Way back in the olden’ days, translation: the early 2000s, I had some spiffy manuscript tracking software. It was written by someone in my critique group and had fields for manuscript title, editor/agent, and publisher/agency. It also pinged mercilessly to remind you when you needed to follow up on something. Unfortunately, my friend decided that it was a huge hastle to update the software every time Windows updated.
What was I to do? I looked at various programs and services but I’m notoriously frugal. Okay, some people might say that I’m cheap. But I wasn’t going to throw good money when I already had Excel. That’s still what I use today.
Whenever I send something out, I make an entry in the Excel file that is oh-so creatively named Tracking. I know! Isn’t that an awesome file name? And I still get reminders because I mark my calendar with when I should hear something.
If making up your own spread sheet doesn’t sound appealing, Writer’s Digest currently has six different spread sheets available to help you keep track of what is where. They are:
• Freelance Pitch Tracker
• Literary Journal Submission Tracker
• Freelance Payment Tracker
• Agent Query Tracker
• Direct-to-Publisher Query Tracker
• Agent Submissions to Publishers Tracker
To link through and get them, visit the Writer’s Digest announcement here. Keeping track of what is where doesn’t have to be fancy but it really is something you need to do. If one editor or agent makes an offer, you want to know who else currently has your work. Otherwise you might find yourself in an embarrassing situation!