This time last year, I was telling you that I’d just had my best year ever, in terms of publications. I’d sold another story to Clarkesworld (after a gap of two years), and sold my first stories to Apex, The Intergalactic Medicine Show, and to several anthologies.
This year wasn’t nearly so good. It started with a flurry of three sales that came literally within a few days of each other, to Daily Science Fiction, GigaNotoSaurus, and the anthology We See A Different Frontier. Then I had eight months of nothing, followed by a sale to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. And, just yesterday, I got notice that I’d sold a flash fiction piece to a small chapbook.
That makes five sales, and four at pro* rates. Certainly not shabby, but worse than my seven pro sales in 2012 and five in 2011. Of course, I wrote fewer stories this year, but, since most of the stories that I submit during any given year are ones written during the previous year, I am not sure this made a big difference.
I can’t really say what happened. Perhaps I’ve temporarily gotten worse (which sometimes happens, when you’re processing new lessons). Perhaps the competition has gotten better. Perhaps I’ve started moving in a different direction and am no longer really producing the sort of stories that SF magazines are looking for. A person can drive themselves crazy trying to figure out why they are and why they aren’t selling.
Anyway, one outcome of this relative lack of success is that I’m making a decidedly stronger effort to submit to literary magazines. I currently have over 100 submissions out! And, of those, almost 80 are to various literary magazines. It’s both exciting and disconcerting to be starting at the beginning again. However, I’ve also recently started to write a few non-SF stories, and I’m interested to see how these’ll be received by the lit journals.
I’ve made it my goal to sell a story (although literary writers usually say “place” a story, since even many respectable publications don’t pay) to at least one magazine with “Review” in its name =]
*Currently, I call 5 cents per word the “pro” rate for no better reason than that this was the rate decided upon by the SFWA. Since they’ve changed their standards, I’ll do the same. From 2014 on, 6 cents per word will be what I mean when I say “pro” rates.