Sunday, 9 August 2009

Short Stories

I sold another story a couple of weeks ago, to The People's Friend this time. Which means I've achieved my original objective of selling to three different women's magazines (the other two I've sold stories to so far are The Weekly News and Yours magazine). So I thought I'd do a stocktake of what it took to get me here. Mostly it took the support and encouragement of everyone in my womag writers' group, which of course I can't quantify. But other than that, to get these three sales took:

17 months
25 stories written
43 submissions
27 rejections

and there are 13 of my stories still out there, so I could have another sale or two to come, if I'm lucky.

I think this means I'm doing well, because it seems to me that a sale average of one in every 8.3 stories written is pretty good for a novice. And, although I've achieved my original objective, I'm not giving up just yet - I'm enjoying it too much, learning a lot, and there are more markets to crack! Oh, and of course there are the huge earnings that supplement my income...

So far, my three short story sales have earned me a total of £255. I reckon each story takes on average around half a day to write, edit and submit. Then there are the extra submissions, and time spent reading/critiquing the stories of others in my group, I'd say that adds up to another day a month, plus another half day overall for time spent on euphoric emails/texts/phone calls to tell people about my sales. That means I've spent 30 days so far on my short story writing. Which comes out at £8.50/day or just over a pound an hour!

11 comments:

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

...and that's based on a v quick ability to write, edit and submit! There's no way I could do it that quickly. Takes me a day to write a story, another day to edit it, and then I generally end up doing another edit... and the submission takes effing ages when you have to faff about researching, formatting correctly, going to the post office etc...

Are you really that quick? I'm v impressed. This is (one of the many reasons) why I was rubbish at being a freelance writer. I'm nowhere near fast enough.

hilaryusfun said...

wow - the speed of you! Do you mull ideas over in the bath a lot first? I like a good mull for all sorts of things.

HelenMHunt said...

It's depressing when you work out the hourly rate isn't it? I try not to think about it.

Martin Stickland said...

Hello me old fruit! Well done for publishing the stories!!!! Carnival week here in Combe Martin so lots to eat and drink!! Yummy!

Have a great week my friend!

PI said...

I hope you are keeping note of every single penny you spend so when you are earning big bucks you can claim.
Congrats on the sales.

Queenie said...

Clare, you know what, it never occurred to me that that might be particularly fast... but, yes, I do read very fast and write fast too (being able to touch-type at 80-90 wpm helps there).
Hilary, no, it doesn't include mulling time, and I do need that too - but tend to mull while I'm doing other things e.g. walking into town, driving somewhere, in shower, at gym etc.
Helen, I know...
Martin, thank you, you too!
Pat, I do keep my receipts because I'm technically a professional writer due to other publications (v factual and boring ones).

Carol said...

The hourly rate for art is not much better....in fact...I've just worked it out and it was worse!! (that'll teach me!!)

C x

Debi said...

This is a huge achievement and well worth celebrating. It never is nor can be about the £££. Well done, you clever monarch!

Queenie said...

Carol: what Debi said.
Debi: thank you!

womagwriter said...

Not bad at all, well done you! I sold my 17th submission, and then made no more sales for about another 40-something submissions. Never worked out my hourly rate though!

Queenie said...

Womag, thank you! I'd never have done it without the you-know-whos.