Rejection, rejection, rejection...

Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Personally I don't really see a major issue in someone opting for another publication other than its being somewhat unfair on the first publication. I guess it's the code of honour, however it's not as if it's a job application. Employers are often fine with a job seeker turning down a role for something else, if that's the given reason. So I don't think an unpaid magazine publication should really be all that different. Maybe I'm missing something? I'm sure BP would be understanding, but it doesn't matter as based on proper conduct I'll sign their contract.
     
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  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    That's not at all the top end. Places I've had work accepted usually pay a flat rate for the story. Some publications pay by printed page. The big places pay around $1k or even higher. The rest of them seem to pay between $200 to $500. Of course, there are smaller markets and some places don't pay at all.
     
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    That's not bad, I guess. Hell, sell three a week and you can quit your day job!
     
  4. Ellen_Hall

    Ellen_Hall Member

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    Crazyhorse? They pay like 2 cents per word. I am disinclined to break the rules of publishing for at most 100 dollars. I don't mean to validate lousy gatekeepers who claim that getting paid more than zero but less than 8 cents per word isn't "professional." (Do they know what "professional" means? If someone works for money at a café part-time they are still a "professional barista," no matter if their wages for this source are enough to sustain them.)

    Still, we live in capitalism, and we have to follow the goddamn money.

    That's top end for short stories but fairly low for novels. Curiously, I only notice a marginal quality disparity between magazines that pay one cent per word and those that pay twelve.

    For this reason, I try to seek high-paying publishers first.
     
  5. Ellen_Hall

    Ellen_Hall Member

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    Do you really need 2,400 - 6,000 per month to make ends meet?
     
  6. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    The most common hustle is to land a few stories in prestigious journals and then use that as a springboard toward getting an advance for a novel. I'm not sure it works beyond landing you an agent. I've met writers who've been published in places I envy, yet can't sell a novel. What I do know is that it's nigh impossible to make real money selling short stories. Like Stephen King said, it comes out to less than minimum wage if you add up all the hours spent on writing and revising. At least, that rings true for me.
     
  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Only if I want to retire some day. At 42 I'm two-thirds of the way there! And I don't even have kids.
     
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  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    LOL. No one is selling three stories a week. If it were to happen in a week it surely wouldn't happen the next week or the one after. My mentor says landing two short stories a year in good publication means you're doing well.
     
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  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I've got some galleys to look over this weekend. :)
     
  10. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 41-day form rejection from The Idaho Review.
     
  11. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    I’m still waiting for mine.
     
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  12. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    89-day rejection from Barrelhouse.
     
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  13. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Good luck to you. This is one I really like.
     
  14. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    Thanks! Same to you. A few other places rejected the story, but I like to be optimistic.

    And where are the gallies from? Can we celebrate success in the rejection thread?
     
  15. alittlehumbugcalledShe

    alittlehumbugcalledShe Active Member

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    Great idea! Let's start a thread called 'Success, success, success...' as a nod to the true original :cheerleader:
     
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  16. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    I've been thinking more about simultaneous submissions. This seems uncommonly harsh to me. Most places don't accept simultaneous submissions, it seems. Basically it limits you to sending your work to only one place at a time and that could take months. Getting exposure is difficult enough. I like to play by the rules and don't want to burn bridges, but honestly it was difficult withdrawing from Fantasy Magazine and other places once I got accepted by Black Petals. What if my work was accepted by these larger places? I'll never know. I researched this a little and even found people advising writers to ignore the rules regarding simultaneous submissions as it's just too harsh.
     
  17. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    Anecdotal, but in my experience places that don’t accept simultaneous submissions usually respond faster, and they are often for genre mags—fantasy, scifi, and the like. So, yes, you can only send the piece to one of those places at a time, but you can select which magazines, so (1) you can look at their guidelines and see the average response times and arrange submissions how you like—perhaps you want to start with the faster markets and increase to the slowest—and (2) you can ignore markets that hold less of an interest for you. This is what I usually do. If you really want to find out if one particular place might accept your piece, then only submit there, but in truth, numbers are always going to be against you because most places only accept a small percentage of work, by which I mean: asking “what if” might be counterproductive, or at least fatiguing.

