Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How long do Pro Markets take?

   
Author Topic: How long do Pro Markets take?
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I actually have several questions. I recently completed my first story, written with the intent of sending it to a publisher. It was just a little over 2000 words. I was initially going to send it to Analog, because I was more familiar with that magazine. I went to Duotrope and read the profile that stated it was more "gadget" orientated. My story was more of a "social-issue" story within a sci-fi context. I read Asimov's profile and it seemed more suited - so that's where it went. I sent it on Aug. 15, and I'm not too concerned, just a little anxious (as in anxiety).

Question 1 - How long does a typical rejection or acceptance take?
Question 2 - How accurate would anyone say those "profiles" are?
Question 3 - Should I ever contact them, and if so how long should I wait?

And yes, I did send a self-addressed envelope. I screwed up by using Times New Roman, and I didn't format the first page correctly - I know now.

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited September 10, 2008).]


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TaleSpinner
Member
Member # 5638

 - posted      Profile for TaleSpinner   Email TaleSpinner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Asimov's and Interzone turned down my first story within six weeks. Analog are taking a little longer, I think, and I'm trying not to hope that's good.

I don't think any profile can be truly accurate. There's a large element of taste, of how they perceive readers' tastes to be changing, and what they're looking for to balance an issue of the mag. For example, if Analog have several near-future dystopian stories for the next few issues, they're very unlikely to buy mine too, and will probably be looking for something different, more cheerful perhaps.

Cheers, and good luck,
Pat


Posts: 1796 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tchernabyelo
Member
Member # 2651

 - posted      Profile for tchernabyelo   Email tchernabyelo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you went to Duotrope then surely you saw that it keeps detailed statistics on responses, showing average times for each market, longest responses, how many responses are still outstanding, etc etc etc.

For the record, though:

Accuracy We have received 148 reports within the past 12 months, not including 25 pending responses (with an avg. wait of 45 days). The more responses reported, the more accurate the info. Rejections are often underreported, which skews the statistics in favor of acceptances. Most markets have a lower acceptance rate than indicated here.
Days Reported 7 | 41.7 | 233 (min | avg | max)
Responses (98%)
Acceptances: 4.1% (50.8 days avg. per acceptance)
Rejections: 93.2% (38.5 days avg. per rejection) | 37.7% personal, 42.8% form, 19.6% unspecified
Rewrite Requests: 0.7% (35 days avg. per rewrite request)
Non-Responses (2%)
Assumed Rejections: 1.4% (190 days avg. per assumed rejection without response)
Author Withdrawals: 0.7% (132 days avg. per withdrawal by author)

The percentages against the total number actually allow you to work out precise figures - e.g. there was one author withdrawal reported, and two assumed rejections, and six acceptances out of those 148 reports. The fact that there are 25 pending responses with an average of 45 days outstanding implies that they are a little bit behind at the moment, since they average 41.7 days to respond. Note that they are one of the markets that take longer to accept than to reject, so going over the average MAY be a good sign (there are markets that accept quickly but hold rejections back for longer; I suspect this is to deliberately slow down the rate fo submissions they get). But if you subbed less than a month ago then you shouldn't expect to hear for a week or three yet.

There is no standard for pro market response times, any more than there is for semi-pro or other markets. A market's response times will be determined by the number of submissions they get, the number of slush readers they have, the editorial policy about handling that slush (single vs multiple readers, multiple stages of reading, etc etc).

I use Duotrope for every sub (unless a market isn't listed there, and that has happened precisely once out of over 200 subs) - I belive it's a great resource and the more people who use it, the more accurate it gets.


Posts: 1469 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Both critters.org and duotrope give response times.

Posts: 2989 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tchernabyelo
Member
Member # 2651

 - posted      Profile for tchernabyelo   Email tchernabyelo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, and the "profiles" on Duotrope are taken directly from submission guidelines for the actual market, so they are as accurate as can be.
Posts: 1469 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As of my last submitted story last year, F & SF took eight days to send it back, whereas Asimov's took forty days. The time before, the year before that, F & SF took fourteen days whereas Asimov's took one hundred fifty.

(Maybe that story was better...I wouldn't know...I got form letters all four times.)

Over the recent years, Asimov's has consistently taken longer than F & SF. I've had other (no longer extant) markets sit on a submitted MS for over a year at times..


