen. What I ought to do is write a letter to myself, blow smoke on it and send it to myself to see if this is possible.

    Oh Dorothy!

    You're a scream and have just given me my first big laugh of the day.

    So glad I found this blog!

    I'm now going to read about your bed-pissing dog, sounds hilarious just from the title...

    Hope you have a happy day!



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