Friday, June 24, 2011

Focus Friday: Keeping Track of Submissions

A few weeks ago, I sent out my first two picture book submissions.  Yay! 

As someone who typically works on a for-hire or flat-fee basis, it's quite interesting to me to write something that I'm not sure will ever be published...and another ball game to send it out to the 'slush!'  How do I keep track of those outgoing manuscripts (and incoming rejections?  LOL...hopefully not, we'll's true, I've not gotten a rejection letter yet).

Anyway, I keep track of my submissions with a Numbers (Excel) spreadsheet.  I created it on my own, and it contains the date mailed, title, editor and publishing house, and also has columns for the expected response date, actual response and date, and even the file names for the manuscript and the cover letter.  I really think that as I submit more work, it will be very useful in helping me stay organized.

Recently, however, I learned that many of my writer friends use an online tool called Duotrope.  It not only keeps track of submissions, but you can report actual response times of specific publishing houses.  I've checked it out briefly, and may use it in addition to my own spreadsheet.

What do you use to keep track of your submissions? 

Have you ever lost track of a manuscript, only to get a surprise rejection or acceptance in the mail? 

I'm curious to hear others' stories, as I've decided that on occasion, I'm stepping out of the write-for-hire and educational publishing world to submit my slush.

Post your comments below!


Anonymous said...

There is a free software called Sonar that tracks "sub"missions, made by the maker of ywriter (novel writing software)

Go here to see details:

Kelly Hashway said...

I just use a table in Word. It's simple but it works for me.

No rejections? Really? Want some of mine? I'm willing to share. ;)

Unknown said...

I use Duotrope and a spreadsheet of my own. Duotrope is really handy for letting me know when a status query is appropriate. I also use my spreadsheet because I have more than one sheet in it - one just showing basic status (accepted, submitted, revision) and one that has all the details: dates, each publisher I've sent the piece, pay, etc.

I'm with Kelly - I'll share rejections if you'd like.

Allyn Stotz said...

I use an excel spreadsheet. I'm experienced with that software so I find it very easy. I haven't tried using Duotrope so maybe one of these days I'll experiment with it.

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