Success!

Traditional Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid, Old Model, New Model, Etc.
amoskalik
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Re: Success!

Postby amoskalik » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:47 am

Ishmael wrote:I hope you enjoy it Aaron. Some way left field of my normal work these days.

N.B. Everyone else - Today is the last day for the free download (see above).

And in other news: (Drum Roll. Fanfare of Trumpets. Clash of cymbals. Writer enters to frantic applause while dainty damsels cast carnations before his feet.)

I have sold a poem! This is a first. Though I won the poetry competition at my local festival and had a couple of poems published in a non-paying anthology, this should be the first time (all being well) that I'll be paid for writing poetry. Not free verse, not even blank verse, real poetry that scans and rhymes. And not just real poetry that scans and rhymes - a sonnet!

I kid you not. A sonnet. Question: has anybody anywhere sold a sonnet in living memory? No, don't tell me. I'm sure somebody must have, I just haven't seen any. Needless to say, I am well chuffed!

My 'Sonnet on Truth' (after Spinoza) has been accepted for 'More Alternative Truth' anthology. (Even more 'Well did you ever?' because this is essentiallty a collection of US political satire.)

"Now give three cheers, I'll lead the way, Hoorah, Hoorah, Hooray." - W S Gilbert. wotf003


You are on a roll. Congrats on the anthology and poetry sales. I just finished Ship of Theseus and enjoyed it very much.
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:22 am

Still rolling:

Image


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Back and Foreword----------- Robert B. Finegold, MD
The Memory of Huckleberries -------------- Rebecca Birch
The Temptation of Father Francis ----------Nick T. Chan and Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
The Waiting Room --------------------------- Philip Brian Hall
Last Time For Everything -------------------- K. L. Schwengel
Skinners ---------------------------------------- Rachelle Harp
Amma's Wishes ------------------------------- M. E. Garber
Three Flash ------------------------------------ Dustin Adams
A Green Tongue ------------------------------ Frank Dutkiewicz
A Matter For Interpretation ----------------- M. Elizabeth Ticknor
The Root Bridges of Haemae --------------- Sean Monaghan
Red is the Color of My True Love's Hair --- William R. D. Wood
Bad Actors ------------------------------------- Julie Frost
In the Heart of the Flesh -------------------- Scott Parkin
Shattered Vessels ----------------------------- Kary English and Robert B.Finegold, MD
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:24 am

And:

Image

Includes my story 'Iron Hail'. Now available for pre-order from Amazon.
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:25 am

And:

Image

Includes my story 'The Black Horse'. Also now available for pre-order from Amazon.
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:34 am

wotf013

And I've actually sold another story but I can't say where as yet.

Okay I know this looks swollen-headed but in the first half of this year I couldn't sell a story to save my life! It's just like London buses - nothing for ages and then a whole lot at once. When the last of these is published I'm going to need some very creative accountancy to be eligible for WotF I fear. However I still have Q3 and Q4 in the running.

And thanks to Aaron for the nice comment about The Ship of Theseus. That one's a bit of a throwback to my philosophy teaching days, but it does represent a genuine attempt to look forward a little too. There is a sequel, if I can persuade somebody to buy it.
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Re: Success!

Postby preston » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:24 pm

Ishmael wrote:wotf013

And I've actually sold another story but I can't say where as yet.

Okay I know this looks swollen-headed but in the first half of this year I couldn't sell a story to save my life! It's just like London buses - nothing for ages and then a whole lot at once. When the last of these is published I'm going to need some very creative accountancy to be eligible for WotF I fear. However I still have Q3 and Q4 in the running.

And thanks to Aaron for the nice comment about The Ship of Theseus. That one's a bit of a throwback to my philosophy teaching days, but it does represent a genuine attempt to look forward a little too. There is a sequel, if I can persuade somebody to buy it.


Wow, Ishmael! You are an inspiration. When are we going to see your first novel?

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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:56 am

preston wrote:
Wow, Ishmael! You are an inspiration. When are we going to see your first novel?


Thanks, Preston, but remember I couldn't sell anything in the first half of the year so I wasn't too inspirational then!

Actually I self-published a novel The Prophets of Baal a few years ago. It was the discovery that most self-published novels are commercially invisible that led me to try writing short stories in order to get my name better known. Little did I suspect how difficult short story writing was! It's taken me some time to build up a consistent method, and even so it doesn't really work for WotF, sadly.
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Re: Success!

