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Manuscript Track Sheet

Updated on May 5, 2012

Whether you do a lot of writing and send out articles to many sources or work on one book at a time it is a good idea to keep a spreadsheet tracking where you’ve sent your work with dates.

If you don’t have Excel or similar software you can make columns on a document you keep on your computer. You can even use a notebook if you prefer the old fashioned method.

It doesn’t matter so long as you keep documentation.

The reason this is important is so you don’t send duplicates to the same publishing company, you will know how long a query has been out, contact names, numbers and addresses. Keeping loose letters and notes in a file isn't quite as organized.

Writing is a business

You are self-employed and it is important to keep track of where you’ve sent queries or proposals. You can also log postage and any other cost incurred for each piece of work. I don't have columns on this particular form for expenses but you can easily add them to suit your needs.

I keep a separate spread sheet for any cost incurred but some people like to keep it all on the same log to help them see what they've spent and how much they've made on each piece of work. You’ll need this for tax purposes at the end of the year.

Submitting queries to agents and editors

It’s best to send multiple stories out to several sources at once. Sending one piece, waiting and then when you get denied or don't hear anything starting all over again can take months. Everyone gets denied in the beginning, so don’t take it personally or get discouraged just keep pushing along.

Below is one of the sheets I use for my writing. You can modify it to suit your own personal needs. Use a separate sheet for each article or book you are working on. It makes it so much easier than guessing how long it’s been since you sent that letter.

A lot of agents and editors take email inquiries now days but don’t assume they do. Read their submission guidelines on their website or in the Writers Market. Even if you send your work via email you’ll still need to keep track of when it was sent and your contact person Being organized will make your life so much easier and you'll be glad you did.


Keep writing, keep submitting and keep good records. You'll be glad you did.

Publishing Co.
Phone #
Query sent
Manuscript sent


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Danette, it's important that we keep records for ourselves as well as the IRS if we are ever audited.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks for the tip! It is very easy to lose track of what you send where and it's embarrassing when you do!

      Voted up and useful

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Be sure and back it all up on a flashdrive, Kathy. Mine crashed a week a go and had to be replaced. Most of my stuff was saved but I lost some pictures and music. You never know when one will go out.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Awesome idea, I was just making a list tonight and it took me quite awhile to remember everywhere I have written articles, set up blogs, posts, etc. Thanks!!!!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Charlu. Glad to help.

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 6 years ago from Florida

      This is to funny, I was just thinking of how to keep track of articles, and hubs this morning since I've been writing more. Thanks great idea. useful/up

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      mckbirdbks, sometimes we get so busy creating we forget to keep good records.

      Treasures, It helps me stay on track.

      Thanks for reading, randomcreative.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great advice!

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Pamela, I can use this spreadsheet for other tracking as well. This is a good reminder for me.

      Have a great day!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Great advice. I would guess that people that are creative may be clerically challenged. So, having a system is helpful.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Cogerson,my husband uses Access for work and likes it better. I learned years a go to use Excel and it works for me. It doesn't matter so long as you find a method that works and use it.

      mtsi1098, I still have a regular cell phone and not a smart phone. I'm not very technically savvy so I stick with what I know. I like spreadsheets.

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 6 years ago

      it is funny that with all the hand held technology we still use spreadsheets but I do as well and I am part owner of a computer company. The simplicity in spreadsheets makes me use them frequently...thanks for the reminder and template :)

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great advice....I my case I love putting my information in a excel wife says using access is much better....because dinosaur's use excel....thanks for sharing this hub that should make things better.