    In addition, you can always write more work while you wait to hear back from one place. Be diligent, and soon you might have ten pieces and you can submit one each to places that don’t accept simultaneous submissions. Overall, I think it’s best to follow the guidelines because at least you’ll know you got that part right if you get rejection slips, which are usually pretty anonymous and inscrutable.
     
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  18. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    I'd give you a star or coin, some kind of reward, but this isn't Reddit. Much appreciated.
     
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  19. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Active Member

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    I doubt I'll ever have anything worthy of submitting to literary journals, but wouldn't it make more sense to start with the slowest (I'm not talking about the ones with 300+ day average response times) and then submit to the fastest? Assuming the longer ones don't have this requirement on simultaneous submissions?

    Then if and when the decisions and rejections (and ideally feedback) come in from the slower ones, you can begin sending to the faster, smaller journals.
     
  20. Watson Watson

    Watson Watson Member

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    I think either approach would work. For myself, it sorta depends on the journal and the piece—sometimes I’ll get feedback on a quick rejection and revise the work. In my head it works like a snowball effect, although I concede it’s not the most scientific of plans.
     
  21. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    It is also useful to divide markets into tiers and work your way down. If you submit to a top choice and a lower choice at the same time, it will always make you wonder "what if?" if your piece is snapped up by a lower choice right away. The submission process gets drawn out by a lot of rejections at first from ultra-tough journals who accept 1 out of 1000 stories, but as WW said, it's okay as long as you keep writing while you're waiting. I don't often submit to places that require exclusive submissions. I think it's a lot to ask of a writer if the journal is only going to send a form rejection in reply. I also get the feeling that those journals solicit a lot of their submissions, because it is a different matter to send a solicited story to an editor for an exclusive look. Good luck!
     
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  22. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    This makes perfect sense. I still think it's an unfortunate setup, but I like the simplicity of it. Of course I'm going to run into the situation I'd found myself in if I submit to lower and higher tier places at the same time. I do wonder what you mean by different tiers though. Are you referring to response time or quality? I've found that large publications have responded sooner than some small scale publications. Either way, the idea of starting with your most prized publication and working down makes more sense than what I was doing which was, well, submitting to several places all at once time.
     
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  23. Native Ink

    Native Ink Member

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    Generally I put them in tiers based on which journals I would like to see my work appear in. Some of it is based on personal taste and which editors have asked me to send more work, but I also use rankings of journals like this one. I don't really consider response time, but I might jump into a market a little early if they have a short submission window that doesn't open up again for a long time. I usually have my story out at five different journals. If I get a rejection, I send it to the next market on my list. The only drawback for me personally is the number of rejections I get in the beginning. Basically my first 20 rejections are from places that are so incredibly competitive that they reject plenty of good stories. Sometimes this initial slog of rejection jaundices my view of the story, but I try to remember that the odds get much better as I go on. And I have overcome the odds on occasion, so it is worth it to start at the top.
     
  24. alittlehumbugcalledShe

    alittlehumbugcalledShe Active Member

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    A question re: poetry submissions. If you're submitting simultaneously, how many literary journals do you tend to submit to at a time?

    Just wondering if I should submit to >10 or something. Have applied to ~5 so far, and I was wondering whether or not to keep going.

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to submit them anyway, just to make a case for getting your name out there, etc. I've heard of some literary journals remembering someone's previous submission and thinking well of it.
     
  25. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    We choose where we want to send our work. I really don't think it's a good idea to break submission rules. And it makes me wonder how successful these writers are at selling short fiction in the first place. There are tons of places that do allow simultaneous submissions so if that's how you want to do it, I would stick with them. But, look, you're already wondering who else might have taken your story. If you had submitted to a dream publication first and waited for a response from them before trying other markets, you would have your answer. I'm not suggesting you go down that rabbit hole, but simultaneous submissions don't necessarily make publishing any easier.

    My first sale was to a place that does allow simultaneous submissions, but I chose to submit it exclusively at the time. It had been rejected by other places previously, but I spruced it up a bit and sent it to one of my dream publications and waited. I waited a long time, but in the end I sold the story. If I had been submitting that story to other markets at the same time, who knows what would have happened, but I'm glad I didn't.

    I do a mix of simultaneous and exclusive submissions. The best way to not worry about these sort of things so much is to write enough stories that you can try both methods as you see fit without potentially burning any bridges by breaking the rules.
     

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