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Author Topic: What are chances of being published?  (Read 1365 times)

ksalat09

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What are chances of being published?
« on: February 21, 2011, 06:32:19 PM »
Hi, I'm Kevin and I'm new at making crosswords. I've made a several for my school newspaper and have gotten very positive reviews of them from my peers and now I'd like to start making some extra money by publishing them in the LA Times.

I've been doing the LA Times Crosswords for about a year now and I feel that the one's that I've made are just as up to snuff.

But how many people, roughly, send in crosswords to the LA Times?

What percent chance do I have for my crosswords that I send routinely to be published? (I just sent two crosswords today through CCW)

Are my chances of being paid/published for my 15x15 crosswords, like 1% or 50% or 90%?

SJS

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Re: What are chances of being published?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 03:16:13 PM »
The editor of the LA puzzle is Rich Norris, and about 2 years ago (maybe less) he reported that he receives about 60 puzzles per week.  Obviously he can publish only 7.  So considering no other factors, your odds would be about 12%.

Of course, there are other factors!  I'm sure some are rejected immediately for one reason or another.  Some are maybe amateurish, some are maybe duplications of themes seen before, etc.  If your puzzles are excellent and inventive, then your odds would be higher than the straight numbers.

ksalat09

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Re: What are chances of being published?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 09:06:27 PM »
Well, I think I read somewhere that it takes about 3 months for the puzzle to be published after acceptance. Maybe I'm wrong. But say Rich gets 8 puzzles he really likes, is he just going to reluctantly throw out one of them? Can't he just use it later?

sunburnt63

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Re: What are chances of being published?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 01:15:58 PM »
As far as a time line goes, I sent out my submission on 12/10, received an acceptance on 1/09 and it is going to be published 2/28. So a little less than 2 months from submit to publish on that one. Obviously one example does not show a trend, but I thought it would give some insight (plus its my first puzzle, so I don't have anymore data).

If a puzzle is good, a publisher will take it, but if he takes 8 in one week, maybe he only takes 6 the next since the puzzles aren't as good of quality. Also, if a publisher gets lots and lots of puzzles that they would normally accept, they may up the standards for acceptance. Using the rule of thumb that they take 7 a week is an easy way to make some statistics.

SJS

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Re: What are chances of being published?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 12:30:15 PM »
Congratulations on your publication!

jorkel

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Re: What are chances of being published?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 12:35:16 PM »
The central issue is really quality rather than quantity.  Many puzzle submissions are flawed in some way, so will end up being rejected because the weakest link cannot be fixed by the editor himself.  And there are plenty of ways to unknowingly mess up a puzzle so that it is unfixable.  On the positive side, it's a learning process, so as soon as a constructor figures out what an editor requires, the greater will be the chances for acceptance.  Let me put it this way:  if you were to construct a mostly unflawed puzzle with a lively theme and mostly lively fill, then you might have an 80% chance that some major publisher would take it.  So, quality really is the deciding factor.

Here's my advice: post a sample puzzle in the proper section of this forum and watch for feedback.  (I'll try to critique it if I am able).  There are many aspects of the puzzle fill that can be learned this way.  Or, if you don't want to post one of your own puzzles, look for a puzzle there which I have already given my critique on.  If you read enough of my critiques you'll notice that I am quite consistent ... always pointing out the same major things.  If you can master those major things, then you'll  be on your way to making a puzzle that meets most editors' quality standards.


-Joe Krozel

KayS

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Re: What are chances of being published?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 08:32:31 AM »
I would agree that it's a learning process.  Once you've figured out the fundamentals, it'll all fall into place.  And the more you practise, the better you'll become.

I'm sure the senior members of this forum didn't perfect the art overnight!

Just keep at it!

Kay

 

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