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Traditional Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid, Old Model, New Model, Etc.
Jackie B.
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Postby Jackie B. » Tue May 18, 2010 12:00 pm

I just sold my second story, this time to 10 Flash for their October issue. Normally I'm one of those people who over-edits, but this time I wrote it, gave it one read through for major errors and sent it out. And what do you know, it worked!

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Brad R. Torgersen
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Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Tue May 18, 2010 2:19 pm

Quote the Rork: smiles, everyone, smiles!
Coming up: "Life Flight," in Analog magazine
Coming up: "The Chaplain's War," from Baen Books
www.bradrtorgersen.com
Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell nominee.

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M. Wimmer
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Postby M. Wimmer » Thu May 20, 2010 3:20 pm

skadder wrote:Good job! I submitted to them (only poems, though) and I never heard anything. That was two years ago...I guess that's a rejection, then.


I originally submitted this story in December 08. Eight months for the acceptance. They can be slow but it's been a good experience. Plus it's my first story that has artwork!

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M. Wimmer
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Postby M. Wimmer » Thu May 20, 2010 3:26 pm

Prisoner wrote:Nice job. Write, submit, get published.
Now how hard was that?
:)

Prisoner


You're right. I guess it's not such a big deal. No need to overthink it.

I think sometimes I argue with you guys to convince myself that you're right.

Plus, seeing one of my stories in print(or online) always lights the fire under me. I submitted four stories last night and hopefully I'll do four more today. I'm also starting to compile a database so I don't have to research each market before sending something out.

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izanobu
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Postby izanobu » Thu May 20, 2010 5:51 pm

Yay Wimmer :) And yeah, a spreadsheet or database makes things so much easier (at least for the obsessive types like me).

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Prisoner
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Postby Prisoner » Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 am

M. Wimmer wrote:
Prisoner wrote:Nice job. Write, submit, get published.
Now how hard was that?
:)

Prisoner


You're right. I guess it's not such a big deal. No need to overthink it.

I think sometimes I argue with you guys to convince myself that you're right.

Plus, seeing one of my stories in print(or online) always lights the fire under me. I submitted four stories last night and hopefully I'll do four more today. I'm also starting to compile a database so I don't have to research each market before sending something out.


I was being facetious. Writing is hard. Polishing is hard. Submitting is easy--it's just emotionally battering. We try to view it as a manuscript, not a child, but some of our selves is in every story.

That's why there's so much push to treat that aspect of the work mechanically. Damon Knight says pre-select 10 markets for each one so it will go out automatically. Without that you might demote the story or trunk it after the disappointment of rejection. Heinlein says submit until sold. I've trunked too. I think everyone has, but not after a certain number of rejections, after I had progressed enough to realize that the trunkee was a lesson for me, not a story for publication.

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skadder
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Postby skadder » Sat May 22, 2010 4:05 am

I've started using Duotrope's facility for submission tracking--better than a spreadsheet.

Although before getting a mac I used to use Sonar3 from spacejock--which was the best...

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Alex Kane
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Postby Alex Kane » Sat May 22, 2010 12:03 pm

I use Duotrope's submission tracker as well. Great system. Just update it everytime you send something out or get a response, and you've got yourself a pretty infallible record.
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osomuerte
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Postby osomuerte » Sat May 22, 2010 10:56 pm

Plus tracking through Duotrope helps other authors and yourself with their response time tracker. I strongly encourage people to use it.

I also keep a spreadsheet, though I tend to update it based on the data I put in Duotrope. The advantage of the spreadsheet is I can sort it based on chronology, market, response time, story title, response type...whatever I want. I also color code my stories in said spreadsheet. As a chaotically disorganized person, this was a big step for me that took a long time to get right. I don't have all my submissions on it, but everything back to about 2004.

I trunk stories if I doubt I'll be proud of them. Often I keep trunked tales with intentions to mine them for elements that worked to be spliced into future stories. There's always a chance that three failed stories about exploding insects, a sewer ghost, and time traveling dinosaurs could be successfully made into "Time-osaurus Rex and the Boombugs Down the Haunted Drain". It's a love story. :)

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Alex Kane
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Postby Alex Kane » Sun May 23, 2010 12:21 am

Yeah, of my 6 stories on the market (well 5, with one on the launchpad), 3 of them have plot elements/ideas or characters mined from previous failed stories (i.e. before I got "serious" about writing).

