There’s a website that I use to track my short story submissions, as well as research markets, called The (Submission) Grinder. It does many things well, but one of my favorite features is the Dashboard page. Here, a lifetime of my submissions are ground together and presented to me in ways that give me information on things like–how many submissions did I make each year? How many of them received form rejections? Personal? Sales? How much did I get paid for the sales?
It’s wonderful for someone like me, who basically breaks out in hives when tasked with the creation of a spreadsheet. The year’s not over yet, but I wanted to take a look at some historical trends.
My first sale was in 2004, so I was submitting farther back, but the first data I have entered into the Grinder starts in 2007, so that’s where my analysis begins. The biggest thing that jumps out at me is the progression of number of submissions each year.
It’s clearly evident from this data that 2011 is the year that I went from dabbling in writing to jumping in whole-heartedly. I only need two more submissions before the end of this month (no problem . . . I expect I’ll probably have more) to double my subs this year over last year.
Does this translate to more sales? Well, sort of. In 2012, I made two sales. In 2013 (so far) there have been 3. The sales number hasn’t doubled with the submissions number, but if I weren’t actively submitting, clearly those sales would not have occurred. The other thing I can see is that my percentage of personal rejections has also gone up.
One piece of data I can’t see from my dashboard is how many stories made it to higher rounds of consideration before their eventual rejection. That’s actually a data point I’m interested in, so I may have to see if I can figure out a way to track that for myself.
Either way, it’s been valuable to me to look back at my historical data. It shows me that I’m on the right track. My goal for next year is to double my submissions again. I’d better get writing!