Duotrope’s big news

I don’t suppose it’s news to anyone here any longer that Duotrope’s Digest will embark on a subscription only service at the beginning of the year. I’ve seen some griping about it on Facebook and at Poets and Writers, but I have to say that I’m not opposed to the idea at all.

It’s been my policy for years now that whenever I get a story published after having found the market through Duotrope’s Digest that I send them some money as a voluntary donation. And even though 2012 has been a relatively lean publication year for me (though two recent acceptances sure were sweet), the amount of an annual subscription ($50) will be less than I would have contributed on my voluntary basis even during this lean year. And if I were only today introduced to all the features that Duotrope’s Digest offers, I don’t think I’d hesitate to buy a subscription to get that value, having never known that it used to be free.

It seems that the most common complaint about the new subscription plan is that the statistics will become less accurate. Presumably this would happen because there would be fewer people reporting their rejections (and acceptances) into the data pool and thus the sample size will shrink. The folks at Duotrope state that they don’t believe this will be the case and that they will monitor the matter closely.

That’s fine and good, but, really, the acceptance ratio at any given publication was never a factor for me when I was looking for likely markets for my stories. And knowing that someone who submitted to publication X also submitted to publication Y perhaps tells me more about that someone than about the similarity of the two publications.

Still reluctant? Put a gift subscription on your holiday wish list. Rather than a new pen set, have someone give you a subscription to Duotrope’s Digest.

In other news, I’m still writing my stories. And I’m still running. I’m trying to get at least 20 miles of running in each week.

What’s new in your world?

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2 Comments on “Duotrope’s big news”

  1. LauraMaylene Says:

    I’ve been out of the submission loop for a while, and this is actually the first I’ve heard of this news (so thanks!). I can’t say I’m surprised. I did donate to Duotrope back when I was using it regularly, but honestly probably not as much as I should have. I can see them reaching a point where perhaps they didn’t have much choice.

    I think this will absolutely impact their results and will lead to a big drop in reporting, at least at first. But maybe it will become like Angies List — you have to pay for that service, too, but it leads to more trustworthy reviews/feedback.

    To be honest, when I used Duotrope, the acceptance “rates” didn’t really mean anything to me. These journals gets so, so many submissions, and only accept a tiny portion…then only a small portion of all people actually use Duotrope. And it can’t account for all the writers who are solicited for publication, which I’m convinced makes up a large portion of people getting published in many of these journals.

    Mostly, I liked to check Duotrope to see how recently journals responded to submissions. Sometimes, this provided a basic timeframe of where journals are in their backlogged submission pile.

    I haven’t used Duotrope lately and instead have stuck with my own Google docs submission system. It’s more flexible. Sure, I don’t get any info about recent responses, etc., but frankly, all that was so uncertain even with Duotrope that it’s not worth it to me in the end. The submission process is incredibly subjective and time-consuming, and even the services of something like Duotrope, which I do admire, can’t change that.

  2. Annam Says:

    I have donated to Duotrope in the past too because I think their service is good. Like with most free things, eventually it seems they need to stay afloat so they begin to charge. I don’t see a problem with it because like you said, an acceptance rate never affected whether I submitted or not… Hi, Paul!


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