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FTJoshua
11-14-2006, 10:07 PM
Hi, I'm new to the boards --

Has anyone seen the new Writer's Market online? I have lost every notation of submission on every MS I have entered! My "notes" are still there, but there is no date of submission, no date of acceptance or rejection...I have lost all record of what publisher/agent I have submitted to and which ones I have not.

Has anyone else seen this or had this problem? I am absolutey stunned. I've sent an email to WM, and hope like hell this can be fixed somehow.

And, Hi.
Sorry to start off like this.
~ T

Freckles
11-14-2006, 10:45 PM
I'm still old-school and like to buy the hard copy. I love the smell of the pages...I know, I'm weird like that.

Nickie
11-14-2006, 11:29 PM
Sorry to hear about your problem - can't help you there. But anyway, welcome to AW!


Nickie

Scarlett_156
11-15-2006, 03:12 AM
Hello there! :)

poetinahat
11-15-2006, 03:24 AM
Welcome, Josh! I hope you find the answer to this and many other important questions on the next episode of AW Cooler.

K1P1
11-15-2006, 04:27 AM
Hi Joshua. Welcome to AW. I haven't had anything to do with Writers Market, so can't help you, but I'm sure someone here will respond.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-15-2006, 05:40 AM
Howdy, Joshua! Welcome to AW.

Bummer about the WM deal... I'm afraid I'm a luddite, too, and prefer the hard copy! But good luck!

san_remo_ave
11-15-2006, 06:05 AM
FTJoshua,

Welcome to AW!

Kudra
11-15-2006, 11:25 AM
Hey Josh,

Welcome to the cooler. Bummer about the WM thing. I was always paranoid about something like that happening, that I'd forget to renew my subscription or something and would never be able to access my submissions and such.

Hope it works out for ya soon.

JennaGlatzer
11-15-2006, 01:52 PM
Oh my gosh. I haven't logged on to WM in a while... this prompted me to, and yep! All my dates are gone. Not tragic for me because it's been a long time since I've recorded anything there, but still uncool. I hope this is a temporary problem and they'll put back the data if they hear complaints about it!

I'm going to move this over to the AW Roundtable board, I think... Newbies is meant to just be a place for introductions.

(And hi, by the way!)

FTJoshua
11-15-2006, 10:57 PM
Thanks, everyone, I'm glad to be here. I've been poring over the boards for two days now. It sounds like a good group.

No response yet from WM about my problem. I've started an Excel sheet, trying to figure who got sent what, when. WM tracked when you sent a query, an MS, when you got a response, and left a space for your own notes. My notes are safe and sound, the dates are not. So I'm using notes, and email and snail rejections to piece together who I've sent to already.

Which brings me to the next point - armed with a legitmate excuse, should I re-query some of the agents/publishers on my list with my brand-new shiny query that is much better than the old one? I've read elsewhere on the boards that it's okay provided I change the title.
Thanks, everyone!

Jaycinth
11-16-2006, 12:18 AM
Yup. I didn't think about it when they sent me the e-mail. BUt yep. All my dates are gone. Yes they have a glitzy new look, but they used to have it arranged in such a way that it was useful to writers. Now it looks like they're making it useful for dilettantes.

I want my Submission Tracker back. I want my dates.
Yes, I foolishly stopped using a paper record and I stopped putting the stuff on my spread sheet as soon as I discovered WM on line. I always figured I'd print out the tracker when I decided to let my subscription run out.

So, anyway, I e-mailed them and ranted.
Now I have to go home and sort through piles of submission notes, rejection slips, et al just to figure out who had what and when they rejected it.

Grumble grumble

FTJoshua
11-16-2006, 02:30 AM
Yup. I didn't think about it when they sent me the e-mail. BUt yep. All my dates are gone. Yes they have a glitzy new look, but they used to have it arranged in such a way that it was useful to writers. Now it looks like they're making it useful for dilettantes.

Well, I am sorry you're having the same experience, but I am relieved to know I'm not the only one who a) used the online edition and b) feels a little peeved at the new site. I only hope others who use it are flooding their email with complaints, and that they somehow backed up all that data before making the switch.

Thanks for sharing - misey loves and all that cal.

Susie
11-16-2006, 04:22 AM
Hi, Joshua, :welcome: to the cooler and sorry you've had that problem. Sure hope it gets fixed soon.

theengel
11-16-2006, 06:04 AM
AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

I hate the new market. Usually, updates like that are for INCREASED useablility and functionality. But they lost big time. It's awful, and the submission tracker stinks. Like you said...all the dates and notations disappeared.

