December 15, 2015

Keeping a Submission Log

Do you keep a log of your submissions?  I'm betting most writers do so.  But, I learned that some writers aren't interested in keeping records.  I was shocked.  How do writers keep track of their submissions if they are not written down or recorded?  

Keeping a submission log doesn’t have to be complicated.  A notebook or a word doc. will suffice.  List the title of your manuscript and the agents or publishers that you’ve contacted, their email addresses, and the date that you sent your submission.  You can format it anyway you like, even use color coding.  (I use orange for dates of submission, green for acceptances, and purple for rejections). 

Then in a few weeks, mark your submission to indicate if it’s been accepted and the date it will be published. You can even note the amount of payment.  If your submission was rejected, note that date, too.  When you have a record of your submissions, you will know when to follow-up if you haven’t heard back from an editor. And, with a complete list of your submissions you will be able to refer to it as you continue to submit new work.  

Keeping submission records is an important part of the writing life.  It's what writers do. Don't expect (or even ask) an editor will find your submissions.  She doesn't have the time and it’s not her job to keep track of submissions for you.  It’s your job to keep good records. 

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