Postby george nik. » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:04 pm

So it seems I've been missing for quite a while. Huge congrats to Philip who's on a tremendous roll, and congrats to all who've made sales and/or been published. By the way, have you considered joining Codex? It's really awesome wotf007

My own accomplishments in the past six months, such as they are: a sale to Best Vegan SFF 2016 anthology (not that I'm any way close to becoming vegan, but anyway wotf008 ), a third sale to Digital Pub's QuickFic, a second sale to Bards & Sages Quarterly, a first sale to 600 Second Saga, a first sale to The Centropic Oracle, 4 more sales to AntipodeanSF, and -- most importantly -- two more sales to Galaxy's Edge for a total of 5.
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:14 am

Wow, George. You talk about me being on a roll! I can't even get an invite to Galaxy's Edge, let alone be published by them!

Many (well deserved) congratulations to you.

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Re: Success!

Postby george nik. » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:06 am

Ishmael wrote:Wow, George. You talk about me being on a roll! I can't even get an invite to Galaxy's Edge, let alone be published by them!

Many (well deserved) congratulations to you.

wotf009

Thank you very much, Philip!

Funny thing is, a few hours after posting, I had another email by Mike -- so now I have SIX sales to Galaxy's Edge, 5 of them in the last 8 1/2 months wotf006

But seriously, why can't you get an invite? Did you ask Mike for one? (Mike doesn't actually invite people, at least none that I know of. You have to ask him for an invitation.) When I asked him, my only credentials were being a semi-finalist plus a couple of semi-pro sales. I don't think you'll have a problem getting an invite.
George Nikolopoulos
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:44 am

Thanks George, I didn't know this. Maybe after this quick flush of pro-sales I might summon up the courage to ask.

Unfortunately of course it will also put an end to my career as a WotF competitor. I don't think even Joni can stretch the rules any further to keep me in. Theoretically, if Flame Tree don't publish before the end of the month I might slide a hasty Q1 under the wire, but I don't really want to conclude with a very long wait that might just conceivably see me reach LA in 2019.

So it looks as though my already-submitted Q4 story will be my swansong. A pity in some ways after trying for so long, but obviously not everyone can win and I have the satisfaction of knowing that my writing's come a very long way since I first entered.

I've also made a lot of friends here on the forum and I hope to stay in touch. Most of what I've learned has come from helpful advice and criticism received from other members here.

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Re: Success!

Postby amoskalik » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:59 am

Wow, I go away a few days... Congrats George and Philip!

I'm having a slow year so far, but that is largely my own fault. Very few submissions because all my unsold stories are stuck in limbo somewhere and I'm too lazy to get them unstuck. But over the weekend I had four rejections, so four new submissions. Yay! And I finished a new flash piece that I hope to send off to Nature, so two new stories in as many weeks. Hopefully sales will follow.

Anyway, keep it rolling. It is an inspiration to hear you guys doing so well.
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Re: Success!

Postby katsincommand » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:01 am

Hey guys I've got a story out in Fireside today.

https://firesidefiction.com/feeding-mr-whiskers
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Re: Success!

Postby amoskalik » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:27 am

katsincommand wrote:Hey guys I've got a story out in Fireside today.

https://firesidefiction.com/feeding-mr-whiskers


Nice one. Brings back memories of my Dad's Frankenstein kite that hung on our basement wall. I could've used a light-saber or two back then.
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Re: Success!

Postby george nik. » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:36 am

Congrats, Dawn! wotf010

Thank you, Aaron! wotf008

Philip, I hope you win in your last quarter! Martin did! wotf013
And do ask Mike, I'm sure he'll be happy to invite you.

By the way, have you considered joining Codex? It's a great place and it's full of (current and former) forumites.
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am

I fear I took your name in vain in my letter to Mike, George. He replied that if George vouched for me it was good enough for him, so I hope the story I sent him was worthy of your trust. I've worked and reworked this one until I hardly know where I am with it, but I'm firmly convinced it's at least the equal of the best story I ever wrote.

As to Codex, I was a member once. The less said about that episode the better, perhaps, though it probably was responsible for convincing me to throw a whole load of volume out there and let the industry pick out the quality.

The remarkable thing about WotF is the length of time it's managed to contain my volcanic temperament. I lasted less than one season in my local writing group and only a few months in Codex. Technically I'm qualified for SFWA but I can't afford the subscription!

My best wishes to all and more power to your respective elbows!
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Re: Success!

Postby george nik. » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:35 am

Happy to have helped, Philip, though I'm sure he would have invited you even without my endorsement wotf008

I hope he likes your story!
George Nikolopoulos
WOTF: 1 SF, 1 SHM, 4 HM
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Re: Success!

Postby morganb » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:48 am

george nik. wrote:So it seems I've been missing for quite a while. Huge congrats to Philip who's on a tremendous roll, and congrats to all who've made sales and/or been published. By the way, have you considered joining Codex? It's really awesome wotf007

My own accomplishments in the past six months, such as they are: a sale to Best Vegan SFF 2016 anthology (not that I'm any way close to becoming vegan, but anyway wotf008 ), a third sale to Digital Pub's QuickFic, a second sale to Bards & Sages Quarterly, a first sale to 600 Second Saga, a first sale to The Centropic Oracle, 4 more sales to AntipodeanSF, and -- most importantly -- two more sales to Galaxy's Edge for a total of 5.


