Monday, April 05, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

Like several of my writing friends, I find that I sell roughly one story for every ten submissions. The more I submit, the more I sell. The secret to steady sales is lots and lots of submissions. As soon as one market rejects a story, I send it off elsewhere - in theory. If they buy it, they usually want it exclusive for a while, typically 90 days. I wait until that's over, and I start trying to sell reprint rights - in theory.

Last year I aimed to send off 8 submissions a month, which would come to 96 in the year. I managed 50.

This year I decided to aim for two a week. And as of today, I'm slightly ahead! In 13 weeks, I've sent off 27 submissions.

I think two things are helping. One is the shorter time scale. Last year I kept getting to the 29th of the month with only two submissions sent out. Then I'd try to catch up, of course, but usually it was too late and I did too little.

New Year's Day was a Friday, so my submission weeks end on a Thursday. This year I get to Wednesday and realise I have to catch up - and that's only two submissions, which is much easier. The other is that I have every Thursday on the wall calendar marked with the number of submissions I'm supposed to have made so far, so I can see how much I've fallen behind. That's a great motivator to NOT fall behind.

39 weeks to go.


Bec said...

I've only managed 16 subs so far this year. I'll have to write faster to catch up with you. Well done, Sheila. Keep going!

Sheila, Canary Islands said...

Because I've been writing for years, I have more to sell. As well as the new writing, I have quite a few reprints and older stories that haven't sold yet. The trick is to turn them around fast.

I swear that when rejected manuscripts hang around the house they emit a poison gas which induces depression and wrecks creativity. I try to get them back out again within 24 hours.

Bec said...

Good advice! I'm now off to see what can be reprinted...