Saturday, February 2, 2013

Keeping Track, Part II

Tracking has always been a rather anal pursuit for me from the very first submission to today's mailings. In that time I've used index cards, spreadsheets, hypercard stacks, MS Access, and, finally, FileMaker Pro.  I've continually added more details, often going back to fill in data I hadn't thought important at the time. Through all this I've managed to accumulate data on the markets so that I can make decent estimates on return times.

A few weeks ago, when I republished an old article on keeping track of submissions, I was informed by a reader that a new free site had opened up that covers everything I described.  The site is named The Submission Grinder. This site was generated by the demise of Duotrope as a free service.  The Grinder is in its early stages of development but already nicely addressees most of the tracking issues I raised in my earlier post and should prove useful to short story writers.

The Grinder not only facilitates keeping track of submissions but also collects and presents return times for each market, which can give you some indication of why your particular story appears to be languishing on an editors's desk and when you need to send a query about its status.  This is a wonderful example of crowd sourcing the markets so that each of us can take advantage of each other's return information. Further, it may reveal new markets sooner than other sites - especially those hard-to-find anthology openings.

I believe that this site deserves every writer's support,  The more users who contribute their works to this site can only produce better information for all of us.

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