Wow congrats George! Is it pretty typical that WOTF entrants end up "Pro-ing Out" before ever getting published in the anthology? Kind of sounds like the odds of winning are much lower than just selling stories directly in the market.

Morgan
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Re: Success!

Postby jficke13 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:28 am

morganb wrote:
george nik. wrote:So it seems I've been missing for quite a while. Huge congrats to Philip who's on a tremendous roll, and congrats to all who've made sales and/or been published. By the way, have you considered joining Codex? It's really awesome wotf007

My own accomplishments in the past six months, such as they are: a sale to Best Vegan SFF 2016 anthology (not that I'm any way close to becoming vegan, but anyway wotf008 ), a third sale to Digital Pub's QuickFic, a second sale to Bards & Sages Quarterly, a first sale to 600 Second Saga, a first sale to The Centropic Oracle, 4 more sales to AntipodeanSF, and -- most importantly -- two more sales to Galaxy's Edge for a total of 5.


Wow congrats George! Is it pretty typical that WOTF entrants end up "Pro-ing Out" before ever getting published in the anthology? Kind of sounds like the odds of winning are much lower than just selling stories directly in the market.

Morgan


One (at least one) of Brandon Sanderson's BYU classes ended up on YouTube. Eric James Stone filled in for him for one session and said something along the lines of "Submit every quarter, either you'll win or you'll sell enough stories to become ineligible. Either is a good outcome." Incidentally, that's how I learned of this contest in the first place, and I've bought into EJS's advice. Winning = good. Pro-ing Out = Also good.
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Re: Success!

Postby RSchibler » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:39 am

jficke13 wrote: Winning = good. Pro-ing Out = Also good.


This is my plan as well.
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Re: Success!

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:00 am

Just wanted to thank you all for the inspiring stories. I'd shelved my fiction submissions for awhile (new job), but your stories and updates gave me the boost I needed to get an old honorable mention back out into a submission.

Thanks!
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:21 am

Onward! Excelsior! wotf024
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Re: Success!

Postby amyhg » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:11 am

I always enjoy keeping up with this thread because it's so encouraging. You'd think that seeing other people's successes and not having one to report myself would be a bummer, but somehow it's not. It's like seeing all the successes reassures me that editors are actually accepting stories and not just messing with me. *sigh* It was exciting to get second in q. 2 but I've had no luck in any other venue. Could be that I don't have enough volume out there, but I'm paranoid that my winning piece was just luck and I'm actually a lame writer.

So, a few questions for you successful folks: On average, how many stories do you have out? And how do you decide where to submit them? How many rejections does a story go through before you rewrite it?

I have this fear that I'll submit a story to the big venues before it's ready and then I won't be able to resubmit even after rewrites.

Man, I am feeling so burned out.
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Re: Success!

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:22 am

amyhg wrote:So, a few questions for you successful folks: On average, how many stories do you have out? And how do you decide where to submit them? How many rejections does a story go through before you rewrite it?

I have this fear that I'll submit a story to the big venues before it's ready and then I won't be able to resubmit even after rewrites.

Man, I am feeling so burned out.


This sounds like an awesome topic for another thread! And I'm definitely right there with you on the hesitance to submit.
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Re: Success!

Postby Ishmael » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:00 pm

I suspect I almost always submit to the biggest venues before a story 's ready, for the simple reason that I don't know it's not ready until it's rejected, I re-read it and I see what's wrong.

Right now I have about fifty stories out in the wild. That's largely because I refuse to give up. I've made a pro sale on a sixteenth submission of a story. You never know when someone's going to like it as much as you do.
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Re: Success!

Postby morganb » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:05 am

amyhg wrote:...It's like seeing all the successes reassures me that editors are actually accepting stories and not just messing with me. *sigh* It was exciting to get second in q. 2 but I've had no luck in any other venue. Could be that I don't have enough volume out there, but I'm paranoid that my winning piece was just luck and I'm actually a lame writer.

So, a few questions for you successful folks: On average, how many stories do you have out? And how do you decide where to submit them? How many rejections does a story go through before you rewrite it?


I totally feel like editors are messing with me all the time! lol "Oh boy, here's another story from that Morgan guy again. What's he sending me this time..." I totally imagine that's what they're saying every time I send something in.

