I’m in London! And current rejection stats. 3

The two are not related.

Just I’ve been talking to a few writers who are even newer to this than me and I wanted to give some perspective on the short story submission thing. I’ve now had 20 sales, not counting reprints. Out of 20 short story sales:

  • Average number of rejections per sale: 6.85
  • Fewest rejections before publication: 0
  • Most rejections before publication: 20

Keep in mind that my sales range from pro to semi-pro to one that was token payment. I don’t submit stories to non-paying markets, period. I also have 9 stories that I’ve trunked without selling, because I stopped believing in them.

The three stories I consider to be the best I’ve written thus far—Comes the HuntsmanThe Heart-Beat Escapement, and They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain—received 3, 7, and 4 rejections respectively before being published.

So basically, just keep bouncing your stories back out into the slush pile until you’ve either run out of markets (in which case you wait for a new one such as an antho to open) or run out of belief in your vision and/or your execution of that vision in writing.

And yes, I am in London right now. I’m enjoying my vacation already in my most splendidly failtastic style, which is to say I do a lot of sleeping and taking my sweet time at the gym and working at the non-geology jobs and typing on the computer while I listen to the ambient sound of a foreign city. That’s how I roll. The flight was good (I got a whole row to myself), the getting to the rental flat was a comedy of errors, and I can’t figure out how to make one of the showers work because I think its controls were put together as a joke. (The Canadian couldn’t figure it out either so you don’t get to blame this on me being a stupid American. Blame the stupid inscrutable British plumbing.)

You know, normal life in the UK when I’m here. Planning to live on a diet of toast, nutella, and bananas for the next week. Generally pleased with everything, looking forward to hanging out with friends. The pay as you go gym is unfortunately further away than I wanted thanks to us being moved to a different flat, but the space is nice. All of the guys in the strength training room very carefully Did Not Notice My Existence, which is how I prefer it. Except for one guy who made an abortive lunge for the bar when I was doing my final rep in a set of 105lb bench presses, so I had to assure him that I totally had it. At which point he started carefully ignoring me as well, but with occasional sidelong glances just to let me know I was worrying him. I try to take these things as adorable, well-meaning helper fails as opposed to anything more frustrating. (But really, people, don’t lunge at the bar unless someone actually asks for help, it’s kind of distracting.)

Looking forward to a relaxing week before Worldcon!

3 thoughts on “I’m in London! And current rejection stats.

  1. Reply JohnD Aug 11,2014 07:47

    Thank you for publishing the stats. You show that even a successful author will have stories rejected and that getting one accepted and published takes time. As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t burned in a day”.

  2. Reply Keeley Aug 12,2014 21:53

    *catching up on your tweets* Yay! You got to go to the Globe! One day I will go back, that is a wonderful theater and fantastic sets/acting. Have fun in London. ^^

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