I know at least one person who doesn’t like the end-o-year statistics posts, so I’ve hidden mine behind this cut (also, the post ended up being rather long):
My numbers for 2008 don’t look as good as my numbers for 2007. I wrote fewer words this year, partly because I spent five months trying to write a novel that I later abandoned as unworkable (at least for now). For the first half of 2008, I also struggled with writing short stories. I saw a lot of things that weren’t working in my short fiction, but I hadn’t the faintest clue how to fix any of them. This was very frustrating. I wrote a lot of abandoned story fragments, and the few things I did manage to finish tended to be quite short. Then around the end of summer, something clicked, leading to much higher productivity and much lower frustration. (I finished 4 stories in the first half of 2008, with an average length of 1.5k. I finished 5 stories in the second half of 2008, with an average length of 7k.) Some statistics:
2007 – wrote 12 new stories
Still circulating: 7
Needs Fixing: 2
2008 – wrote 9 new stories
Still circulating: 6
Needs Fixing: 2 (this includes the story I finished drafting yesterday)
Trunked: 0 (at least so far)
Also wrote some longer stuff, but trunked all of it:
2007 – 1 novella (Needs Fixing), 1 novel (Trunked)
2008 – Approximately half a novel (Trunked)
* * *
I had one publication in 2007 – “Time to Say Goodnight” squeaked into Fantasy Magazine a year ago today.
I have 4 stories forthcoming (including one sale from 2006, which has sort of fallen through the cracks), but not a single story of mine came out in 2008. I was pretty disappointed about this, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Next year should be better (knock on wood).
* * *
Submissions are tricky to sort by year because sometimes the submission goes out one year, and the response comes in during the subsequent year. I had two submissions that I sent out in 2007 that were accepted in 2008. Do these sales go with the 2007 stats or the 2008 stats? I ended up sorting by submission date, which means that 2007 looks deceptively good, and this year’s final stats probably won’t be available for quite some time.
2007 – 66 submissions
Rejections: 63 (32 form, 31 personal)
2008 – 66 submissions
Rewrite Requests: 1 (which was subsequently resubmitted and rejected)
Rejections: 52 (20 form, 32 personal)
Pending: 12 (with an avg. time-at-market of 91 days)
I find it interesting that I had the same number of submissions in 2008 as I did in 2007, despite the fact that I had a pretty miserable first half of the year this year, writing-wise. The most promising trend for me is the shift from getting slightly-more-than-half form rejections for 2007, to getting mostly personal rejections in 2008. (Also, I don’t have a statistic for it, but I have had a whole lot more very near misses this year.)