If you are like me, some of you stories are motivated by various calls for submissions, be it for magazines, anthologies or other. But what if your story doesn’t make the cut? What should you do with it?
There are several things you could do with the story. One would be throw it away because it was written specifically for a given project or perhaps you could podcast it because it wasn’t picked up.
There is another option. Send it out again. Have a different market lined up before you even send the story out the first time.
You may think a story only fits a single market but you are probably wrong. Check it out on one of the online services like Duotrope.com or Ralan.com. Chance are pretty good that you will find a different place where your story will fit. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
So far this year I have sold three stories. Only one of those was picked up by the audience I originally intended it for. The other two went to second (and even third) markets. That’s alright because it still results in a sale and more importantly, a publishing credit.
Let me give you an example. I wrote a story that was for a zombie erotica anthology call. Now, you might say that zombie erotica is pretty weird and I would agree with you. I wrote the story to see if I could do it.
I submitted it not sure what to expect. The story didn’t make it and I briefly wondered what to do with it. I sent it to another place that seemed to peripherally fit what I had written. It didn’t get accepted there either. Then I was contacted by PureObsession.com who ended up buying the story.
I never expected it to happen but it did. Partially because I didn’t give up and partially because I was willing to look in different places for a market.
That isn’t to say that you will always find another market right away. Sometimes the story demands editing. I’ve been there too. Be aware of what your story requires (if anything) and do that if you really want to sell it.
I had another rejection for a story but, as I talk about above, I’ve got another market in mind for it so it is already in front of another person. Perhaps that will be the one and perhaps not. Only time will tell.
I’m also going to write one more short story this year for yet another anthology and then I’m going to work on revising some of my longer fiction.