Saturday, January 12, 2013

Duotrope blues and The Grinder

As you all know (and if you don't, you need to get out from under that rock), Duotrope recently went to subscription, $50/year or $5/month.

At first, I was very disappointed at all the users for not chipping in more, which ultimately led to Duo forcing all of us to pay to use their services. I did consider subscribing, but ehhh... So I thought I'd subscribe for a single month, give me extra time to shift my data over to another source.

But turns out I couldn't even do that much. For whatever reason, Duo didn't like my card and it took two emails to them to finally get a response. Either it was my browser (FireFox) or the bank wasn't allowing the card to go through. Well, I know it's not my bank, because I recently made an online  purchase with the very same card. And if I have to switch browsers to make a single purchase, then forget it.

Fortunately, someone pointed me toward The Grinder. Although still in its beta stages, it does everything that Duo did--but, with the guarantee that they'll never go to subscription. Which is awesome. For the statistics to work, you do need a large amount of data, and when you cut off 90% of contributer data, you create defunct statistics. This isn't like a psychology study or a political poll study, where you only need 300 participants and that's it. Writing markets (and any market for that matter) are a changing beast, and as we all know, the response times last year don't necessarily apply to this year. For example, in 2011, Abyss & Apex had very speedy response times, and were open four times. In 2012, their response times dramatically increased and they were only open twice.

Another awesome thing about The Grinder, is that you can import you Duotrope tracker file, picking up where you last left off. There are a few issues with this at the moment, but I contacted the admin, Anthony Sullivan, and within a day got it all sorted out. Far superior customer service than Duo, I might add.

So if you're in need for a tracker for your writing, I'd give a The Grinder a try. There's also the possible Submitomancy, which looks like they'll have a lot of nice features and will have both free user and subscriber components. Problem is, they're no where near their Kickstarter goal. 

2 comments:

  1. I like the Grinder, and I'll definitely use it; but I also have a list of something like 100 markets I submit to regularly, and I learn about new markets all the time @ W1S1. All this to say, Duotrope was great when I needed it, but now I don't.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up about Duotrope (boy is it sunny out here) and Grinder.

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