I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve sold three more short stories to Fictionvale Magazine and Mad Scientist Journal over the last several months. “Enemy Allies” marks my first sale to Fictionvale Magazine, while “Shooting Stars and Schadenfreude” and “The Witchwood Whispers” mark my first and second sales, respectively, to Mad Scientist Journal. Moreover, “Enemy Allies” is the short story on which the novel I’ve been writing for National Novel Writing Month (i.e., NaNoWriMo) is based.
So far, I’ve sold seven short stories this year out of fifteen I’ve been submitting to various publishers. Here are some trends I’ve noticed about the stories I’ve sold:
- Three of the four stories I’ve written that are set in the San Francisco Bay Area have sold — the fourth is still relatively new, but I have high hopes that I’ll ultimately sell that one as well.
- 43% of stories I’ve sold have unhappy endings vs. 40% of stories I’ve submitted to various publications that have unhappy endings. Last time I published these statistics, 50% of stories I’d sold had unhappy endings, so as I sell more stories, the percentage of “downer” stories I sell is approaching the percentage of “downer” stories I write. As such, stories with sad endings seem to have no better chance of selling than stories with happy endings.
- 57% of my protagonists are human males, while the remaining 43% are human females. Among all fifteen of my stories, 67% of the protagonists are human males, 27% are human females, and 7% are androids. In essence, my stories involving a female protagonist are almost two times more likely to sell than my stories involving a male protagonist. Again, I’m not sure if this result is just random chance or if it has any commercial implications. The last I reviewed these statistics, my stories involving a female protagonist were three times more likely to sell.
- 57% of these stories are military science fiction, while only 40% of my overall stories are military science fiction.
- The protagonist is an outsider in 57% of these stories vs. 67% of my protagonists overall.
- 43% of these sold stories occur on present day or near-future Earth and the remaining story takes place off world in the far future or in historical earth settings, whereas only 47% of my overall stories occur on present or near-future Earth.
They do say, “write what you know,” which would explain why my military science fiction (67% of my military science fiction submissions) and stories set in the San Francisco Bay Area (75% of my Bay Area submissions) have been selling. However, it doesn’t explain why my stories involving female protagonists are almost two times more likely to sell than my stories involving males protagonists (75% vs. 40%). I’m continue to scratch my head about that one.
As always, once these stories are published, I will post an update.