|The New Duotrope|
What does that mean?
As it turns out, for nonsubscribers losing access to “most of” Duotrope’s features really means losing access to “pretty much all of” Duotrope’s features. Here’s what you lost if you didn’t sign up for a subscription:
- Search: You can no longer search for a title by name on Duotrope, or search for market listings based on criteria.
- Market Listings Index: That full list of thousands of market listings? That’s gone, too.
- Calendar: If you were hoping to still be able to see the calendar of upcoming themes and deadlines for free, sorry—that’s out, too.
- Interviews: Unpaid users can no longer see interviews with the editors of the journals to which they might submit.
- Full Market Listings: These listings included descriptions of the journals, submission requirements, response statistics, and data on other journals users submitted to who submitted or were accepted to a particular market.
- Submission Tracker: This is a biggie for a lot of writers who used Duotrope in the past. If you didn’t export your data by December 31, 2012, you lost access to any tracking data for outstanding submissions until such time as you sign up for a subscription.
- Weekly Newsletter: The weekly version of the Duotrope newsletter included a lot of information, including new and updated market listings, listings that recently closed to submissions or were considered defunct, new contests, and more.
- General market listings. If you have a direct link to a market listing (i.e. via a Google search, or a link shared by Duotrope on Twitter), you will still be able to see that market’s listing minus the statistical data.
- Duotrope’s Twitter feed. Anyone can still see updates on new market listings, calls for submissions, and markets that are re-opened to submissions via Duotrope’s Twitter feed postings.
- A monthly newsletter. Instead of receiving a weekly newsletter with up-to-date information, nonpaid users can expect a monthly newsletter with the “number of new markets added” (note that it doesn’t say it will tell you the names of new markets), “number of recent openings and closings” (again, apparently no names), and the “number of new submission reports received” (which, frankly, seems a little pointless). The monthly newsletter will also include the names of “three recently added listings.”
A lot of writers, following the announcement of the paid-service only Duotrope, have debated whether or not the services are still worth anything, or if it is worth the investment. Here’s a little cost breakdown to give you an idea of just what Duotrope costs:
At $5/month, you’re paying about $0.17 a day (in a 30-day month). For a year, you pay $60 at the monthly rate.
For the yearly $50/year rate, you’re saving about $0.83 a month from the $5 monthly rate, and paying about $0.14 a day (calculated at 365 days per year).
Now, $50/year doesn’t seem like much in the long run, particularly compared to the price of other things we buy every day (i.e. according to the Huffington Post the average American spent approximately $1,000 a year on coffee and $2,000 a year on lunch in 2011, and those numbers went up, not down, in 2012). Even the monthly rate doesn’t seem so bad if you, like I, order takeout at least once a month; $5 for 30 days is nothing compared to the $35 average I spend on a single meal that might last two days.
But then you might compare the fee to what you’d pay for other writerly services, like a subscription to a magazine or a service like Writer’s Market. Using Writer’s Market as an example, here’s the cost difference:
Writer’s Market: $39.99/year
Writer’s Market: $5.99/month
Duotrope: $30/6 months (at $5/month)
Writer’s Market: $24.99/6 months (flat rate)
Duotrope: 4,589 market listings (total—fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction including contests, publishers, print and online publications, etc.; as of 1/6/2013)
Writer’s Market: over 9,000 market listings (total—fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction including “book publishers, literary agents, online publications, contests, conferences and more”; as of 1/6/2013)
Using this collection of data, it becomes a little bit harder to say whether or not Duotrope is “worth it.” Overall, Duotrope costs more if you go for a yearly subscription, but could be a little less if you only use Duotrope a few months a year. Writer’s Market offers a comparative sample of a market listing on their “Learn More” page; while WM and Duotrope’s market listings are comparable, Duotrope does offer more in terms of stats compared to many other online publication databases (much more compared to sites like Poets & Writers, slightly more compared to sites like Writer's Market). And with a number of free services out there, it becomes even harder ... although it is also worth mentioning that none of the free services themselves offer the total package of Duotrope. The major question writers need to ask themselves is whether or not the cost of Duotrope's subscription is comparable or worthwhile compared to the "cost" of losing Duotrope's services.
What do you think?
For those of you who have used Duotrope in the past or were just introduced to Duotrope, have you paid, or will you pay, for a subscription? If so, why, and which plan did/will you choose? If not, why not? What services have you used, or will you use, if you don’t (or won’t) use Duotrope? Share your thoughts, gripes, praises, and resources in the comments below!
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