The pipeline to publication

I’m fascinated by the process a story goes through from idea to the final product. Firstly inside the author’s head, including their interactions with the world on the way to forming the idea into what they attempt to get onto the paper, and then the sculpting that comes after that through repeated edits to chisel off the rough bits and emphasise the fine features.

But also, there’s the process a story goes through after it’s been submitted. Recently, I’m doing a LOT of submissions. To begin with I thought it’d be one or two, then it’d be accepted (silly me), then just turning them round when they were rejected, but right now I’m taking advantage of markets that allow simultaneous submissions so I can have multiple subs for the same story at different places.

Looking at the market stats on Submission Grinder, response time for different markets vary from 1 to around 200(!) days, so what do they do in this time? Obviously, there are very different models out there, and the model the market employs must also be dependent on the volume of submissions they receive. Actually, I’m familiar with the pipeline from submission to publication in scientific journals, as that’s where I work, but I was pleasantly surprised recently to find a fiction magazine that had dedicated a page to laying this process out… and also pleasantly surprised to see that it isn’t all that different to the way we do it at work!

Here is the page, provided by Empyreome, and also including the percentages for the different kinds of response they send out, and the typical wording of each.

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