Best day so far of my publishing career! I got a signed rejection from Asimov’s. Best. Rejection. Ever.
For those of you not in the know, when you submit a story to magazine it enters what can only be affectionately refered to as the “slush pile”. All of the unsolicited manuscripts (and there are more than you can believe) are tossed in a pile which has to be sorted through and read by poor souls hoping against hope that something, anything, of value can be found. The vast majority of this sea is crap (including, in some cases, my submissions). But every once in a while, a gem is found in the slush pile and passed into the hands of an editor.
It turns out, this particular story of mine was just such a gem.
Normal slush rejections from Asimov’s get a form rejection letter. I have several of those to prove it. This rejection had my name in it and was signed by the editor. Now that’s something I don’t see every day! It’s not exactly publication, but it’s only 1 step below. And this isn’t from just any magazine, it’s from Asimov’s. One of the big 3. The first magazine I ever submitted a story to.
I’m sure (hoping) that one day I’ll look back at this post and laugh at myself. But in the meantime, I have great hopes for the story, as well as future submissions to Asimov’s. Lets hope that this one wasn’t a fluke, but the beginning of a trend.
Onward and upward!
Well, the story is officially in the mail!
Sara is dropping the envelope at the post office today. My story weighed in at around 5,700 words. I decided my first submission would be to Asimov’s Science Fiction. I think the subject matter would be a good fit for their magazine. I don’t necessarily think that the story is good enough for Asimov’s, but you never know if you don’t try. Maybe I am a prodigy!
Conventional wisdom says to find all of the markets that would be interested in your story and then submit to the highest paying one, working down to the lowest paying one. The obvious advantage being that when you do sell your story, you can be sure you got the most possible money for it. The disadvantage to this strategy is that the higher paying magazines are tougher to crack because they have more submissions to choose from and thus can demand higher quality. It also means that they take longer to respond. For me at least, this isn’t much of an issue since I am not in a hurry to make a sale, so I decided to go ahead with this route. The other downside of the better magazines is that they receive so many submissions they don’t have time for personalized rejections, which means my story won’t necessarily improve.
Nevertheless, I have a story out the door and that is a big moment. I’m sure there are lots of potential writers out there who never even make it so far. I am nervous for no reason that something will happen to it, like Sara will forget to buy and apply postage for the return envelope, even though I doubt this would happen. It’s like having someone else watch your baby.
No savoring this moment however, I’ve already started on my next story and I already feel like it will be much better. This will keep me occupied while the first story makes it’s rounds. I anticipate having several stories in circulation before I make my first sale.