Let's hope they're not done with it yet and that they'll have it back before long.

BTW, it looks like they're getting ready to add a board.

Also, did you notice they don't have any 'feedback' buttons? It's like they're trying to get rid of subscribers. hmmmm.

FTJoshua
11-17-2006, 03:31 AM
I did notice there were no feedback buttons in fact, and I also noticed there were no phone numbers, at least not that I could find.

Here's to hoping they can fix it...

JohnB1988
11-17-2006, 04:43 AM
They made a big deal about the change, but it was only a “Face-lift” same old mostly outdated information and a serious lack of filters when searching. You can pull up the name of a lot of agents only to discover that many of them don’t accept unpublished authors.

One amusing joke. A publisher they list: “Atlas Variety Publishing” a new publisher that promises to soon have books printed, hasn’t updated it’s website in well over two years. Obviously they’ve moved on to some other line of work and it’s just an orphan site. But Writer’s market hasn’t caught onto it yet.

theengel
11-17-2006, 07:07 PM
In all fairness, Writer's Market relies on the publishers and agents to update their information. So you use the 'only recently updated' filter.

But what ticks me off is that it wasn't even a face lift. They actually took away a lot of the functionality...well, on the part of their submission tracker anyway.

Does anyone know of an alternative to Writer's Market.com? My subscription ends this month and I'm questioning whether or not to renew.

FTJoshua
11-19-2006, 09:13 AM
Okay, the e-mails to Writer's Market paid off somewhat. I was emailed an excel document containing all of my information, and was assured (and proven by the document) that they did back up all the information before the face-lift. I was also asked if I wanted to answer some questions on the phone or over email about further updates to the site, to which I said yes. It sounds as though they are going to be fixing at least some of the problems with the new layout.

So they've regained my trust for the moment. It sounds like not everyone used the tracking features like I did, and I certainly won't be relying on theirs from now on even if the features are updated. At least they were responsive and didn't lose all the information.

JennaGlatzer
11-19-2006, 09:39 AM
I'm so glad to hear that!

theengel
11-19-2006, 06:51 PM
All this got me thinking. Why don't I put together my own submission tracker? I started with the website www.mymanuscripts.com (http://www.mymanuscripts.com).

Anyone want to collaborate (does anyone know how to code?) I'm going with PHP and MySQL. right now I've got a form to fill in publisher info at http://mymanuscripts.com/test1.php. There's a lot of work to do still.

I want to make it so that all the info a user puts in there can be easily downloaded into an excell file...maybe even make the excell file easy to use and change by the users.

Once I get it all together, I'll offer it as a free tool for any writer who signs up. If anyone wants to help, that would be really cool.

Also, if anyone can think of anything that writersmarket was missing (I've got all kinds of ideas bouncing in my head right now) then why don't you post them here and we'll make this thing something that we would all like.

Sassenach
11-19-2006, 08:39 PM
I've developed my own submission tracker, using the time-tested technology of paper and pen. Unless one is making dozens of submissions, it works fine.

RainbowDragon
11-19-2006, 09:07 PM
Hopefully they'll put it back; I use an offline spreadsheet though, for just that reason. Only trust online storage as a backup.

Kudra
11-19-2006, 09:55 PM
Yeah, I didn't trust them for the same reason. Mostly, I was worried that my subscription would expire, I wouldn't want to renew and I'd lose my submissions. That's pretty much what happened. Except that I had my submission info on my computer.

Of course, now if I lose it, it'll be my fault.

Freckles
11-19-2006, 10:38 PM
I've developed my own submission tracker, using the time-tested technology of paper and pen. Unless one is making dozens of submissions, it works fine.

Great minds must think alike. I started to feel stupid reading this thread and everyone talking about their technologically savvy submission tracker system. Then I looked over at my desk and saw my small notebook and pen. My method? I write down three things: The publication I'm sending to, the title of the piece and the date of submission.

Is that too archaic?

theengel
11-20-2006, 01:28 AM
The point of all this software is to make things easier. If it would make things difficult for you, then a pen and paper is better. I, however, know that I would loose anything I wrote down. The only time I know I can find something is when it's on my trusty computer.

When you combine it with software, it makes it even better...and it can do certain things that a paper and pencil can't do. For example, it can remind you to call an agent back at a certain time. But then, if you're in a good habit of checking your notes, this little bell is useless.

