Tracking Submissions: A New Approach

I’ve been seriously writing and submitting since April of 2009, and was briefly using the submission tracker at Duotrope’s Digest to track my work. But as much as I love Duotrope, their particular tracker didn’t work for me (they’re still one of my favorite places to find submission listings, though). So I switched to a spreadsheet of my own design, which worked find for quite a while. But now, 2.5 years later, it’s just not working for me anymore. It was fine back then, but I need something new.

Over at the Speakeasy writer’s forum, I put up a post asking for suggestions, and someone suggested I try Sonar3, a submission tracking software. Since it’s a free program, I decided to give it a whirl. For the past two weeks, I’ve been updating my market listings and adding them to the software, and using it to track my poems.

So far, I mostly like what I’ve experienced, though it’s not completely ideal. But the interface (though sparse) is intuitive and user-friendly. Manually entering all of my market entries has been a bit tedious, but not all that bad. It’s easy for me to see which poems are out for submission and which are waiting to go to a journal.

The only major downside is that it assumes I’m submitting to journals and not contests. When I was working with my spreadsheet, I had a separate page for journals and a separate page for contests. Having those markets on two different lists worked well for me. Sonar3 puts all the markets in one long list. My workaround is to label contest listing with [CONTEST] so they’re grouped in order, but then I still have to go and manually delete them so they don’t sit in the system forever. Really, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s not quite as efficient as I’d like.

Minor drawbacks aside, this is the best new system I’ve found so far. The other option is to redesign my spreadsheet and create something of my own, but so far, Sonar3 seems to be working well enough, so I think I’ll stay with it for a while.

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3 thoughts on “Tracking Submissions: A New Approach

  1. If you’re using WritersDB.com for submission tracking, you can enter a submission deadline for any market listing—very useful for contests. Then, when searching your own market listings (to select the next place to send a manuscript), you can limit the search to contests with a deadline occurring in the near future.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I track my submissions in a Google docs spreadsheet, and it’s definitely lacking in elegance. I’m going to check out Sonar3. Maybe a new tracking method will help get me back in the habit of actually submitting. :)

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