Yesterday, I sent my 600th submission since I’ve been tracking them through Duotrope, a period of roughly nine and a half years. I always take a deep dive into the numbers when I hit these little milestones, so that’s what we’re doing today. Here’s what 600 submissions looks like.
I’ve been submitting regularly for almost ten years, and I’ve tracked each and every submission through Duotrope. Here’s how many subs I sent year by year.
Yeah, I started out a little tentatively, but by 2015 I was sending out a respectable number of submissions. In the last five years, I’ve averaged about 88 submissions per year, which is pretty good. My goal is always 100, and I’ll likely hit that for the second time this year.
So, how did all those submissions end up? How many acceptances? How many rejections? Let’s have a look.
This works out to an acceptance percentage of just over 14%. Unfortunately, 2021 has been kind of a rotten year and has tanked my percentage a bit. To put that in perspective last year I sent 87 submissions and had 19 acceptances. My best year ever in terms of acceptance percentage. This year I’ve sent 83 submissions so far, and I have . . . 5 acceptances. Ugh; I know. Anyway, such is life, and I’m hoping to turn things around here in the third quarter and salvage at least a halfway decent year, but we’ll see.
The other categories are pretty self-explanatory. I should point out that many of the withdrawals are because the publisher went out of business. Some announced it publicly and others just never responded to queries.
Another thing thing to look at is what types of stories I sent. How many were flash? How many were short stories? And so on. Here’s how that broke out.
As you can see, I write a lot of flash, and the bulk of my submissions are of that length. I write fewer short stories than I should, honestly, and I’d like to change up that ratio a bit in 2022. The other categories are more anomalies than anything. I rarely submit microfiction, and even though I’m shopping a novella, I don’t plan to make it habit because they’re tough to sell. The novel is the real fluke. Not that I don’t write them; it’s just unusual that the market I’m currently shopping this novel with is also on Duotrope, but, hey, a submission is a submission, right?
Here are some other interesting numbers. Of the 132 unique stories, I’ve sold 65 of them. So almost half of everything I’ve written and submitted. Not bad, and I hope to improve on that. Ballpark math puts the total number of words submitted at just over 310,000, but it’s important to note that a good 120,000 of those words come from the novella and novel.
And that’s 600 submissions. I’m also closing in on 500 rejections, which I imagine I’ll hit by the end of the year. I’ll break down those numbers in a blog post as well.
Hit any submission milestones of your own lately? Tell me about it in the comments.