I spent some time preparing my first submission. Once I printed it out on my 20 pound paper it looked, well, pretty blah. Part of the problem may just be getting reacquainted with Courier font. It really takes me back to the days of sitting at the kitchen table typing my senior paper on a real typewriter. I decided I needed better paper.
I did some research and established a) yes, a nice paper was appropriate, b) card stock was too heavy, and c) neon was not a good idea.
The helpful fellow at the Staples recommended a fine quality 32 pound paper. It felt nice. It was expensive at $17/ 200 sheets. Here I was blowing my original $10 "try to become a writer" budget on a ream of paper.
I printed on my new paper. It looked hot! A publisher would have to linger longer over my submission feeling this luxurious paper. Then, I tried to fold my 3 pages. This stuff was pretty thick. I placed the pages in the envelope as gently as a sleeping baby (it was my first submission after all). Then I sighed. Was one stamp enough?
I considered taking the risk or throwing an extra stamp on for good measure. I couldn't possibly add the uncertainty of the submission getting to the publisher to the already hard to bear 4 month wait time. A trip to the post office was in order. 65 cents later my first submission was on its way!
Later that day while researching whether I should have folded my submission, I stumbled on a discussion saying you should not use more than 20 pound paper for manuscripts. Argh.
Well, I guess my next search will be on uses for expensive 32 pound paper. I have heard origami is a good way to wait for responses.
UPDATE: 20 pound, 96 brightness, multi-purpose paper is the way to go. Now that all my manuscripts are in Times New Roman, they look okay. I still lose some sleep wondering if a new printer is in order. (Possibly sooner than later since my toddler just dropped a few magnets into the back of the printer). Oh, and, yes, you can fold your submission. For PBs of less than 5 pages I like to use the 6"x9" envelopes so it's just one fold (65 cents postage).