Monday, November 13, 2017

Stories in the Pipeline

Those of you in sales (or have tried sales!) know about the pipeline. If you don't keep putting things into the beginning of the pipeline, you won't get anything coming out the other end.

Because there are a lot of leaks along the way!

To get a sale, you have to keep putting contacts and follow ups and pop by visits and phone calls and emails etc. into the pipeline so that something can start happening, so that eventually you get a sale. This means you blast out a lot of activity in a variety of ways with a variety of people with a variety of products. If you focus on one potential customer with one measly product and focus on that person only, then you may or may not get a sale; but one thing's for sure, at the end of the process you got nothing else happening and have to start over for the next sale from scratch. Ugh. You savvy?

Submitting stories to magazines for publication is a pipeline business. If you follow your one measly story for 90 days and then get a form rejection email, then that's the poops. You have to start all over with a new market - either the same story or you write a new one and submit it. Ugh.

But if you keep writing a bunch of stories and get them into the pipeline - and keep pushing new material into the pipeline by writing and submitting more stories - then eventually something's going to pop (not poop) out the other end. Could be a rejection, so what? Put it back in the pipeline by submitting it to another market.

Right now I have just over 20 stories in the pipeline. One story's been rejected 5 times already, but I immediately find a new market and send it off. I like quick rejections. Lets me get it back in the pipeline so it can find that one magazine that will accept it. That's all it takes.

I've been writing a short story every two days since the middle of September. I think I've written 30 so far. Some are experiments and not meant for publication, but most are stuffed directly into the pipeline after I type "the end." My goal is to get 100 stories into the pipeline. Imagine how cool it will be when some of those stories start getting accepted. It'll be like popcorn in a microwave. Fun stuff.

So far, I've had one acceptance. And that's way cool. Thanks to J.D. Graves at the start up indie pulp magazine, EconoClash for taking a chance on Exit Ramp and including it in their debut issue set for April 1, 2018. When it goes on sale, you bet I'll annouce it. It's a pipeline success story. ;)

If you want to follow my progress and see what stories are in the submission process, click here (same as my current projects tab above). So what are you waiting for? Fill your pipeline so you can get some of your own success stories popping out the other end. You savvy?