June 5, 2011 in General Topics
I’m about to commit a cardinal sin (in some writing circles) and suggest that you do exactly what I did last week, whenever your time for vacation rolls around: step as far away from a keyboard as possible.
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April 26, 2009 in General Topics
One of the biggest pains in my writing life is submitting fiction. For those of you that might be new to writing, I highly recommend the use of a spreadsheet to track your submissions. A simple excel sheet makes like much easier in this regard.
In my case, the sheet has all the necessary fields I’ve come to rely on when submitting work:
- Story Name
- Count — word count
- Incept Date — the date I first considered the tale “finished” and ready for submission
- Current Status (Rights Sold) — with a drop-down menu for draft (1st through 3rd, not counting requested rewrites), Pending Acceptance / Awating Rewrite, and my personal favorite — Accepted! Note the exclamation point, friendly editors…
- Submitted To:
- Date Submitted:
- Check Back: — an important field. Basically, I take “date submitted”, add the magazine’s estimated response time, and add or subtract any “modifiers” in time, such as the extra month I typically give a mag on top of what they request. Some magazines don’t like modifiers — I think it was Strange Horizons that simply says “We really mean, this isn’t an estimate” when it comes to their reply times. Other magazines — like Clarkesworld — get an estimate, but they rock so hard I never have to worry about following up before they send on their decision.
- # Rejected: — I find on average my tales get rejected about six to ten times before someone takes it. It’s been as low as two hops in one case, but as high as sixteen in another.
- Rejected By: — Here I list magazines that have seen the piece, whether they’ve bought it or otherwise, so I’ll know not to pester them with it again.
That’s really all there is to it. I’ve other useful worksheets in the spreadsheet, such as “Retired Stories” and “Sales Records” (which helps me track rights sold), but this is all basic, simple, and a must if you’re tracking say, fifteen active tales like I am at the moment.
Of course, as an editor you could always make my workload easier. I’ve many decent pieces of fiction. Won’t you consider buying some?