View Full Version : How do you keep track of submissions?

04-19-2011, 01:12 PM
Anyone use any free submission tracking software or websites? Or what are other ways of doing it?


04-19-2011, 01:36 PM
I use a simple spreadsheet. Others might like something more advanced but a spreadsheet works for me.

04-19-2011, 02:12 PM
Aye, Excel is enough for me. It's not like I'm churning out book after book anyway (I wish). It's easy enough to keep track of the one or two I usually have on submission at once.

Linda Adams
04-19-2011, 02:12 PM
I use a combination of two things:

Post Its with the name of the agent and what they require on them (i.e., eQuery, Synopsis). Then I just rearrange the Post Its into whatever order I want, such as agents who all want the same thing.

Every submission gets noted on an idea map/mind map, handwritten. I don't use spreadsheets or lists--I don't do sequential really well so lists are diffcult for me to work with.

04-19-2011, 02:24 PM
I've tried a bunch of submisssion software, but I keep going back to pencil and paper. It's easier. I have a template clipped from Writer's Market about twenty years ago, and I just keep making copies when I start to run out of pages.

04-19-2011, 02:28 PM
I have a book. Each thing I submit gets a page and I note submissions/responses on that page. I have a separate book ready for novels, which I'll format a bit differently.

04-19-2011, 03:02 PM
Generally I use a spreadsheet as well.

But I also find Duotrope.com quite handy for poems and short stories, and any submissions you add on there go into their statistics for each market.
It's nice to know you're adding to information that can help fellow writers.

04-19-2011, 03:18 PM
Excel spreadsheet.

04-19-2011, 03:45 PM
I write it down on paper, a list for each book, with lines for who it was sent to, when, and then if I got a response/request

Rhoda Nightingale
04-19-2011, 04:25 PM
I keep a list in Word.

04-19-2011, 04:26 PM
Excel spreadsheet with a different tab for each book.

04-19-2011, 04:28 PM
I use plain old Word docs, one for short stories, one each for novels.

I also have a handwritten list of what story is out where and when it was subbed, which hangs next to the computer. I have seven in circulation at the moment, so I tend to forget what's where and whether I need to nudge yet.

Spreadsheets work fine, too.

I've never cared for online tracking systems. I like my own idiosyncratic set-up. But the only thing that matters is that YOUR tracking system makes sense to you and keeps you on track.

04-19-2011, 04:45 PM
Yellow legal tablet and a pen

04-19-2011, 04:50 PM
I keep a list.

04-19-2011, 04:58 PM
I use a Quattro Pro 10 spreadsheet for current submissions and a Word Perfect document to keep track of where I've sent things in the past so that I don't send them to the same place twice.

04-19-2011, 05:10 PM
And here I thought I was the only one who uses the old method of paper and pen spreadsheet w/ ms. title, sent to whom, when, and date of response. I make a copy of each sheet as I fill it with submissions. It's a habit I started eleven years ago and can't quit.

04-19-2011, 05:12 PM
I wrote a database for mine whilst procrastinating.

It even tells me who best to sub to next :)

04-19-2011, 07:44 PM
I use Sonar, it's free from spacejock.com. Same person who wrote yWriter.

04-29-2011, 01:49 AM
I usually just make a note on an index card. At least, I did when I was submitting. LOL

05-09-2011, 06:51 PM
Duotrope.com plus I keep a notepad note in the folder for each sub on my PC with a reminder of the date a response shouldbe due by.

05-09-2011, 08:38 PM
I bit the bullet and started using Excel about six weeks ago. I still prefer pen and paper, but after decades, it was just getting too unwieldy. I use the Google Docs Excel template. This gives me the same file online and off.

05-09-2011, 08:46 PM
I too am an excel spreadsheet user. It's simple. It works.

06-21-2011, 05:42 AM
I have to agree with all the others who mentioned Excel or any other kinds of spreadsheets. Think of all the info you want to track and put that as each header. The key is to remember to always keep it updated! For example, the minute you receive a rejection letter, add that info to the spreadsheet.

06-21-2011, 06:47 AM
Excel here, too. I have one worksheet for submissions and another for agent names and pertinent information about each agent as I research them.

Susan Littlefield
06-21-2011, 07:11 AM
I use Excel and/or Word spreadsheets for tracking. Works great!

05-24-2012, 01:56 AM
I just created and printed a chart with five columns: Story Name, Sent to, Date Sent, Date of Response, Response.

They are clipped in a three-hole pocket folder. I keep a changing list of stories that need to be resent too.

06-05-2012, 06:46 PM
I keep a separate file of the emails I've sent out. Haven't started sending paper copies yet.

06-05-2012, 06:55 PM
I sub mostly short stories, and use excel. I use the title of each story as the header, and beneath the title goes the name of the anthology or publisher to which I submitted. Highlight the square in red for a rejection and add the name of the next place underneath when I re-sub. Once it sells, I copy the entire thing onto the next page, where it also gets a line for sale price, when it gets paid, what rights I have sold, and when they revert. Once rights revert to me, or if a story has not sold, it ALSO goes into a new page of my spreadsheet to track content, genre, and rights available so that I can see what finished stories I have available to sub at a glance.

