Brother, Can You Spare $5?


Just a short post to all my writing readers.

Finding  markets for our work used to be very time-intensive, with limited options apart from spending hours at the library finding contact information for magazines (or buying the ones you wanted to submit to, which you still should). There was of course the Writer’s Digest “Writers’ Market” books, but those were outdated almost before they hit the shelves (not to mention one would set you back somewhere around $20) so more research was necessary to make sure you had current info on who was who in each particular zoo (err… market). You don’t want to address a query or a submission to someone who no longer works there. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Editors move around in publishing faster than I can tie my shoes. Not to mention how quickly publications start up, then go belly up. And finding new markets apart from the large circulation periodicals on most newsstands was another matter. And now of course with everything online and new e-zines and projects popping up all over the place, the mind reels trying to keep on top of things.

Enter Duotrope.

These folks do all the legwork for you, pulling together markets in every conceivable genre in one nice tidy location. They stay abreast of new publications, which ones are openly soliciting submissions, which ones have closed their doors, interviews with publishers giving you a clear idea of what the markets are looking for, search algorithms to find exactly the kind of mag that is looking for your babies, a way to track deadlines, your submissions, weekly emails for the genre(s) you’re interested in, and frankly a lot of inspiration just seeing what’s available to submit your writing to. The site is free to use, but it costs them money to run it.

I realize times are tough, everyone’s trying to pinch pennies and stretch dollars (or vice versa), but Duotrope’s needs are modest. If every single person who uses their site contributed a paltry $5 A YEAR they would meet their funding goal. Think about that for a minute. $5. For an invaluable resource that could well pay for itself in a single submission acceptance. Ok, it’s not the dime Bing Crosby sang about during the depression of the 1930s, but many charities that people contribute to suggest a minimum contribution of $35. And then they bombard you with literature asking for more. Not that I begrudge worthwhile charities a dime, I have my favorites that I contribute to as well, but this is such a tiny amount that it’s hard to understand why more of the site’s users don’t help them out. They have got to be the single greatest resource out there for writers, and yet they fall short of their goal Every. Single. Month. I can only assume they make up the difference out of their own pocket.

Before anyone asks, no I am not affiliated with them in any way, just another writer who avails herself of the information and tools they offer. But I would be devastated if they had to cease operations. Now that I’ve landed a new job and am coming off the unemployment roll, they were my first contribution again. Please join me in supporting this embarrassment of riches for writers.

$5 is all it takes.

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13 thoughts on “Brother, Can You Spare $5?

  1. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I guess it must be a labor of love for them, I don’t know how else they could keep it going when they almost never get the funding to put them in the black (or green, by their chart).

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  2. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Hmm, not sure but I imagine they have magazines from all over. No reason not to these days. There doesn’t seem to be an option to search by geographic region, are you specifically looking to submit to Australian publications?

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  3. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Right? I didn’t bring that up, but I bet a lot of the people who use the site and don’t contribute don’t bat an eyelash at dropping $5 or more on coffee daily. It’s such a great resource, I think you’ll really like it.

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