mer: (if I were me)
I realized I hadn't addressed my short story sales spreadsheet since I sold a book, basically; it came to me as I was working over two story contracts (reprints both).

sales and such

Basically, after a quick perusal of my website and my PayPal account, I got my sheet back in order, completed the first of the above two graphs--and remembered that one of the reasons that I've stopped writing short stories (beyond that they are not my natural length and I find them four to eight times as time-consuming as a comparable length of a novel) is that they are remuneratively poor.

Case in point, I pitted my book incomes versus short story incomes against each other in the second graph as a percentage of total income.  From 2010-2013 you can just barely make out the little shifting line of red.

A good reminder for me not to futz overmuch with short stories. It's one thing to write one if it jumps in and wants to be written in a couple of hours.  It's quite another if I have to agonize over it for three months.
mer: (Writing (Dark and Stormy Night))
But slightly modified, since I only have a few stories in circulation these days.

Short stories!

Stories currently out to market for first time: 1
3rd time: 1
10th time: 1
11th time: 1
18th time: 1


Stories sold on the first submission: 3
2nd sub: 3
3rd sub: 4

6th sub: 2
7th sub: 1
8th sub: 3

20th sub: 1
mer: (Mnnmh (Spock))
Just spent the evening rounding up my receipts for upcoming tax preparation. I tried to be so careful and so diligent! I was probably 80% careful and diligent. Though the diligence here errs on the side of caution: I'll be taking fewer deductions (because I don't have the necessary receipt).

Part of my slackness was because it didn't occur to me until about April--i.e., about when I got my agent--that I'd be able to really and truly show a profit motive for the writing in 09. Then, lo and behold, I actually broke $400 (the hobby income limit) for writing this year! First time!

For those not keeping track at home, my writing income by year:

2004: $235
2005: $5
2006: $355
2007: $380
2008: $391
2009: $430

Can you make a living at short stories? Well, *I* can't. Not in 6 years. But I also only break about 8-9,000 Google hits on my name, and I have this sneaking suspicion that Google hits are correlated with income in this arena. Somehow. Maybe a survey? Maybe NOT.

How's that for glamor? How's that for ritz? Mnnmh.

Nope. The name of this game is patience and fortitude. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
mer: (Eclipse)
1) We made it to the gym this morning. The orthotics performed admirably. However, I have a lot of joint pain in the Dread Arthritic Ankle. We are going to work on the arthritis next. Glucosamine or whatever. Building up muscle. Whatever it is you do.

2) I've been keeping closer track of my writing time. I am not pleased by the truth--I seem to average about 10 hours a week. Even weeks where I push harder against resistance still seem to hover around the average (last week, I managed 12 hours). Now, this IS counting ONLY writing time, and not throat-clearing time. So I wonder if that has something to do with it. Hm. I also started tracking the barriers to writing--not only the barrier, but what it represents, what other need it most likely fulfills, or what bad trait it caters to. I lost a huge chunk of time to Duotrope annoyance last week. Another chunk to watching American Idol with Kayla. So, annoyance, family time, distraction... I lose a reasonable amount of time to LJ posts I don't end up making. That's therapeutic time.

Bleah.

3) Speaking of Duotrope, the answer was courteous but not helpful. I'm going to quote most of it, rather than report it. So, after the nice greeting and beginning, it gets to the meat:
Our system of following submission patterns really has nothing to do with the assumption of honestly or dishonesty.

It truly is about following patterns and determining norms.

We realize that our system currently will discount highly successfully authors, but let's be frank, a high level of success in this industry is not average by any means. Congratulations on your success!

We have considered the verficiation of sales model in the past, but discounted it due to (1) not having the time or resources to fact-check every acceptance reported and (2) because it wouldn't prevent people from failing to report rejections, which is the biggest problem we face.

Followed by pleasant closing.

I still really don't get how discounting above average people means you even have any idea what true averages are, and it was as I suspected, it's all because some people don't report rejections, or are believed not to report them, though seriously, if you don't report rejections, wouldn't you be more of a 100% success rate kind of person, and not 30%? Who under-reports just to get to 30%? What kind of marker of success is that, that you'd manipulate your own data to be able to say, "I broke 30% on Duotrope?"

Doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I guess I won't be overly trusting of their data, and I'll for sure be ignoring whatever nonsense it spouts to me in the control panel. Of course, the control panel now says: "Congratulations! Your overall acceptance ratio is higher than the average for users who have submitted to the same markets." So--they are still not counting my data and they're just not openly admitting it? Or they changed the way they do things (raised the rate to 40%?) without telling me in the email?

This is so beyond even a First World Problem. I go quiet now.

4) Today, Ben-at-work said that he was going "gymly," meaning going to the gym. But then we posited that Gymly is actually Gimli's brother who works out really a lot.

Yeah, that was the walk to my car. Time well spent.

5) I'm frustrated by things beyond my ability to influence. Life as usual. Carry on.

April 2015

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