The site I'm trying to build will also do something else. Let's say you send your manuscript (or query) to an agent or publisher and get your form rejection a month later.

Then you choose another publisher from your list, click on another button, and your new query is ready to print out again with the new publisher's info in the right places.

Maybe it will keep track of your bio etc.

SpookyWriter
11-20-2006, 02:50 AM
Welcome Josh...

I use an excel spreadsheet for each submission which is kept in a separate folder under a parent directory. Once a month or so, I back up (zip) everything to two different internet storage locations. I also do this with my original works in case the computer crashes.

jenfreedom
11-20-2006, 07:48 AM
I don't love the new look of Writers Market (red and tannish egad). But I lucked out because I never kept my submissions on there. I considered it and even put one query on the tracker but I'm paranoid (and anal) about records and organization. I keep email records which works well if you only send stuff by email.

I also use the Working Writer software. I got it from http://dolphinsoftware.bc.ca/index.html

I hope it's ok to post a link to a product on this forum. I tried the few query trackers out there and for the cheap cost the Working Writer offered the best support and a nice simple layout. Chris who created the software emails you back in far less than a day if you have questions and works with you until the problem is solved. Plus it has auto backup. I save the backups a second time just to be very safe. If you can dig on, or deal with the rather strange assortment of screen images the program has it's a great deal.

I don't like written records because I send out way too many bids and queries. I could have made an excel tracker I guess but excel has flaked on me before and I've lost important info.

Take care & good luck getting WM records back.
~ Jennifer

Kudra
11-20-2006, 10:22 AM
I've tried paper and pen, but for me, it doesn't work. For one, I'm a geek. I also have a habit of losing paper. Then, I'd never remember to fill it in. And mostly because I like the added functionality that software gives, like being able to search for specific items.

For instance, if I needed to know how many queries I've sent to a certain publication this year and on what topics, I wouldn't have to go through pages of submission notes. Instead, I'd just search my submission tracker. Things like that. And of course, the automatic reminder. I love that. Once I've sent something, I don't have to worry about following up, etc, until I get the reminder. I've also set it up to remind me of outstanding payments, getting copies, etc.

I use the SAMM Submission Tracker. It's free, and you'll probably come up with the link if you Google it.

theengel
11-20-2006, 10:22 PM
OK...good things in a submission tracker (for those who would rather use software):


easy searching
reminders (for payment and deadlines)
at-a-glance views of active manuscripts
automated query/cover letter printing
free/low cost
easy to backup to your own computer

can anyone add to this list?

justpat
05-23-2007, 05:44 PM
Take a look at QueryTracker.net, it free and easy to use.

Jamesaritchie
05-23-2007, 06:35 PM
Pen and paper works best for me. But a notebook filled with submission forms, not random paper. If you could lose this, you could lose an elephant in your own kitchen.

As for electronic files, whether it's with WD or not, back up, then back up again.

justpat
05-23-2007, 06:43 PM
But by using just paper and pen you're missing out of some very powerful tools. Such as: QueryTracker keeps statistics of every query created, so you can pick an agent and see how many queries she was sent this month, how many did she reject. What were the genres of the ones she rejected. You can even read the other letters if the author marks it as public. Wouldn't you like to see the last few query letters which an agent liked? Now you can.

Were the accepted letters via snail mail or e-mail? What is the average response time for an agent.

And if all that doesn't convince you, how would you like to print the envelopes for your query (outgoing and sase) with a single click.

There is so much we can do with enough data to take some of the guess work out of querying.

Jack Nog
05-23-2007, 06:55 PM
I've got to agree with James.

I actually have three USB drives. One that is always on my key chain that is my main. This one is waterproof and can be pounded on by a hammer and still work supposedly.
Every three days, I set a schedule to back this up onto the other two. One I keep at work in a locked drawer. The other at home in a file cabinet.

These carry all my works etc. Every three months I copy everything to a CD and put it in safe place.

On top of that, any submissions, rejections etc and current revisions go into a notebook that I carry around with me most places. One, it's a good idea to have a hard copy. Second, all of those rejections are a good reminder to keep writing. Third, if an EMP goes off and all electronics are destroyed, I know what the hell I'm doing.

I'm a bit paranoid...but I won't lose anything.

veinglory
05-23-2007, 08:46 PM
As long as you say "ping" every time you open it and 'pa-dong" when you close it, it's got everything.

