I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for this... but I couldn't find a better suited area. If there is one, please let me know and I'd be happy to move my post.
I was poking around today, looking at publishers who specifically publish SF&F. Back when I first started querying in 2011 I could send out my MS via post mail. While I had to pay for the print costs and the shipping, I could at least get my MS back provided I sent the sufficient return postage -- this was mostly the case in 2014 as well. I understand the industry has undergone drastic changes in the past few years, and I haven't looked at publishers in some time.
This round of submissions I have been targeting agents only, but today, I came across several publisher sites who are asking for the full MS to be sent, and that despite me enclosing an international SASE for the return of my MS, they claim that they can no longer return manuscripts, but if you include an SASE, they will send back a response with their decision. And that the MS will be recycled according to their environmental requirements.
1. There is a discount for mailing "media" in the US -- this does not apply in Canada.
2. The cost for printing is $50 and another $30 for shipping - so the total loss would be $80 (not counting the waste of recycling nearly 500 pages)
I haven't given up on finding an agent by any means, but I was curious as to what's all out there in the current market. After only a brief search, I found this to be the case with 3 SF&F publishers (ones I am familiar with from my previous rounds of submissions). I stopped researching at this point so I could evaluate if pursuing this path was even worth it. At a 9-12 month exclusive turn around, plus the loss of my entire MS, this seems to be a very costly route.
When did this become standard? Has anyone else come across this or is it because I'm searching for publishers who are specific to this genre?