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RALAN'S MARKET REPORT
4 June 2002
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Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza
http://www.ralan.com
author@ralan.com
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-- HOW TO SUBMIT LIKE A PRO --
Part 5: HOW TO READ & USE A MARKET LISTING: or At Least Use It For Virtual Toilet Paper
by Ralan

Okay, you've written your 5,000 word science fiction story and followed all the good advice you've picked here and there. You've honed it, toned it, tuned it -- revised, spooled and spindled it. You've read it out loud to yourself, even sent it to your Aunt Millie who's had an article published in her high school alumni e-newsletter. You've spell/grammar checked it, and zeroed in on all those problem words like "there, their, & they're," "lie & lay," etc. In fact, you've done everything except rolled it up and smoked it!

Now you're ready to submit it -- but where? Well, you know about this place on the web, "Ralan's Something or Other." Supposed to list markets. But how do you use it? So many pages … which one to chose?

You think your story is good, but you don't quite feel up to tackling the "pro" markets yet, so you go to the "SF Paying" market page and find 107 markets listed -- egads!

Don't panic. Use your browser's search function to narrow the field. Search for _sf_. As you land on each listing, jot down the publication's title. Since you were alert during the search and didn't include the ones that have special needs that don't fit your story -- like religious, erotic, or dark themes -- you end up with about 40. Now search for _4k_ to eliminate the ones your story is too lengthy for. Cross out those names that appear on your list. Also check for _3k_, _2k_, _1k_, and _½k_. You should now have a manageable list. Check each one to find the best market for your story.

Let's suppose one of them looks like this:

* SF TALES OF THE CUSPIDOR - bimonthly print; sf, theme fic/nonfic/poem. Pays 2¢/word + copy for 1-8k (prefers 4k). RT: 1 month max. Reprints: no. E-subs: yes. Lon G. Spittor, Editor.
Yearly Reading Periods: *1May-15Jul* & 1Nov-15Dec

Now this is interesting -- your story does have a spittoon in it. The editor accepts stories of up to 8,000 words but prefers 4,000. Well, 5k _is close_ to 4k. They don't want reprints, but your story has never been published -- not even on Aunt Millie's web site. They do take e-mail submissions -- that's good because you live in a cave in Scandinavia and it's a long way to the post office. It says you'll get a response in a month at most; that sounds pretty fast. And you see by the bold font (it may also blink, depending on your browser) that they are currently open to submissions.

This is a definite possibility. Click on the publication title to see the detail listing, where you can judge the market more closely (this subject was covered last month).

Now, suppose that listing looked like this:

* UPDATE: 08 May 2002 - closed to submissions until 1 September 2002
* SF TALES OF THE CUSPIDOR - bimonthly print; sf, theme fic/nonfic/poem. Pays 2¢/word + copy for 1-8k (prefers 4k). RT: 1 month max. Reprints: no. E-subs: yes. Lon G. Spittor, Editor.

That puts a damper on things, doesn't it? Make a note of this market for a submission after 1 September 2002, and skip to the next possible market on your list.

As for the virtual toilet paper -- wipe away friends!

(NOTE: the "fic/nonfic/poem," "Reprint:," and "E-sub:" sections in the above examples are new features that are gradually being added to the listings. Right now they only appear on a few listings. For the others you'll have to check the detail listing for a while.)


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