This past March I started using Duotrope for the large part of my market research. Note- this is really one of the best free author resources on the internet. I rarely donate to anything but I absolutely donate to them.
Duotrope has a feature that allows you to keep track of your submissions and all of the pertinent information about your submissions very easily. From the authors point of view and for me after trying ten different ways of keeping tracks this is the best.
One of the features is that you are able to see at a glance a summary of the state of your submissions.
Here are some of my stats:
Note: These statistics only include fiction and poetry submissions sent within the last 12 months.
Pending responses for last 12 months: 3 (Subscribe to a RSS feed Special RSS Feed of your Pending Submissions) BETA
Submissions sent last 12 months: 17
Submissions sent this month: 3
Acceptance ratio for the past 12 months: 28.57 %
What’s interesting to me is that prior to this year, I maybe sent out 2-4 submissions a year. Which meant that my acceptance rate generally hovered at about 50%. Good at a glance but not really ambitious of me at all.
This year I have submitted at least once a month (with a few strays that aren’t listed) and my results are really good. Aside from the acceptances which were pretty fucking great, I have had more excellent rejections and I have started using a system that works for me. I have submitted the same story to a few different magazines which was a first for me.
I didn’t really make a decision at any point to work this way, I am just doing the work. I’m not trying to follow advice I found on a website or a book. I finally rounded some corner that has allowed me to really figure out what works for me and what doesn’t.
Overall this year feels amazingly successful. Not only have I finally settled into my own skin as an author. I have spent a lot of time honing particular methods and rather than tossing those pieces of work aside I keep them and use them.
I feel really good about my writing life.
My next big hurdle is going to be self promotion. I am really reluctant about it and it is something that I have shied away from doing a lot of. There will be entries about it. I swear.