MidnightMuse
05-23-2007, 08:49 PM
I simply slip a blue piece of paper in my notebook, about every 10 pages or so - with the words Fatal Error written on it. Makes me feel all technological :D

justpat
05-23-2007, 09:31 PM
Well, good luck to you. When in a competitive business (as writing certainly is) you need to take advantage of every edge you can get. Personally, I don't see why anyone would pass up a bunch of free information.

Tirjasdyn
05-23-2007, 11:10 PM
I use Sonar: Http://spacejock.com

Free, easy and installs to a thumb drive.

veinglory
05-23-2007, 11:43 PM
Who isn't taking advanatge of free information?

It is important not to mistake style for content. I know exactly where I submitted and what happened. There is nothing else to know.

justpat
05-23-2007, 11:55 PM
Who isn't taking advanatge of free information?

It is important not to mistake style for content. I know exactly where I submitted and what happened. There is nothing else to know.

But there is. Imagine that you could know every query letter which a certain agent received this month, and what she thought about each one. Don't you think that could give you an edge? With this kind of information, formatted correctly, we could know more about what that agent likes than the agent herself even realizes.

Thats the power behind Query Tracker. Right now, you only know what you're doing. With Query Tracker we can pool together the data of every member; and there's power in numbers.

With these statistics we can learn if an agent accepts more email or snail-mail queries. If she accepts more of a certain genre, or even style of query letter.

With this info, you can greatly reduce the number of query letters you have to send out.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of flying blind. This industry needs to change, and if the agents aren't going to do it, then its up to us.

Jamesaritchie
05-24-2007, 01:18 AM
But by using just paper and pen you're missing out of some very powerful tools. Such as: QueryTracker keeps statistics of every query created, so you can pick an agent and see how many queries she was sent this month, how many did she reject. What were the genres of the ones she rejected. You can even read the other letters if the author marks it as public. Wouldn't you like to see the last few query letters which an agent liked? Now you can.

Were the accepted letters via snail mail or e-mail? What is the average response time for an agent.

And if all that doesn't convince you, how would you like to print the envelopes for your query (outgoing and sase) with a single click.

There is so much we can do with enough data to take some of the guess work out of querying.


Honestly, not one thing you mention here has any value to me at all. I think, in fact, that this is the kind of information that causes writers to lose out, rather than find a way in. Information is not automatically good or helpful, and trying to decide what to send and agent by looking at stats like this is not, in my opinion, and from my experience, a very sound way of getting the job done.

This kind of data is not what takes the guesswork out of querying. The thing is this. I don't want to know how many queries an agent received, or how many she rejected. Such numbers have no meaning at all. I certainly don't care about which genres she rejected, or which she accepted. Again, meaningless stats.

Just the agent has rejected 500 novels of one type, and accepted 500 of another type does not mean you're any likelier to place one over the other.

The things you need to know don't come from such stats. You need to know what the agent says, and what top, current editors are saying. You need to find and read some of the top books the agent has actually sold, and you have to find and read some of the top novels editors have bought.

Such stats always leave out the issue of quality, and without this, stats have no meaning.

The one thing I've never had any trouble doing is landing an agent or an editor, and I think it's largely because I never, ever look at the left side of the ledger. It's the right side of the ledger that matters.

How many queries and agent accepts of rejects doesn't matter. How many novels an agent accepts or rejects doesn't matter. How many of each they receive doesn't matter.

I'm all for knowing as much as possible, if the information is useful. But as a writer, the information that opens doors for me always comes form the other side of the ledger. I learn everything I need to know about an agent by listening to what she actually says, and by reading some of the top novels she's actually sold to publishers.

It's really no different than selling a short story to a magazine. Acceptance and rejection stats are meaningless. Listen to the editor, read enough issues of his magazine, and if you still can't land that editor, it's a talent problem, not an information problem.

justpat
05-24-2007, 03:03 AM
I'm not saying Query Tracker will replace all other research. Writers will still have to do their homework, that's for certain. But this is additional information which was never before available.

As for the old pen and pencil method... For my day job I am a computer programmer working for a company that automates factories. It seems every time we do a new project there is some old codger there who fights the automation and says the old ways are just fine. But management, who is trying to compete with the guy down the street who is automated, knows better, because they simply can't keep up. Now, I can hate technology and computers just as much as the next guy. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw my computer out a window. But the truth is undeniable; when we're done at a factory, production will be at least double of what it was before. And the old codger? He had to learn to adapt to the modern world, or step aside.