I like the story Stephen King recalls in On Writing about having submitted a story written on the spur of the moment to F&SF, and having it rejected for how "not for us" it was. Then, years later, he redrafted the story, resubmitted it to F&SF, and it was bought almost immediately (probably 70% of the reasoning being that he is Stephen M.F.-in' King).
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Alastair
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Postby Alastair » Sun May 23, 2010 1:58 pm

I track subs two ways. First, everything goes into a spreadsheet (yes, color coded to help pinpoint what's where currently, what's sold, etc.) Second, each work has a seperate folder on my computer (I keep old drafts, disk space is cheap), and in each folder I have a "submitted" text file which is just a log of where and when I submitted that piece, together with any comments (eg whether I did a revision before sending it to a new market, or editor's comments if I got a personal rejection, etc.)

If I see from the log that, say Story X was subbed to F&SF two years and three revisions ago (way too many revisions), I might try it there again.

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Postby Alastair » Sun May 23, 2010 5:42 pm

For all of us eagerly anticipating the fame and fortune of our first novel, a little musical entertainment:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoJ5OKmEJY

:)

And for aspiring mystery writers, try this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LBfECGdGUc -- the line at 3:10 had me laughing out loud.

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Prisoner
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Postby Prisoner » Mon May 24, 2010 10:40 am

That is great. Yes, these days you've got to take promotion into your own hands. It's very important. Accumulate contacts by all the social networking sites, attend cons, there's a whole marketing side to it.

Hey moderators! Ever think of having a site visit by Joni on just this topic? Is she the best one to talk about this? Certainly WotF has its marketing act together!

And, what are you expecting as a genre writer? Not the top .1% chance, the most common kind of success, which is somewhere in the pack of published writers. My expectations are low. I don't imagine a Rowling or King scenario. I imagine continuing to write, trying to write something memorable. Make a little money if I'm lucky.

IMHO writing itself has to be the reward. If you want something else, you're bound to be disappointed.

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Alex Kane
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Postby Alex Kane » Mon May 24, 2010 1:33 pm

It's like we used to do it in golf practice on the driving range--grab that iron, make a firm grip, and try to hit that target with every single shot, focusing hard and giving your absolute best effort each and every time.

The truth of it is, only three or four of us on the team ever actually hit the target that whole summer. But, when we did, it was all the sweeter, because while luck may have played a great part in it, we knew that we had earned it by concentrating and putting forth our best effort.

That said, I was one of the worst golfers on the team, averaging about 45/nine holes. But, damn it, I hit that target.
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izanobu
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Postby izanobu » Mon May 24, 2010 5:37 pm

Prisoner- as a genre writer (whatever that means :) ), I'm expecting to make a living, eventually. Having learned more about how writing as a business works, I realize this will take a few years, but writing is my day job. There's a lot of leeway between "broke" and Rowling or King :)

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M. Wimmer
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Postby M. Wimmer » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:35 am

izanobu wrote:Yay Wimmer :) And yeah, a spreadsheet or database makes things so much easier (at least for the obsessive types like me).


Thanks. Though they did mispell my name.(Goes and curls up into a crying ball in the corner and curses the universe!) :x :cry: :lol:

Though they did mispell Asimov's name once, early in his career, if I remember correctly. And I still don't know why Matthew has two t's in it. I'm just happy they didn't call me Mark or something.(It's happened before.)

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Prisoner
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You Workaholic You!

Postby Prisoner » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:32 am

Prisoner- as a genre writer (whatever that means Smile ), I'm expecting to make a living, eventually. Having learned more about how writing as a business works, I realize this will take a few years, but writing is my day job. There's a lot of leeway between "broke" and Rowling or King Smile


With your production level I have no doubt you'll succeed.

I know a married couple who write action stories and others under multiple names. They have at least 30 books out. He still has a day job teaching.

I know another writer who has 15 novels out, gives a workshop. He lives modestly, his wife works. he's primary caregiver of their pre-school kids.

