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  1. #1
    Staff Banger's Avatar
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    Duotrope going paid - other market resource sites?

    After trying to go solely donations based for the past several years, Duotrope is going to start charging a $50/yr subscription. I'd donated a few times in the past (though not as much money as they'll be charging for a year's subscription), so I'm a big supporter of the site and will probably just bite the bullet and subscribe, but I was wondering if anyone knows any other useful sites for finding market information. Ralan is pretty good for listings, but seems to lack some of Duotrope's more useful functions.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    There is no tomorrow RedMage's Avatar
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    That's awful news! I'm working on novels right now so I don't get much from Duotrope at the moment but I do appreciate the weekly newsletter with the listing of new, closing, and dead markets and such. It's very helpful and I have written a few stories based for the different contests or anthologies I find via the newsletter. But I don't think I'll subscribe right now. I'm just not actively trying to submit things that I need Duotrope for at the moment.

    Terrible, terrible, terrible. But to answer the question, I don't know anyother sites either and I feel the same about Ralan.

  3. #3
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    I've contributed each year for the past four years, but, as you Banger, not as much as they will be asking for a yearly subscription.

    That is a bummer.

    The thing is, I do submit, but I am often rejected. And when my stuff is accepted, it is to non-paying markets. So, it comes down to simple math. Do I make enough money from my short story writing to warrant the subscription? Well, sadly, at the moment, no. I won't be subscribing.

    Guess I'll have to get used to using Ralan...

  4. #4
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    That is indeed a bummer, but I can't say I'm surprised - whoever produces Duotrope must have to put a huge amount of effort into it, after all. I'll probably cough up, it's worth it after all. I know what you mean about the maths not working out, but hey, none of us are in this for the money are we

  5. #5
    Where have I been? Moderator JRMurdock's Avatar
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    I've also donated, but to be honest, there are a lot of other listing sites and I can do the tracking on my own. If their expenses are truly that high, they'd do better with a lower cost and attract a lot more subscribers. $50 will chase off too many users.

    Sad to see them go away and that's pretty much what will happen. I strongly doubt they'll pick up enough $50 subscribers to make more than they were making with the donation based model.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. #6
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    What about SFWA's Bulletin? I've been thinking of subscribing to this. It's free if you're a member and $32/year (US residents) if not. Or you can get single issues for $10. Ultimately I'd like to join and get it for free...and I stress ultimately since I am not a published writer yet.

    http://sfwa-news.com/Default.aspx?pageId=1462864

  7. #7
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    I don't know what Duotrope offers, but are you guys aware that Critters has a free site called the "Black Hole" that tracks markets and their response times.

    http://critters.org/blackholes/index.ht

  8. #8
    Staff Banger's Avatar
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    I used to use Ralan, the Critters Black Hole (used to post responses there, too), Spicy Green Iguana (I think? looks like it no longer exists), and some other sites. I also maintained an Excel spreadsheet with all of my submissions, dates sent, response times, outcomes, etc. All that changed when I discovered Duotrope. Their listings are the most comprehensive, and I can keep track of all my submissions through their website.

    It's nice, for example, to take a horror short story of almost 3,000 words that has already been rejected by 10 markets and do a quick search for pro or semi-pro markets that accept electronic submissions of horror stories of less than 3,000 words and be able to sort the results by pay amount or response time or acceptance rate - and have the results automatically filter out those 10 markets that have already rejected the story.

    As a writer, I have sold only a few stories, but the few that I have sold were in markets I found through Duotrope.

    So yeah, while I'm not thrilled with this subscription thing, I really don't want to go back to the spreadsheet.

  9. #9
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    That sounds pretty amazing. Actually for $50 a year that's a steal of a deal. We should all subscribe. I'm not being facetious. That really does sound pretty awesome. I'm glad this came up because I was unaware of Duotrope before this.

  10. #10
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewscott View Post
    I'm glad this came up because I was unaware of Duotrope before this.
    Check it out while it's free, Andrew. It really is a great resource.

    I think I'll pay up, too. Though I don't use it much, I can't imagine trying to find the markets on my own. Talk about time suck...

  11. #11
    Staff Banger's Avatar
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    One of the concerns some people seem to be voicing is that with the subscription requirement there will be fewer people contributing submission data (response times, etc.), reducing the overall reliability of the data. However, I'm hopeful that those who do subscribe are the ones serious enough to be regularly contributing that data, rather than those who haven't been paying (and thus may also simply use the search functions without adding their data), and that there will therefore be only a minimal impact on the quality of the submission data.

  12. #12
    Staff Banger's Avatar
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    As expected, I pre-subscribed. I figure between my own writing and my students who might want to use the service, it was worth it.

    Duotrope has been crunching the numbers, and it looks like the theory I posted above is holding up:

    When we looked at the overall usage information for Duotrope, what we found was that roughly 80% of the statistics we use come from 20% of our user base. We also looked at what type of users we have active vs casual, donor vs non-donor, etc. and how that correlated to their submissions information.

    After our subscription model was agreed upon, we went back to those numbers and determined that while a significant drop in the user base was fully expected, we should be able to retain somewhere between 75% to 80% of the submission reports we normally receive.

    Equally important is the fact that we will also decrease the amount of unreliable data. On average every year, 28,000 submission reports get ignored in the statistics for a large variety of reasons. Once again, looking at the type of user submitting this information, we predict the unreliable data could decrease by as much as 90%.

    [...]

    We are delighted to report that after one week our pre-subscription numbers are supporting our original conclusions. We are currently on track to retain just under 80% of the submissions data, and the unreliable data is being decreased by 95%, though we do not expect this latter number to remain that high in the end.

    When we break down the pre-signups we have received thus far, we find that 56% are in the top quartile of submissions reports, and 82% are in the top half!
    Slightly smaller sample size, but overall less statistical noise. Not bad.

  13. #13
    sf-icionado / horr-orator Andrew Leon Hudson's Avatar
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    I've just paid up. I probably count as part of the noise, frankly, but I hope to sub more next year than I ever have before and Duotrope's tracker plus the updates on markets seems like a pretty good deal for just $50.

  14. #14
    Registered User SteveW's Avatar
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    Just bumping this thread as I have been doing some market research. Duotrope is also offering Gift Certificates so you don't have to make a $50 commitment.

    "Gift certificates are also available. They can be redeemed for 2, 6, 12, or 24 months of access."

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