Lazette Gifford
Publisher & Editor
zette@cableone.net

Website Review:

Duotrope's Digest Online Market Listing 

by Bonnie R. Schutzman
2007, Bonnie R Schutzman 


This is the first in a series of reviews covering various online marketing databases available for fiction writers.  Websites to be covered include: Duotrope's Digest, Ralan's Webstravaganza, Quintamid, Spicy Green Iguana,  and the Literary Magazine Stand. If you have a favorite site you would like to see covered, please send the pointer to the Features Editor at margaretfisk@fmwriters.com

A Word about Using Marketing Databases 

Marketing databases can point you to publications that might be suitable for your fiction, but they won't substitute for your own research and judgment.  Before you submit, be sure to: 

  • Check the publication's website. 

  • Read and follow the submission guidelines. 

  • If at all possible, read at least one issue of the magazine.  If you can't locate or afford sample publications, at least read online sample stories. 

Not all market listings are updated regularly.  They may contain outdated information and pointers to publications that no longer exist.  Large popular listings, on the other hand, may receive status information from editors before the information reaches the publication website.  Always double check the listing, and when in doubt, query. 

Most market listings are operated by one or two individuals who maintain and share the information at considerable expense and personal effort.  Consider donating towards the expenses of the listings you use. 

Duotrope's Digest (www.duotrope.com) 

Duotrope's Digest (duotrope.com) is a free database of markets for English-language poetry and fiction of all lengths.  In addition to a searchable database of more than 1400 publications, Duotrope offers a submissions tracker, a calendar of upcoming deadlines, and detailed statistical information about markets and submissions.  All services are free, though the submissions tracker is available only to registered users.  Registration is also free. 

The first thing you see when you enter the Duotrope.com website is the search form, which is what makes Duotrope such a valuable marketing research tool.  From here, you can search the database for the fiction markets most suited to your work.  The database is divided into categories for short fiction, novels and collections, and poetry.  Within those divisions, you can search by attributes such as length, genre, pay scale, theme, submissions requirements, and publication type. 

Duotrope returns a report summarizing the markets that match your criteria, along with a second report that includes markets that may be close to what you need.  Clicking on the links take you to a more detailed summary of that publication's needs and requirements, including a summary of the editorial needs, a reproduction of the cover of a typical issue (if relevant), and a link to the publication's website.  You also have access to statistics about the publication's acceptance rates and response times. 

Duotrope's database includes all genres, from Westerns to romance to literary fiction and experimental poetry.  Several new titles are added every week.  Markets range from online reviews and tiny poetry journals that offer no payment or only a token payment, to many major magazines including the New Yorker and all the major SF/F publications.

Duotrope's information is updated frequently and all links are checked regularly. 

Registered users of Duotrope's Digest can use the submissions tracker to monitor where they have submitted manuscripts, how long the manuscripts have been under consideration, and whether it's time to send a follow-up query.  The list can be sorted by any attribute.  For instance, if you sort by story name, you can see where each story has been submitted.  Sorting by market title lets you see which markets you submit to regularly, or show you when you have forgotten to keep up with a promising market that responded positively to your previous submissions.  The submissions tracker also allows you to mark publications as favorites, put titles on your ignore list so they will not be displayed in search results, and track upcoming deadlines for themed issues you would like to submit to.  Registration is free. 

You can subscribe to a weekly mailing of updates for short stories, poetry, or novels/anthologies.  The mailing details new markets added to the database in that area, upcoming deadlines for themed publications, and markets that have recently opened or closed to submissions.  This last is especially useful for those submitting to literary journals that often don't read for part of the year. 

Duotrope's biggest strength is its large, searchable database of frequently updated information.  The search cuts research time significantly over scrolling through long listings.  The listings are highly reliable, which reduces the time you need to spend validating and checking.  The submissions and deadline tracking help you manage your deadlines and keep your stories out to their appropriate markets.