I'm ten years from social security and whatever I can rescue from my retirement accounts held hostage by the bear market. Writing might give me a little extra then, if I'm very very good and very very lucky. Or, it just might keep my brain alive and be a social outlet. We'll see.

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Postby JRTomlin » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:11 pm

That said, Prisoner, there are a writers besides those on the Rowling level who make a living writing. Your teacher friend could continue teaching because he likes to. Someone in my family retired from a very high-paid technical position to teach because it was what he had always wanted to do. He hardly needs the money.

I am at the point where about 25% of my income comes from writing. Because writing is what I want to do, I am willing to make great sacrifices to do it full-time. I expect to within the year. That I will live modestly is actually not even a sacrifice.

I'm not saying anyone else should make the same sacrifices or have the same priorities. I don't have young children to support, for example. But it is possible.
J. R. Tomlin

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izanobu
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Postby izanobu » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:38 pm

I imagine, Prisoner, that writing could totally do both (ie keep your brains alive AND give you extra income). Just keep at it. Publishing is, in the end, a numbers game.

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Prisoner
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Postby Prisoner » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:21 am

I imagine, Prisoner, that writing could totally do both (ie keep your brains alive AND give you extra income). Just keep at it. Publishing is, in the end, a numbers game.


I'm in business for my day job. And it ain't fun to watch editors and their antics. Granted businesspeople aren't saints, but the ineptitude and childishness of editors would not be survivable at the places of work I interact with on a daily basis, which include Fortune 500 and Governmental Bodies.

I had a story held by an anthology editor after the submission close date, purpose written for that anthology. Then he sent rewrite notices to name authors, and held the submissions window open past his formal close date for other name authors, who said they had something in the works. No notices to the non-names waiting. Then he tweets about getting drunk at beer tastings, his holidays, other goof off activities. Then he says the table of contents is complete. Several weeks later he gets around to rejecting the non-pros and publishes the TOC. All of the authors I checked had novel credits. The only difference between him and most other editors was transparency.

I've got a story at a pro market. Since early December. I queried in March, the editor said the slushers were behind, and that I would hear shortly. I noticed in Duotrope that people with January submissions were hearing, so I queried again in May. The editor said don't trust duotrope and asked again for more time. No evidence he's even glanced at the piece (<2k words). Guess I'll withdraw in July.

I've had 5 pieces published. One market has since closed, the other one had to go from token to non-paying (I got my money, but what kind of reference will that be?). So, that and the 4 HMs are what I've got so far to show for my efforts.

For me, at first and now that I see what it's like out there, even more so, the writing itself has to be the reward.

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izanobu
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Postby izanobu » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:42 am

Yeah, I just fire and forget with stories. I figure if they aren't back after 6 months I'll check on the status (except at some places like the New Yorker, which can take a year or more to respond, if they ever do). It's easier not to think about it and just write the stories and get them out. Either they'll sell or they won't :P

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M. Wimmer
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Postby M. Wimmer » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:00 am

Prisoner,

I had one story at a market for 8 months, before they accepted it(and I had to query), and it was just published this month, after a total of about 20 months, from submission to publication, and I just gave copies to my parents, brothers, friends, and aunt. And, even though they never sent me any galleys or proofs or anything, and mispelt my name, I still felt really good about it. And this was only a token market.

I've recently changed over from thinking "This is all I have to show" to "these are just my first successes." I guess I'm younger than you, but I've lately started to appreciate the fact that I must be willing to wait, however long it takes, for the major successes to roll around. It will happen when it will happen.

I used to have these fantasies, when I was 12-16 years old, that I would write these brilliant SF stories, would be immediately published in the big magazines, and be respected by all the big authors, and sell novels and be rich and be awesome and stuff. It's taken a long time for me to lose those fantasies, and realize that that stuff only worked for Mozart. One person out of all of human history.

Maybe this doesn't apply to you, but maybe it will help. It's still the coupling of the business side of writing with the artistic side that gets me.

Matt

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Prisoner
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Postby Prisoner » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:00 am

I had one story at a market for 8 months, before they accepted it(and I had to query), and it was just published this month, after a total of about 20 months,


Ok, ok, I'll give that guy until December. I think a year for something barely longer than flash is enough.

