So I’ve got several stories out in the wild right now. By the end of the month I expect to have at least 8 out so that by the end of June I’ll have 10. This might seem simple but keeping submissions out in the wild can be quite complicated without some assistance.
In this digital age, there are several places that can help you find homes for your stories. I’ve been a long time user of Duotrope and have just begun to use The Grinder. Both of these online sites help you manage your submissions, gather data and find new markets. I can’t say if one is better than the other although Duotrope has a $5 a month fee while The Grinder runs on donations. But both seem to be good programs an although they overlap on many markets each has some that the other doesn’t.
I have also developed my own spreadsheet so that I know what I have written, what’s out and what’s pending. By using a spreadsheet I can also add notes such as the exact wording of a rejection or if I modified the story before submission (to either fit the market a bit better or did a revision.)
I started all of this because once you have more than a handful of stories out, it’s a lot more difficult to remember what you submitted to, when you did and what the result was. Depending on where you submit, markets can respond days, weeks, months or even a year later. There’s no way I can remember that sort of thing without help. Especially when I’ve got several stories out at once.
But Doutrope and The Grinder aren’t the only places I look for submissions. There are a lot of calls out on FB and Twitter, though I’m careful about where I submit. I even participate in a few contests (Shock Totems by-monthly flash contest for instance.) These are only tracked on the spreadsheet because they aren’t submitted to some of the submission trackers.
Another thing that I use are lists. When I enter a new story into my spreadsheet I often attach a note on where I’d like to submit that piece to along with the webpage. This way as the story is rejected I can easily find the next market, check to see if they are accepting submissions at that time and have the necessary information handy. It really makes things easier. 🙂
As to my current stats here’s how my stories look so far.
May 1 I had 6 stories out
I’ve sent out 1 new story
2 stories sent back out (another will be sent back out today)
I have 1 story to finish and submit by the end of the month.
2 stories have been out for over 30 days (I’ll be able to query at the end of the month.)
Also 1 story has been sent up the ladder which is always promising. 😉 (very excited about this!)
So what do you use to keep track of your story submissions? What kind of improvements do you make (as in spreadsheets?)