So, as well as tracking my word count this year, I’ve also tracked my number of submissions. Now, I do keep close track of where and when I’m submitting (it would be kind of silly not to), but this is the first time I’ve ever recorded the actual number as well.
So far this year I’ve made 100 submissions. That’s submissions of short-stories/ novelettes/ novellas to various markets. It doesn’t count items I’ve sent to indie/ self-publishing.
To be clear, though, I have completed a total of fourteen new pieces. All of those submitted. There have been some novels that have gone directly to indie, so I’m not counting those.
Getting to one hundred submissions means some of those fourteen, and some of last year’s stories (and a couple from the year before) are finding themselves resubmitted. This is pretty standard practice. One market rejects a story, off it goes to another. Repeat. Heinlein would say ‘repeat until sold’.
Of those fourteen, I’ve so far sold six. Not a huge number for me, but I’ll take it (of course). Pretty low ratio in terms of submissions: six percent, but not too bad in terms of stories completed.
I’ve made fifty-six story submissions to various magazines this year. This is the first year I’ve actually kept track and I’m kind of surprised. I knew I kept my stories out there, but I didn’t realize I was sending that many.
A few weeks back, when I’d made about forty submissions, I thought I’d post here when I hit fifty. Except that over the last few days I got a bunch of rejections and the number leapt. Some markets respond very quickly.
I didn’t write fifty-six stories. In fact I’ve only added four new stories to the mix this year. But anytime a story comes back, I send it off again to another market. I think this is fairly standard practice. I’ve heard of writers who make changes and edit on the basis of feedback, but I avoid that. Best to keep it moving to find the editor to which the story is most suited.
In that mix of statistics, I’ve had seven acceptances, and still have twenty-five stories under consideration.
Slowly I’m filtering stories out of the cycle as they age. I throw them to the wolves of Apple and Amazon and other retailers. On occasion readers find them. Even after all that time, I’m honored they find an audience.
I don’t know how the picture relates, but I kind of like it. Bugs crawling around fungi out at Totara Reserve (photo taken by me).
Well, waiting and writing, writing, writing. I have fourteen submissions out with publishers right now. I know for some writers that might be a pretty low number, but for me it’s up amongst the highest at any one time. I find I get both excited, and concerned. Excited that some of these stories that have been out for a while might be moving up from the slush pile to more senior editors (yay). Concerned that they maybe never arrived, or have been lost. I need to keep track of those enquiry times – some publications say enquire after a week (I don’t have any subs with those ones at the moment – their turnaround is pretty slick), some say wait ninety days before enquiring.
It’s hard not to be excited, and then always a little disappointing when it comes back after ninety days with a form rejection. Still, that means it can be live again with another market.