I've heard that a TON of writers experience those same feelings, that their first success was nothing but pure luck, and there's all this self doubt about whether you're really any good at all. But you are totally good! You won the largest fiction writing contest in the world and that wasn't just lucky because you can't just *happen* to arrange thousands of words in the right kind of order to capture the judges's admiration. You did that with imagination, the tools in your belt, and an ear/eye for what does and doesn't work. So good for you!

I have about twenty stories making the rounds through The Grinder. None have been accepted, although I've received personal rejections for several. Whenever I get specific feedback that makes sense to me, I'll tweak the story before sending it back out. Once a story goes through all the pro markets, I'll send it down to the the semi-pros. I may send it back around through Critters to try and figure out what might be wrong. If it still isn't moving in the semi-pros, I retire it and save it for the anthology that all my fans will one day be begging me for! LOL One of my stories has been rejected a dozen times already, but I love it too much to retire it so it's still making the rounds.

Write, submit, track, revise if needed, resubmit, retire it...that's the cycle for all my stories until I either win WOTF or pro-out some day.

~Morgan
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Re: Success!

Postby MattDovey » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:31 am

There's a few things to respond to in here, Amy :)

amyhg wrote:I always enjoy keeping up with this thread because it's so encouraging. You'd think that seeing other people's successes and not having one to report myself would be a bummer, but somehow it's not.


It is a truth universally acknolwedged that their just ain't enough damn slots for all of our stories. Success is always hard won and rare just because of the ratios of stories:writers:slots. If you only ever take joy from your own success, it's gonna be a long, miserable road. Learning to take joy in the success of others is absolutely essential, and as a bonus means people are happy for your successes when you get them. Really, it just creates more happiness all round. Don't even let jealousy take root; crowd it out with delight.

amyhg wrote:I'm paranoid that my winning piece was just luck and I'm actually a lame writer.


Congratulations! Having now suffered Imposter Syndrome, you have earned this Real Writer badge, marking you as a Real Writer with Real Writer problems. Seriously--everyone goes through this. The full list of excuses I had for my 2016 sales (deep breath): WotF doesn't count because it took me seven months to write, that's not talent that's just stubbornness; flash doesn't count; they're a new market so their standards were lower at first; I co-authored that story so all the good bits were Stewart's; I read slush there so they were just taking pity... these, as you will soon learn, are brain weasels, and they whisper and they lie and you do not, under any circumstances, ever believe what they say.

You didn't win through luck. You won through talent and hard work. You're not a lame writer.

amyhg wrote:So, a few questions for you successful folks: On average, how many stories do you have out? And how do you decide where to submit them? How many rejections does a story go through before you rewrite it?


Right now I have 15 out, but I'm on the high side with that (don't ask Ishmael his numbers though, he'll terrify you). Half-a-dozen is a good number, especially when you're still only sending out originals and don't yet have reprints to hawk.

Where to send them? Ask The Grinder. It's an absolutely essential resource.

Rewrites... only when I think of something anyway, or when I receive personal feedback *that makes sense to me*. You can get rejected for dozens of reasons, most of which are nothing to do with the story--they might have bought something similar last week, you might just have been edged out of the limited slots available despite nothing being wrong with yours (I have had this personal rejection and can confirm it is immensely frustrating), it might have hit a slusher who doesn't like that particular style--so a rejection alone is not an indication that you need to revise. I strongly recommend you don't, in fact, otherwise you'll spend all your time undertaking unnecessary revisions instead of working on new things.

amyhg wrote:I have this fear that I'll submit a story to the big venues before it's ready and then I won't be able to resubmit even after rewrites.


Yeah, that's a thing. I'm at a stage where I pretty regularly get good personal feedback from Charlie at F&SF every time, which means I send my stories to him first... which means he always sees my stories at their worst. I don't think there's an answer to this except "don't send stories out until you're happy". Which is not "is it perfect", because nothing ever is, but "is it as good as I'm capable of making it right now".

Always remember that perfect is the enemy of done, and that you'll learn more from writing more things than on endlessly polishing one thing.

amyhg wrote:Man, I am feeling so burned out.


Happens to us all. Self-care is important. Take a break and come back when you're ready. Vida Cruz, from your class of 34, had a good post on this, as it happens.
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Re: Success!

Postby amoskalik » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:17 am

I usually have between 10 and 15 stories out at a time. My most rejected story is currently at 30. My best story sold first time out. I've had stories sell after 20 rejections (although at nominal rates). I rarely revise, not because I believe my stories are perfect, but because I'd rather use my limited imagination and energy on my next project rather than squander it on something I've already moved on from.
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Re: Success!

Postby amyhg » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:36 am

Thanks for replying, y'all. Your responses have helped me "buck up" for another week. Golly gee, I love this forum. ;)
v33: Q3 - R; Q4 - R
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Re: Success!

Postby amoskalik » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:51 am

I just got an acceptance from Nature!
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