Sunday, 18 May 2014

Third Sale to Pseudopod

Yes!  Pseudopod have indeed joined the tiny but worthy pantheon of markets to have accepted more than one or two of my submissions, having just now followed their purchases of Stockholm Syndrome and Prisoner of Peace with my zombie-story-with-almost-no-zombies-in-it Twitcher.   Yup, very few zombies indeed, but an awful lot of bird watching - as the title suggests - and no that's not a metaphor or a crude pun or something, it really is absolutely a zombie story about bird watching.  Possibly the first and quite probably the last, but I wrote it and Pseudopod have accepted it and that, as the saying goes, is that.

Anyway, what was especially nice about this particular sale is that it ended a quite staggering run of rejections.  I'm sure I've discussed this before*, but there are times when spells of short story rejections (and by the same measure, I suppose, spells of acceptances) seem to make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Thanks to the might stats-providing majesty of Duotrope's Digest I can say with confidence that my acceptance ratio towards the end of October was above 13%, the highest it's ever been, and that nearly six months and maybe sixty submissions later it was sitting at less than half that.

Now experience has taught me not to worry too much and that it all balances out in the end, but what I find myself wondering is, how does this happen?  How can you be one minute comfortably selling a story a month and then going for six months without a sniff of interest?  I can think of any number of factors, but most of them would depend on me - the types of stories I was submitting, the markets I picked, the regularity with which I sent work out - and as far as I can tell my behaviour is fairly consistent.  To the best of my knowledge I haven't spent the last six months submitting crappy work or picking wildly inappropriate markets or accidentally sending out my shopping list.

Maybe the problem is that I'm looking for micropatterns when I should be looking for macropatterns.  Maybe I'm just a crappy judge of my own work.  (I'm not.)  Maybe the universe is a crazy, random place and the publishing industry is an even more crazy, random place and we're all just like dust motes in a beam of sunlight. 

No!  I believe in order, damn it, and there must be some logic here.  There must be!

But for the life I me I can't see it...

* I did and it was here.

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