A year ago if you’d asked me how I track my submissions I would’ve said Query Tracker or nothing. Literally, I had nothing else. If you’ve used Query Tracker it’s a great platform for finding an agent, less so for a publisher let alone a magazine submission.
So here I am a dozen months and a dozen manuscripts later all completed, polished and re-polished. So how do I track them? For awhile I didn’t… oops, rookie mistake. Next I decided if I couldn’t track it in Query Tracker or Submittable (excellent for magazines submissions) then I just wouldn’t submit to them.
But I’m pasted all that. Now I need something just for me.
So here’s what I did and hopefully it works for you too.
I like Google Spreadsheets (hey it’s free) or whatever spreadsheet program you happen to have on your desktop. I use two sheets the first is called Projects. This is a list of everything you have written, are writing, or are thinking about writing. Any ideas scribbled on the far corners of napkins or wherever. Put it all down and give yourself a high-five cuz you’ve got ideas! Now break down the columns like this:
Most of these columns explain themselves but for status I use things like: write, revise, mid-draft, and query (Or shelved/published…). If it’s in query stage I automatically add to the next sheet. Timeline I use like a goal, either what I’m currently working on or when I hope to have it done by.
Tip: Feel free to modify your columns as your needs change. I know mine will and this is for you so do what works for you.
The second sheet I call Submissions. This is anything that is ready to (or has been) queried. Watch out this one can get long… if it does, feel free to split off certain projects that have been in the query trenches longer than you’d prefer. My columns look like this:
Tip: You can share your document through Google with anyone. I have a critique partner that is submitting in the same genres I do so we share. Writing is subjective so it’s not like my chances go down if I share a place to submit to. I’d be happy if either one of us got in. So spread the love and use each other’s research to move forward.
I’ve had a paper taped to my wall called Stories to Sell but now I have a Manuscript Master List, and you do too. Hopefully, this gets you one step closer to an organized (published) author.