I don't think that it's because I'm older that it's frustrating. I just imagine if I depended on this kind of behavior for a living. They aren't going to act differently for me. I kinda like having no different treatment. My crit group has people all younger, sometimes much younger, and I'm all the better for it. I wouldn't want to write just for my age group, would you?

And, of course, WotF has no idea who I am. Could be a Swahili triple amputee for all they know. Story is all.

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izanobu
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Postby izanobu » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:16 am

Prisoner, I think that's one reason why the numbers thing is so important. If you depended on ONE editor or ONE story (that's sitting in a slush pile for a year or more) for a living, it would get horrible and frustrating as hell. But there's a reason a lot of pro writers have race scores in the 50's, 60's, 100's and more... they don't depend on one thing to make their living, or on one editor's response. My race score is only 35, but even I've started to feel a lot less nervous about any one story just because there are so many out that I don't have the time to stress about it. I figure by the time it is 100, I should be selling (or else I figure I'll need to start really looking hard at how I'm learning and what's going on with my writing if I'm not selling), and then I hope to have multiple streams of income, so that it doesn't depend on one thing.

It's definitely a crazy industry though, and takes patience :)

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Prisoner
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Postby Prisoner » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:41 am

Yes, mine is only 19. Better than some. I think until you get novels out there, it's hard to get it to 100. One of my stories is closing on 20 markets. It got close in an anthology with favorable comments, so I don't think it's the story.
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Dame
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Postby Dame » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:15 pm

I just had a sci-fi novelette, Continuity, accepted by the Anywhere But Earth anthology. My first sale since September last year. Yeehah!

They are still open for subs (until Feb 2011) so go for it folks.
The Beauty Garden - DSF: [url]http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/high/damon-shaw/the-beauty-garden[/url]
Letting Go - Bull Spec
The Door - Flash Fiction Online
Whelp - The Dunesteef gang
Continuity - Coeur de Lion's Anywhere But Earth Anthology
Flock - Icarus

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Prisoner
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Postby Prisoner » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:12 pm

Thanks. Good advice. I read those guidelines. They talked about galactic civilizations. I tend not to have cheap FTL in my stories. Did yours have such? Would be good to know.

And congrats. I bet you'll be in nice company.

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Dame
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Postby Dame » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:19 pm

Thanks, prisoner.

In terms of it being hard sf - hmmm. No, this is fantasy set on a spaceship, I suppose, as the tech is pretty implausible. It didn't have FTL though. It is set on a large ship where all the characters have forgotten where it is going or why.

It is not a pro market, it has to be said. It is slightly better than token, or for da luv, as you get some kind of royalties, in what seems a very complex system. And it is a print market, which is great. All my other sales have been online, so it will be amazing to hold a book with me in it. I only have to wait somewhat over a year - and it is probably somewhat over a year since I wrote it.

For the record, I sent it to Clarkesworld, Lightspeed and Andromeda Spaceways and at least a couple more places before it was accepted. It got a couple of personal rejections before this editor asked for a rewrite (without promising to buy it if I did the work.) The story also went through at least five drafts, not including the final rewrite, and was critted many, many, many times.
The Beauty Garden - DSF: [url]http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/high/damon-shaw/the-beauty-garden[/url]
Letting Go - Bull Spec
The Door - Flash Fiction Online
Whelp - The Dunesteef gang
Continuity - Coeur de Lion's Anywhere But Earth Anthology
Flock - Icarus

Alastair
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Postby Alastair » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:44 pm

Hey, thanks for the tip about Anywhere But Earth.

I'm trying to avoid subbing to less-than-pro publications, but I'll make exceptions for print anthologies that grab my interest. (My "Poetic Justice" will get a pro-rata share of the (relatively high) royalties for Space Horrors. I figure if it manages to sell a few hundred copies it will have paid me pro rates -- if I did the math right.) And Anywhere But Earth definitely grabs my interest.

A.R.Williams
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Postby A.R.Williams » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:14 pm

I have a story that is now up at Three Crow Press!

"Duel on Hakkojji Bridge" if you're interested in checking it out :)


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