Duotrope is dead. Long live Duotrope!

Two weeks ago Duotrope announced that it is becoming a paid service. This is pretty big news for those of us who depend heavily on Duotrope for tracking our submissions.

If you’re one of the last three writers in America who doesn’t know, Duotrope is a website which has the most comprehensive listing of fiction markets on the web, together with features to allow you to record your submissions and responses. It then tracks your submission and response history, and aggregates those reported submissions into some very nice statistics about response times and acceptance rates.

As you might expect, this caused a lot of wailing and breast-beating among the impoverished writer set. Their Facebook page is filled to the brim with comments right now, some of them positive, some negative, and some downright nasty. There has also been rioting.. My personal take runs as follows:

  • $5/month or $50/year does seem a little steep. It seems like they could probably get away with $5/bimonthly and $25/year… though of course I haven’t seen their expenses and am totally making these numbers up.
  • Either way it’s a win for me, since I’ve had a recurring donation of $5/month set up for Duotrope for years now. I’ll probably go to a yearly subscription, though, which means that Duotrope will now be getting $10/year less from me than they did before.
  • People are rightly concerned about the quality of the stats, since many fewer people will now be adding their reports to the mix. Duotrope has some interesting counterpoints to this.

Overall, I wish Duotrope the best of luck. They evidently were never able to make ends meet with the "begging" model, and I suspect that the "charging" model will work better for them. It all depends on how many subscribers they actually get, but their early reports seem encouraging.

Good luck to them in the new year.

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