Thoughts on Finding a Market

Having now finished a third draft of the fantasy piece I wrote the other day, based on feedback from friends and from the Absolute Write forums, it’s time to find a home for this little beast. Now, this is fast for me, but I think it’s appropriate for a few reasons:

  1. It’s much shorter than what I usually write, and so the turn-around time is faster. I’ve been through several drafts and gotten a number of critiques in the time it usually takes to get just one draft.
  2. It’s much less intricate than a mystery, so it wasn’t nearly as difficult to write.
  3. If I set this one aside, because it’s so different, I worry that it’s going to get lost and forgotten. But it’s not really what I want to focus on right now — I’m working on a couple other things that have a bit larger mental load, so to speak, and I need to get this one off my plate.
  4. It’s a good piece, I think. Weird, but good. I don’t think it will reflect poorly on me to shop this around.

As a result, this piece is good enough to go out the door, and out the door it shall go. But, to what destination? There are considerations here. I need to make a list, and because simultaneous submissions are rather unprofessional, I need to rank that list.

I have a handful of favorite markets right now, folks who publish stories that I like to read or listen to:

  • Strange Horizons is near the top of the list, I’m very fond of them, they pay well, and this one is right up their alley, I think. However, they are somewhat slow, so I may not send it to them first.
  • Clarkesworld is another favorite place to read. This piece isn’t as good a fit for them, but they pay very well and have a fast turnaround time. It might make sense as a first stop if it’s on the list at all. I’ll need to think about it.
  • Fantasy & Science Fiction might like it, but they don’t take electronic submissions — I’d rather try the markets that don’t cost me money and a trip to the post office first. However, they do have a fast turnaround, I like the magazine, and the piece would fit well, so it should be on the list. Just nearer the bottom.
  • PodCastle would be a great fit for it in terms of tone and subject, but they vastly prefer reprints. They’ll take something that’s been printed elsewhere, but I think I’ll put this down the list a bit. Besides, with so much dialogue, this piece might be a pain to record.

So much for the markets I read regularly. Everything else I read regularly would be a poor fit: either they’re not as interested in stories like this or they don’t take fantasy at all. Then there are a few markets that I don’t regularly read, found through Duotrope. The most interesting of these is Daily Science Fiction, a new market that, despite the name, takes fantasy. And they pay very well. However, they have not yet started publishing, so it’s tough to tell whether it’s a good fit, and I wonder whether their model will let them last long enough for this to retroactively count as a professional sale. Either way, I look forward to it opening, because it sounds like a great one to subscribe to.

So much to think about for such a short piece! A lot of good options. I’ll decide after dinner where to send it, then give it one quick read-through and edit with that market in mind, then: off it goes!

One thought on “Thoughts on Finding a Market

  1. I decided, by the way, to make Daily Science Fiction the first stop. I’d like to see them succeed, and they do pay very well. If they don’t take it, Strange Horizons is its next stop.

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