Sometimes I follow a random path into writing courses. This week, that path took into one called Reaching Pulp Speed (Pulp One is 1 million words, like Star Trek’s Warp One. Engage!).
First lesson and bang! First lesson, if you can’t do the business side, like publishing or submitting the stories to get them out there, you’re not ready to look at pulp speed.
And when I answered the question of why, I really couldn’t come up with a good reason. Sometimes the Critical Voice gets involved there, like when I get a rejection, it says, “The story isn’t any good” or “No one
wants that story.” And time isn’t really a good reason either.
So I’m working through getting every short story not indie-published out the door (11 so far).
Since someone asked about picking the magazines previously, this is how I’m picking where to send the stories:
1. Word count and genre in hand, I search The Submission Grinder. My search criteria includes those two, plus a 5 cents per word payment.
I remember a writer said to start with the top paying, then work your way down until it gets published. Unfortunately, it encourages writers to settle for less, just to get published. Start at the top, stay at the top.
2. This step is the conveyer belt part of the process. I start at the top of the list and open each magazine. I scan the Grinder page and eliminate any that are obviously not a good fit. Some say they are fantasy and they’re dark fantasy. Or they only accept submissions from Canadians. Sometimes the 5 cents a word is for flash fiction and short stories pay 3 cents.
3. Once I find a likely magazine, I make sure I’m checking off the box on all their requirements. If they want something different from Shunn, I re-save as TitleOfStory-Magazine and make all the changes to the format.
4. Then it’s time to draft the cover letter. That also comes from the guidelines. Most of this is a lot of cut and paste, though. I save it as Cover Letter Magazine.
5. Send it to them in whatever way the magazine wants.
6. Record the submission on my submissions tracker
spreadsheet. If they give me a reference number, I include that. Right before COVID hit, I had a story on submission. I think the magazine lost it in all the chaos that followed. I was able to determine the story had disappeared from their submission tracker entirely, but I think it would have helped to have the reference number.
7. When they respond, I PDF Print the email and shift the submission entry to the story’s worksheet tab.
8. Then I restart the process over again.