Over at WritersMarket.com they have a database tool to help you track what you’ve submitted where, what its status is, and what’s on your to-do list, submissions-wise. It is integrated with their listings, which makes it particularly easy to track submissions to markets who list there.
I was a big fan of the tool before they upgraded it.
Now the tool is much less useful than it was before. Gone are quick ways to list information by status, to sort and filter the information in a number of ways. Nowhere I can find the ability to track submissions to markets not listed with them. The upgrade is cumbersome and unwieldy, and is frustrating enough that it is turning into yet another bit of resistance when I resolve to get more submissions out. It’s still better than anything else I’ve tried — if I had first experienced it in its current state I’d probably think it was the bee’s sneeze, but I just get so annoyed when there’s something I could do before that I can’t now.
Of course, what I really need is an intern. He or she could use whatever system they wanted to track things, as long as it was a system. I already have help with the printing and mailing, but every agent wants something slightly different, and now I’m not even sure which non-WritersMarket-listed agents I’ve already sent stuff to.
The problem with the intern idea: who? Who in their right mind has a few hours a week to comb through listings, create to-do lists for an easily-distracted guy and then cry in quiet anguish as that same muddled guy doesn’t get them done? It doesn’t help that I can’t afford to pay an intern anything. The only demographic I could come up with was someone hoping to break into the agenting biz and wanting to get a good look at things from the author’s side while learning about submissions, formatting, and slush. Of course, those people could learn more, make better contacts, and so forth, by being an intern to an actual agent. So, not much hope there.
I suppose there might be someone who wanted to become an agent who, upon reading my lyrical and transporting prose, after coming to identify with my characters so deeply it will affect their child-naming strategies in years to come, might want to be my intern to ride my coattails in my inevitable meteoric rise to greatness. Yeah, that could work.
Finding someone with the right combination of delusion and desperation, yet is still together enough to pull off the job, seems like a long shot. I’m probably stuck with software, which brings me (at last) to the point of this post. Are there any writers out there with a submission-tracking tool they like? I’d write one myself (how hard could it be?), but I’ve already got a word processor to maintain.
Unless it was integrated with the word processor…