Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tracking Submissions

Inevitably the joy and agony of writing a story comes to an end and something must be done with it. Seeking publication is almost a job in and of itself. Luckily I tend to read the same zines that I submit to, so that part of the research is done. (Though it does get awful hard to keep up with the turnover rate of zines!)

Usually, I have several stories in various states of completion (done, done and edited, and submission ready.) It is imperative to keep track of where these stories are submitted and when.

Surprisingly, I'm still old school on my short story submissions. I'm not sure why, but I just haven't moved to keeping track of them on the computer.

I created a table in Word with title of publication on the left, date submitted in the center column, and response on the right. There's room at the top for the title of the story and I usually write the word count on the bottom (for easy reference.)

I print these sheets out a couple at a time, keeping spares on hand. They're in a folder with those little prongs in the middle. I jot the information in where appropriate. Some stories are accepted early and easy. Others take a couple rejections. I've had a couple that filled the whole page. Once the story is accepted, I wait until publication. Upon publication, I move the tracking sheet to "The Binder" (insert trumpet fanfare) and print the story off in hardcopy.

As for novel submissions, it's all electronic. I have an Excel spreadsheet with the agent name, agency, any notes on preference, how to query (I admit liking equeries. As much as anyone can like queries at all!) and expected wait time for responses, especially for those that say "No response in 6 weeks means no." Then, I enter the date queried. I use a different color for each batch because I'm a little odd that way. I've been querying in batches of 5 or 6. Then, I log the response. (22 rejections out of 25 queries so far.)

And, looking back through these recrods, I see that it was early 2006 that I really started writing and attempting to publish short stories. It seems so long ago, and yet so short.

(Today's Demotivators are brought to you by 101reasonstostopwriting. =)


sandra seamans said...

Jeez, you make me feel old! I still use a recipe box and index cards to keep track of subs.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I use a black composition book--when I remember.

Barbara Martin said...

I have a chart on the computer that I fill in as I go.