A surprising number of friends have recently asked me to look over their stuff because they want to publish it. I’ve, of course, advised them against doing any such thing because it’s a bit of a pain to get everything ready for publication, especially if you want to print your books out.
They gently told me that they were going for the traditional route before I ranted too long.
They are apparently, following the same path I tried a while back in trying to get their short works published to build up a name and a resume for themselves before trying to find an agent,1 which means I asked them about their tracker.
Apparently the publishing tracker isn’t actually standard. Go figure. For those who don’t know, the spreadsheet was a thing I learned about and lived by when I first started trying to get published and was sending out short stories to everyone I thought would be a good fit. It’s a document to keep track of who you’ve sent what to and to help prevent multiple submissions.
I, being me, did a bit more with mine and turned it into a rudimentary tracker for some of my projects as well as a research document. And then I started building an online version of it. And then I stopped because finals were awful that year and I never picked the project back up.2
I made a stripped down version of mine for one of my friends who has a lot of stories to send out and a lot of places she’s looking at sending things to. There’s three sheets to it: Sent, Works and Publications.
Sent is just your tracking information. Which stories you have sent to which publishers, the date you sent them on and the date of expected reply. It’s pretty simple and you can sort by the various columns to see who you’ve already sent which stories to.
Works just keeps track of your stories and some of the vital information about it that you use for finding publications to send it to. I think this can be easily changed to Poetry, if you are sending poems out instead.
Publications are the places you’ve looked up and you like, along with the basic information you need to know about sending to them. I’ve stripped this section down a lot because back in my day3 pretty much everyone wanted an SASE4 and an IRC5 , though these days with everything more digital, that’s becoming the case less and less.
If anyone else wants it, I’ll leave it here. It was incredibly useful for me when I was sending out my stuff and keeping track of what I needed to do, so it might help a few of you out as well.