Today I hit a little bit of a milestone – I've sent out my 100th short fiction submission in 2011.
I keep a spreadsheet to help me track which stories have been submitted to which magazines, and how they are doing. When you have a dozen or more short stories in circulation it would be easy (and embarassing) to submit one to a market that has previously rejected it. The spreadsheet helps me keep a careful tab on what's happening with all those submissions, and it also provides an opportunity for some data crunching, to satisfy my inner statistics geek.
So, here's a snapshot of my 2011 submissions, out of 100 total:
* Currently out on submission: 11
* Sales: 9
* Lost/never responded: 1
* Rejections: 79
It sounds like a whole lot of rejection, but I'm actually quite happy with these stats. An average SF/F magazine rejects hundreds of stories for every one they buy. My track record this year has been better than one in ten. I have already accomplished my goal of ten fiction sales in 2011 (although I sold only 9 stories submitted in 2011, I also made three sales from my late 2010 submissions).
My plan is to continue working on short fiction sales and build up a better resume of Pro market sales, at least for the next few months. I would like to begin work on a novel in early 2012, but I feel intimidated by trying to put something together with such a high word count. That is something I hope to overcome with lots of preparation and by creating a very detailed outline.