Birol
05-24-2007, 03:22 AM
Justpat, I think it's awesome that you took the time and energy to design a tracking tool and are willing to share it with other writers, but I, for one, am a little leery about my data being used to compile stats. While there are those here will will gladly bear witness to my over-zealous love of stats, I like to know when I'm contributing data for statistical compilation and what data I'm contributing. The fact that you've designed the software makes me think that you would have greater access to the data than I might be comfortable with.

This is not an individual gripe against Query Tracker; I also didn't like how Writer's Market used their tracking software to glean new markets for their database, either. It's just one of the privacy trade-offs we all need to be a little more aware of in this technological age and a decision that we each must make for ourselves about when we wish to sacrifice privacy for service and when we do not wish to do so.

Again, I think it's very generous of you to over a tracking software free to those who want to take advantage of it.

Another thing you might want to be aware of is, as individuals, all of us think a little differently and have different priorities when it comes what we track and how we track it. Your tracking software may not serve everyone else's needs or preferences as well as it serves yours.

Please respect each individual's right to evaluate and choose what works best for them.

Birol
05-24-2007, 03:31 AM
As for the old pen and pencil method... For my day job I am a computer programmer working for a company that automates factories. It seems every time we do a new project there is some old codger there who fights the automation and says the old ways are just fine. But management, who is trying to compete with the guy down the street who is automated, knows better, because they simply can't keep up. Now, I can hate technology and computers just as much as the next guy. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw my computer out a window. But the truth is undeniable; when we're done at a factory, production will be at least double of what it was before. And the old codger? He had to learn to adapt to the modern world, or step aside.

The old codger isn't fighting against technology. He's fighting for his job. If the machinery can do twice as much work in the same amount of time, the factory will only need to pay half as many people. Unless the factory is unionized, who are they going to keep? The young kid with the technological knowledge who's only earning 3/4ths what the old codger is and has not yet earned as many of the more expensive benefits and who is likely to stay at the same job for another 20 years or the old codger who is costs them more in health insurance, benefits, and salary and who is planning on retiring in 3 years anyway?

SpiderGal
05-24-2007, 05:37 AM
Just curious: Does this query tracker have a "reminder" function?

eta: uh, I can't locate a download link.

justpat
05-24-2007, 08:08 AM
Just curious: Does this query tracker have a "reminder" function?

eta: uh, I can't locate a download link.
Funny you should ask. I'm actually working on adding reminders right now, and should have it done in a few days. So if you have any special requests, now is the time to ask.

There is no download link, its an online service. Just create an account and you're done.

justpat
05-24-2007, 08:17 AM
Justpat, I think it's awesome that you took the time and energy to design a tracking tool and are willing to share it with other writers, but I, for one, am a little leery about my data being used to compile stats. While there are those here will will gladly bear witness to my over-zealous love of stats, I like to know when I'm contributing data for statistical compilation and what data I'm contributing. The fact that you've designed the software makes me think that you would have greater access to the data than I might be comfortable with.

This is not an individual gripe against Query Tracker; I also didn't like how Writer's Market used their tracking software to glean new markets for their database, either. It's just one of the privacy trade-offs we all need to be a little more aware of in this technological age and a decision that we each must make for ourselves about when we wish to sacrifice privacy for service and when we do not wish to do so.

Again, I think it's very generous of you to over a tracking software free to those who want to take advantage of it.

Another thing you might want to be aware of is, as individuals, all of us think a little differently and have different priorities when it comes what we track and how we track it. Your tracking software may not serve everyone else's needs or preferences as well as it serves yours.

Please respect each individual's right to evaluate and choose what works best for them.

Birol, The information collected is just dates a query was mailed, when rejected, stuff like that, but I suppose some people may find even that a violation of privacy. Even if the statistics were not shared, this information would still have to be stored for the individual members use, so I have no idea how to avoid storing it.

Members also have the option to share their actual query letters (after removing any private information they don't want anyone else to see) but this is strictly optional.

Thanks for the feedback, and I'll certainly try to think of some way to solve the privacy issue, but I'm not real optimistic that I'll be able to.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-25-2007, 09:37 AM
My feeling is that, for most errant writers, this is not so much a cumulation of immediately useful information, but hoarding of data that might at some remote stretch have passing utility.

In that, it reminds me of the writers who avoid getting any writing done by reading endlessly in every spare moment, sometimes for years. I know someone who had to return her advance after she'd spent every penny (& then some) on "reference" & "background" materials, & was still reading when her deadline passed.

It's a great project, so long as you understand that the most devoted of your users may never actually get anything sold.