Archive | February, 2018

What to do if you aren’t making sales

27 Feb

I had a good January. I sold 1 story and had another picked up but there’s no money in it.
However you look at that, it’s 2 more publication credits.

Since then, I’ve had no further pick-ups or sales.

I’ve had a few nearlys, I was shortlisted and fell before the final hurdle, and I had one especially nice rejection on a piece I had actually lost all hope in anyone ever liking or buying. But I’ve made no sales.

So what does a writer do if they’ve not made any sales recently?

Don’t fall into a depression thinking all editors hate you & that you’ll never make a sale again. I’ve said before in previous pieces on rejection, the odds are MASSIVELY against you. Accept that fact. You tried. Yoda may say “there is no try, only do” but fuck him, he’s a puppet.

Support friends in your genre who are selling, congratulate them, read their work to see why they sold and you didn’t. Them selling in your genre shows the opportunities are there.

Take the time to read what the places you are submitting to are putting out. This shows you what their sweet spot is.  Obviously don’t then just rip off what you read for your next submission. Break down what you read & see where you can improve upon it.

Edit and proof stories you’ve already written. Any chance to tighten work you already created should be seized upon, you are only improving a story this way.

Take a break! No, seriously! Constantly writing and submitting can stress you out. Have a few days off, a week even. You don’t have to be submitting every day, and it’s not healthy to be constantly pushing yourself without any respite. Not good physically or mentally.

Get more exercise. Try to go for a short walk every day, get the blood going, get yourself in the world, see what’s happening in reality.

Watch a movie. It doesn’t matter if it’s the latest blockbuster release or something over 30 years old you’ve seen a dozen times or more.

The bottom line is this. Don’t dwell on the fact you aren’t selling. If you are putting your best work out there, you can’t do any more. It’s just other people’s choices and opinions. One day they might be looking for work about dragons who make sandwiches, other days they might be looking for horses who save kingdoms. (Yes, both of these are stories out in submission right now)

Whatever you do, make it something positive that helps you. Support your friends, read other stuff, re-read your own. Or just take a break.

If selling stories was easy, everyone would be doing it. You are not alone, we’re all in the same boat.


My Archive

15 Feb

Writers who follow me on social media will see that I’ve been doing a lot of story submissions recently. And almost all of them have been unique titles, not currently out to other markets.

So how I am I able to have so many different things out to different places at once?

SIMPLE. I have an archive.

It’s all the stories I’ve written since 2014. All filed by year, and length.

When I’m approaching a new market, I look at what they want, and what length they want. I’ve then got folders for flash (1000 words or less) and longer material (anything over 1000 words) in each years folder for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Anything I’ve already written this year is currently just in one folder, but I’m generally not likely to submit things I wrote this year yet.

In total I have 394 completed stories that I can select from.

What I call my archive.

Obviously, these are backed up in several places to negate the risk of losing them for any reason.
But this is how I am so easily able to submit new work whenever I want.

What’s currently in submission in 2018 #2

13 Feb
As the last one was in January I thought I’d update you.
What’s currently out in submission?
Even Stevens (subbed to AE)
Junkie (subbed to Blind Spot)
A Head Of Steam (subbed to Edge Onlines Fantastic Trains)
Summerland (subbed to Occult Detective Quarterly)
I Want Candy [subbed to Gathering Storm]
Witch Hunt (subbed to Weirdbook) [at their request]
Even Stevens [Subbed to Outlook Springs]
My Kingdom [subbed to Spring Song Press]
Hell, Or Hemel Hempstead [subbed to Flash Fiction Magazine]
The Dragon Readers [subbed to The Arcanist]
Shots Of Repatriated Bastard [subbed to Spectacle]
Not According To Design [Subbed to Mythic]
Unlucky For Some [subbed to Asimov’s Science Fiction]
Man Overboard [subbed to James Gunn’s Ad Astra]
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) [subbed to Kaleidotrope]
Junkie [subbed to Paper Dog Books]
Where’s The Dog? [subbed to Spark]
Overground [subbed to Abyss & Apex]
Photo Sympathy [subbed to Electric Spec]
The Lanyards [subbed to GigaNotoSaurus]
Ballroom [subbed to The Future Fire]
Two Little Birds [subbed to Shimmer]
Cell 115 [subbed to Capricous]
Who’s Got The Button? [Subbed to Hypnos Magazine]
A Fine Body [subbed to Cohesion Press SNAFU anthology]
The Safety Of Checkpoints [subbed to Midnight Hour]
The Witch In The Fog [subbed to Midnight Hour]
The Concentration Camp [subbed to Strange Horizons]
Notepad And Pencil [subbed to Nature; Futures]
Mother Knows Best [subbed to Analog]
Method One [subbed to Escape Pod]
Acceptances: 1, The Doomsday Machine Retires [Third Flatiron, Monstrosities Anthology]
Rejections:- Too many to mention.
31 stories now out there.

2018 Award Eligibility

7 Feb

I’m going to start this post now (I know it’s only February!) so it’s easy to find things that were published this year.

Everything listed below will be Nebula & Hugo eligible in the short story category:-

Feb:- “An Improper State Of Mind” from the Mind Candy Anthology:-

Mar:- “The Doomsday Machine Retires” from the Monstrosities Anthology:-

Mar:- “Muse” from the Cat Tails – War Zone Anthology:-

cat tails cover

Jul:- “Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” from Insignia Volume 5:-

vol 5 cover

Sept:-“Not According To Design” from Mythic Magazine #7:-

mythic#7 cover

Nov:- “The Girl On Platform Two” in Jouth Anthology from Blaster Books.

Continue reading


6 Feb
As a writer, it might surprise some of you to know that not only do I suffer from Imposter Syndrome, I also have horrible bouts of self doubt and crippling depression.
Then I’ll say stupid things on twitter.
They almost always aren’t true, it’s merely paranoia, self-doubt and the black dog whispering in my ear.
Then you have people who see you doing this, and try to set the world to rights.
The world has lovely people in it. They want to help you. Let them.
Depression is a liar. Don’t listen to it.