If you’re a genre writer and you’re going to start sending you stories out into the cold, cruel world, your first step should be to sign up for a subscription at Duotrope (www.duotrope.com). What is Duotrope? Why it’s only the handiest, dandiest resource for genre authors on the whole goddamn internet. The front page of Duotrope describes itself thusly:
Duotrope is an established, award-winning writers’ resource, and we’re here to help you spend less time submitting so you can focus on writing. Whether you’re an experienced writer or just getting started… whether your creative leanings are literary or genre, factual or poetic… our listings cover the entire spectrum.
Basically, Duotrope is a search engine for genre markets. You can input search data based on the content of your story (genre, length, pay scale, etc.), and it’ll give you a list of markets that match your criteria. What’s better, it’ll give you some solid info on those markets, like their acceptance/rejection ratios, how long they take to respond to submissions, and if they tend to send personal rejections over form rejections.
They’ve also got a handy submission tracker that allows you to keep track of all your pieces, where you’ve submitted them, if they were rejected or accepted, and so on. It’s really helpful, and it’ll keep you from doing embarrassing, dumbass things like sending a story to a market that’s already rejected it, which I’ve very nearly done. Duotrope saved my ass.
The information they gather on various markets largely relies on authors correctly reporting their submission activity. So if you do use Duotrope, report everything. Report the submissions, report the acceptances, and when you get a rejection letter, fight through the tears and report that too.
A subscription to the site costs you the princely sum of $5.00 a month. Yes, there are other websites that do basically the same thing for free, but, in my opinion, they don’t do it as well. So pony up your five bucks and get the subscription.
Know about another invaluable writer resource? Tell me about it in the comments.