Posts: 8717 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zero
Member
Member # 3619

 - posted      Profile for Zero           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow a hundred and fifty... that's long. So what happens if you send it to someone els,e thinking they forgot about it, and that someone else accepts it, but then Asimov tells you they've accepted it. Do you give them the bad news or do both reject you on the basis that they detest multiple simultaneous submissions?
Posts: 2195 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tchernabyelo
Member
Member # 2651

 - posted      Profile for tchernabyelo   Email tchernabyelo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You never assume a market has simply fogotten your submission.

When you believe that it is worthwhile (and you have to judge this, ideally using Duotrope as an indicator) you send a query to the market. You wait a shortish while. You may receive a response saying they are still considering your story. You may receive a resopnse saying they never got your story, in which case you send it again. You may receive a response saying they have received your story and rejected it, in which case you may send it elsewhere.

If you do not receive a response to your query (I'd give it a month), then you can legitimately consider that they are just being unhelpful and uncommunicative, and you are free to sub elsewhere. If the original market DOES then come back to you saying they want it, you say "I am very sorry, but as I had received no response to my query of (date), I have subsequently submitted this story elsewhere. However, should the current market reject it, I am more than happy for you to publish the story if you still wish." Ball's then in their court. If they really liked it, they may well be happy to wait. If not, so be it, chalk it up to life.

One note - if you operate whitelists or anything like that, ALWAYS make sure you allow the market to mail you back. In fact, as a writer, I'd very strongly recommend against whitelisting - you can't always be sure what address a response will come from, and nothing annoys an editor more than wanting to buy your story, and having their emails to you bounce back!


Posts: 1469 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the info - that answers my questions. I'll not start worrying about what to do until another 4 months from now.
Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I never submit a story to more than one market at a time. I grew up in the days where it was "just print," and the top markets generally had conniptions if they found out you'd sent one story to two of them at the same time. (It was less of an option before computers, when you had one typed copy and a carbon and the Xerox machine was down at the library and expensive.) Even when the story was tied up for a year or more, I never sent it elsewhere---and the several times my main MS was lost, time and perspective told me it wasn't that good to begin with...

And...last time I looked, the big-name markets were still down on the practice...


Posts: 8717 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EricJamesStone
Member
Member # 1681

 - posted      Profile for EricJamesStone   Email EricJamesStone         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
> If you do not receive a response to your query (I'd give it a
> month), then you can legitimately consider that they are just
> being unhelpful and uncommunicative, and you are free to sub
> elsewhere.

I would not send the story to another market without officially notifying the first market I was withdrawing the story. Then again, I've never had a market not respond to a query within a reasonable time.

Response time on my my two highest-paying sales to pro markets (other than WOTF): 445 days and 366 days. Sometimes it's worth the wait.


Posts: 1517 | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reagansgame
Member
Member # 8149

 - posted      Profile for Reagansgame   Email Reagansgame         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had to wait 18 months on Poisoned Pens' queue. But I did get responses along the way. About 3 months from query I rec'vd request for full manuscript and that I not submit during consideration. Then I had another emial notification about 1 year after original submission with first round of crits and saying I had made it into the bonus round. I was 6th in the queue at that point and it took 6 months from then. Other publishers had a form rejection letter out to me within a month - 6 weeks, sometimes as little as 2 weeks. I'd agree with Eric (above), anytime it has taken longer, it has been good news - your work wasn't immediately thrown back in SASE or junked. The wait drives me crazy, but it doesn't always signal trouble.
Posts: 243 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Igwiz
Member
Member # 6867

 - posted      Profile for Igwiz   Email Igwiz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I, like Tchern, use Duotrope often (probably daily). If you want to find out which Pro markets have the quickest response time, you can also do that during the search. On their search page, just like you choose the genre, the pay rate, and the submission type, you can also choose to have the data sorted by Average Response Time (low-high) instead of by Title.

This search yeilds 27 markets, of which the 10 fastest (according to Duotrope data) are:

Postcards From ...
Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF)
Wrong World
Eclipse Anthology Series TEMP CLOSED
Futurismic
Nature Magazine's Futures Feature
Jim Baen's Universe TEMP CLOSED
Apex Digest
On The Premises
Strange Horizons

Now, sometimes this is misleading, and you have to follow Tchern's advice regarding the pending subs. Because, I've had something sitting at Postcards from... for 25 days, and since they've gone to quarterly publishing rather than monthly, they have slowed considerably, but this isn't yet reflected in the stats.

Good luck.


Posts: 269 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brad R Torgersen
Member
Member # 8211

 - posted      Profile for Brad R Torgersen   Email Brad R Torgersen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Magazines of Fantasy & Science Fiction is scary fast.

I sorta wish more magazines were like it.

If I am gonna get a no-go, I'd rather it happen quickly, than take months.


Posts: 386 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2