If you are even moderately productive, it can soon get confusing to track your short stories – drafts or trunkable, those ready to send, those out, where they’ve been and who has accepted or rejected them, and where to send them next.
I use one online tool and a couple offline. Yes, I use more than one tool. Yes, they are all free except WriteWay, which I upgraded from free to Pro.
I use Submission Grinder to track where finished short stories have been sent and the result. I can sort by market, by my stories, and by date. I can list my favorite markets and see what their response times for many other authors have been. I can find new markets, and quickly link to the guidelines for those markets. It keeps me safe from repeating a sub or sim-subbing if not allowed. Overall? A
I use Sonar to collect more comprehensive data on each story, including the text of editor rejections/acceptances. I keep data on every story – trunked, draft, out, and ready to send – all easily sorted . I can pull up a separate page for each story to see all its submissions, what kind of (and how long) a rejection it got – similar data to the Submission grinder, but including any notes I’ve made and editor comments. It was very helpful at first to get a handle on my +300 stories, but now I’m using excel and the Submission Grinder more often, and focusing only on the ready to send stories (far far fewer!). Tracking accurately means inputting the information after I’ve already done so (and in an easier manner) on the Submission Grinder – but I have found this software useful. Overall? B-
I use an excel spreadsheet with separate sheets for flash & short stories & a sheet for potential markets. I have a column for the market the story is at, and a list beside it of the markets that rejected it. The excel sheet is very customizable (can add columns for story length, genre, market notes, etc), but doesn’t have the collected data the submission grinder has to determine average waits. It also is not automatic, the way the grinder is, so a bit more work. I do like it for quick decision making, and am limiting it to just the few I’m focused on right now – easier to glance through than to log in and sort through stories on the grinder. Overall? A-
I use WriteWay pro to write & store the actual stories. Even if I write the story in Word or elsewhere, I’ll transfer it into WriteWay as soon as I can. (WriteWay is similar to Scrivener, but simpler) I put each story in its own “chapter” in the book called “Flash Stories” or the book called Contest Stories, Novellas, etc. Any crits go on “cards” under the chapter, and I can save prior versions of a story if I so choose. I also have some actual novels with chapters going on. Overall? A
What do you use? If you use any of the above, do you have any tricks to make them work better?