What with Facebook’s IPO, the removal of Google Reader, and many similar events, there’s been a trend towards the days of wonderful free web services and applications becoming the past rather than the future. It’s something I’ve often lamented. To myself, anyway.
One more writerly-relevant example of this trend was the switch-over of Duotrope Digest, the literary market listing site, from a free service to a paid subscription. After being free for seven years, it went to a paid subscription model on January 1st, 2013, in order to have money to pay the costs of maintaining its website and other services.
I have rarely used Duotrope, as I don’t often submit work for publication. But I did searches on it every now and then to find good markets, for my reading pleasure, mostly. And a friend of mine worked on a speculative literary magazine, now defunct and having lost its domain to an internet porn site, which released six issues in the late 2000s before staffing issues forced us to close our doors. They published some great work, and word-of-mouth aside, the vast majority of their submissions came to us through the lovely middleman of their listing on Duotrope. Or that’s what my friend told me. Since they didn’t survey authors on how the found the market, I doubt there’s any data to prove it. For a small, new literary magazine, it was an incredibly useful tool to get the word out, and the editors found Duotropes accuracy to be quite high.
Of course, this change kicked off a huge ruckus in the authosphere, and even literary magazines weighed in. For example, the Missouri Review came down hard on Duotrope’s decision. That aside, I personally prefer free stuff… because it’s free. Do I need a better reason?
Many people have proposed free alternatives to Duotropes services:
1. The CLMP Directory – Hosted by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, a service organization for literary magazines. It has a searchable list of literary markets belonging to CLMP.
2. NewPages.com’s listings of literary magazines.
3. Critters.org’s Black Hole – a site that tracks response times for SFF magazines and also maintains a directory of paying markets.
5. The Speculative Literature Foundation’s Market Listings
7. Ralan.com has a list of spec fic markets.
9. The (Submission) Grinder — A free competitor with Duotrope offering most of the same features plus a few bonuses. The biggest bonus? It’s free.
So, I have three questions:
1. Do you use market listings and query trackers?
2. Are there any good/major tracking services or online market listings I may have missed?
3. Is anyone interested in a free alternative to Duotrope?