06-05-2012, 10:14 PM


06-05-2012, 10:35 PM
Thread resurrections. gotta love 'em.

When I was a short story writer and always had ten or thirty envelopes out there (ahh, big envelopes with that fold crease in the center...nostalgia break) I made a pen and grid-paper chart, with magazines in prestige/pay order along one axis, story first word along the other, and a little "/" at submission that turned into an "X" at rejection.

In addition, I had a 3x5 index card box where each magazine got its own card. I'd write the story names on it, the sub date, the return date, and any name of an editor who'd signed a personal rejection, other notes on mag.

This was back in the days before I had spreadsheet software, so it was my only option.

I did novel queries five years back snail mail, and all I did was save all cover letters in a doc and imbedded a comment when I got a rejection. This time, email only, so I'll just make a Word doc: agent, agency, date sent, response (if any).

06-14-2012, 08:39 AM
Word and Excel

06-14-2012, 09:58 PM
I use a table in Word/Open Office Writer. At the moment I have one unwieldy document with all my short stories and notes about longer projects that I'm working on, or might work on again in the future.

For each short story, I compile a list of possible markets, and put them in order of preference before I start sending the story out. The list always changes, but the idea is that when the story comes back I know right away where to send it next.

I also use Duotrope for what's already been sent out, but I like having the market list for future subs on hand. I should probably switch to using a spreadsheet, but I like the look of the tables in Word much better.

06-15-2012, 08:41 PM
I use excel. I just listed them chronologically, a new line for each new submission, but that didn't help me keep track by story.

I found a template that someone here had created. I forget who. But it was pretty nice and I use that. I can quickly see by story where I sent it and where each is.

I wonder if you do a search for excel or story tracker or submission tracker if you could find it.

01-27-2013, 07:10 AM
Yup, Excel with columns for replies and other info

01-28-2013, 12:50 AM
I have a folder for each project with an Excel spreadsheet in it to keep track of who, what, where, and why. That way, I can keep a hardcopy of the query letter and any rejections in one place.

01-28-2013, 11:06 AM
I personally think simple is best. Word is the way to go for me.

06-18-2013, 12:59 PM
This post has been surprisingly helpful. Something I never considered previously.

09-27-2013, 04:18 PM
I use a notebook, MS Outlook (tasks) and QueryTracker. Overkill I know LOL

09-27-2013, 05:58 PM
I use a notebook, MS Outlook (tasks) and QueryTracker. Overkill I know LOL

Heh. I have a mysql database with a hand-built web-based perl front end. And an excel spreadsheet for backup. That's overkill. :)

09-27-2013, 10:52 PM
I use Story Tracker for iPad and LOVE it. The free version is truly just a sample so you can see how it works. The full was inexpensive, however, it keeps track of unlimited amounts of subs, markets, and stories. And it sends me reminders. Yes.

09-28-2013, 12:12 AM
I used Excel and Querytracker for agency subs for a while, but QT was useless for UK agents. Now I stick with Excel, and a plain old Google Docs document when I'm too lazy for spreadsheets.

Heh. I have a mysql database with a hand-built web-based perl front end. And an excel spreadsheet for backup. That's overkill. :)

That's beautiful. I'm in awe.

01-11-2014, 01:20 AM
I have been keeping mine on paper like so:
Agent name, agency, and submission guidelines
if interested will hear back-such and such date

Then once I receive a response I tick off names with different colored highlighters. Orange for "No's" (I picked orange because its bright and would draw my attention quickly) blue for "No response"(if past response date, or two months) green for "yes"(green means go :)

01-11-2014, 01:52 AM
I gave submission grinder (http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/) a try the other day and it looks pretty decent, will definitely try to use it for short stories.

06-05-2014, 12:14 AM
I am only just stepping out with my first novel which I began submitting last month and so far, just have a word document with the agents I have sent to, what I sent, and when. Working pretty well so far but then I only have a list of eight at the moment.

06-20-2014, 01:57 AM
I've tried a bunch of submisssion software, but I keep going back to pencil and paper. It's easier. I have a template clipped from Writer's Market about twenty years ago, and I just keep making copies when I start to run out of pages.

I like this.

02-09-2015, 07:38 PM
selfmade database? o_O wow!!
Like a lot of people above, I made an excel spreadsheet for agent research and submission/reception dates. But for short stories I actually really like submittable's GUI (omg, does anyone even say that anymore?). You can tab away from rejections for your "active" window. It's my optimism window:)

10-04-2015, 01:14 PM
I use a submissions manager on iPad called Story Tracker. it's cheap and awesome. Since I do a lit of freelance writing, it helps with keeping track of publication dates and payments too. It was the 2nd app I downloaded on the new pad.