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Storyteller's Keep II
I need some help... tracking submissions 
13th-Mar-2008 04:13 pm
gray dragon

So, I'm working to set up a database to track my submissions.  I thought, why not set it up much like a SW defect tracking system utilizing fields with choices or values?  That way, I can define search criteria to track submissions as they move through the submission lifecycle, taking weekly snapshots in order to preserve history (can you tell I'm a process geek yet?).  This also enables me to set up metrics (i.e., aging metrics, # of submissions out, to whom, etc.).

Here's a list of items I'm thinking about tracking.  As I'm a newbie (or grommie if you surf), I'm sure there are things I'm not thinking about or accounting for, so any help from you all out there would be just awesome.

- Unique ID: each seperate submission would have a unique ID... beneficial for many reasons, including setting up any count functions
- Status: this is the submission lifecycle.  I could certainly use your experience here, but I was thinking about the following
    -Accepted with Changes
    -Rejected with Changes
    -Rejected with Changes - Re-submit
    -Contract Accepted
    -Pending Reason: edits, in review, contract definition, ??
    -Closed Reason: Rejected, Rejected with Changes, Published, No Response, ??
    -?? - What else should be here and should I remove any?
- Submit Date
- Re-Submit Date
- Closed Date
- Title: title of story/artwork submitted
- Type: short story, novella, novel, etc.
- Submittee: title of magazing, house, agency, etc. sent to (i.e, Talebones, TOR, etc.).
- Submittee Type: Magazine, eZine, Small Press, Big Publisher, etc.
- Submittee Contact: name of person submitted to
- Owner: current owner (this could be the submittee contact, me, agent, editor, etc.)
- Notes: this is where I keep detailed notes, comments, and history

That's it so far.  I know several of you use various tools to track your submissions. Do you have suggestions on tools?  Also, what do you like to track?  Are there additional fields and field choices/values you recommend I include?  Is it too hard to combine types, i.e., short stories with novellas or novels, or do you recommend I keep them in separate databases because their lifecycles are different? 

Thanks much for the help.

15th-Mar-2008 12:04 am (UTC)
This is cool! I want to lay it out myself in order to grok it and may try both systems just to see pros and cons of both. Ultimately, I suspect I'll settle on a blend of all the suggestions I've gotten. But, I'll definitely bear in mind the, "Keep It Simple, Stupid," principles and will try not to make it more than it needs to be. Thanks for that reminder.

Oh, and BTW it really helps that you speak SW_Geek_ese. Heh heh.

In my mapping, I am treating each record as a separate submission with the ability to search all submissions against a story via the Title field. But, I suspect I am still trying to comprehend too much with a single record -- a concern I also had when I was starting to lay it out.

This is why I posted this. (grin) You've given me some excellent suggestions and different perspectives that make perfect sense. So, thanks!! It does help and I'll let you know how it goes.
15th-Mar-2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
If I were to do this as a relational database, I'd have three tables: Stories (title, length, filename, genre, etc.), Markets (title, editor's name, address, min/max/avg response time, genres accepted, lengths accepted, etc.), and Submissions (story ID (required), market ID (optional), sequence number, date out, date back, status, etc.). The sequence number in the Submissions table makes it possible to have an ordered list of future markets for a given story (past and present submissions can be sorted by date).
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