Duotrope meets Submitomancy meets the Submissions Grinder

Alrighty, for all of you waiting for a system to essentially fill the void Duotrope left, I know of two.  One is still in the works, and one made its début in beta-mode this week.

First we have Submitomancy, and it’s an interesting option.  It will charge fees like Duotrope, but unlike Duotrope will have a lot of free features.  Its Indiegogo page (which is like Kickstarter, for those who don’t know), states that its submission tracker will be free, and that “Premium users will gain the advantage of full library features, power searches and social interactions.”  So it’s aiming to be a Duotrope replacement and social-networking site all in one.

The main differences between the free services and those behind the pay-wall are:

Free gets a manuscript database, CSV import, their basic search function, submissions tracking, average response times per market, and their newsletter.

If you pay their annual premium fee, you get access to the above, plus their ‘expanded databases,’ a ‘power search,’ detailed market response data, personalized notifications and reports, a profile page, status updates, skins, and anything else they might think to add between here and there.

If this sounds like a site you want available, visit their Indiegogo page and consider contributing to their startup costs: http://www.indiegogo.com/submitomancy

The Submissions Grinder is another option that launched this week.  Remember that backup file you downloaded from Duotrope, that has all of your data but in a rather unusable form?  No need to reformat the spreadsheet, just upload it now into the Submissions Grinder.  This system’s creators (It’s brought to your by Diabolical Plots) intend to keep it free, and it currently offers just about every feature Duotrope does, with a few minor exceptions (that I think will get filled in as they go along).

Right now, though you can import, you can’t export your data again, but they have stated they’re working on that.  And when viewing your submissions history you can’t narrow down your submissions by year.

The system is in its rough beta mode right now.  Errors pop up frequently, but let’s face it, they’ve only been up for three days.  The pending responses data is already beginning to rival Duotrope’s pre-paywall era on some markets (after only three days!), though their market database isn’t yet fully formed.

I’ve already made myself an account, uploaded my data, and made a few mistakes as a user–the proprietors are extremely helpful and ready to jump on any problems you might have, no matter if you or the site are at fault.

If you’d like to test out the Submissions Grinder, you can find it here (and if the page gives you an error, just try again later): http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/

The real key to any of these sites are the users.  The fewer people who use them, the less valuable they become to some people.  What’s really great about these new venues, compared to Duotrope, is that they have options that are free.  Sumbitomancy is going to charge service fees, but they know that to attract new users you have to let them try out the system.  I have no idea why all of Duotrope’s services are behind a pay-wall, as there’s no way for new customers to test the waters–so there’s no justification for them to pay for the service.  You’d think DT would at least offer a trial period for new accounts or something.

Anyway, what we have now are tiered options, in my opinion.

On the high end:  (price-wise, not necessarily service-wise.  I’ll wait to make that judgment once all three are up and running), we have tried and true Duotrope.  Nothing is free, in my opinion it’s overpriced, but it’s aesthetically pleasing, it works, it currently has the largest database as far as markets go, and it’s practically bug-less.

Next we have Submitomancy, which has free subscriptions and pay-to-play subscriptions, leaving things like its sub-tracker free to the public, and with extra features Duotrope does not offer in its pay brackets, but it’s not up yet, so we don’t know if its virtues are all that its proprietors hope them to be.

Lastly we have the fully-free Submissions Grinder, which gives you nearly all the same features as Duotrope at this point, plus the ability to import the data you saved from Duotrope, but is probably going to be buggy for a while and it’s a bit hard on the eyes.

So there you have it: options.  Choices!

If you do use one of these new systems, let me know in the comments how you think it stacks up!


Published by Marina J. Lostetter

Writer and Illustrator of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

5 thoughts on “Duotrope meets Submitomancy meets the Submissions Grinder

  1. Thanks for the updates, Marina.
    I wonder if Duotrope has the $5 a month option as a “try our services”. I might give them $5 to mine info on markets and try them out. I’m not in for $50 tho. Unless – I find I can’t after a month live without what they offer.

    I like the pay for premium services. Assuming people pay for them, we can trust the company to afford to stick around.

    Diabolical is going all free and relying on donations – which is what forced Duotrope’s hand. I’m a little worried for their mission statement.

  2. “Errors pop up frequently, but let’s face it, they’ve only been up for three days.”
    And we’re working at getting everything working better as we go. And we have plans for some features that Duotrope doesn’t provide–we want to make it as good as it can be, not just aiming to be exactly like Duotrope. There’s a release notes page that logs the work that’s being done:

    “Diabolical is going all free and relying on donations”
    Dustin–We may do a donation drive at some point in the future, but at this point we don’t have a lot of expenses to cover–the programming work is being done by volunteers. Duotrope never committed to staying subscription free (rather they threatened about it all the time), but we are committing upfront to that. If/when we do a donation drive, we’ll also try to do it better than Duotrope has–rewarding contributors with Kickstarter-type incentives, stretch goals, that kind of thing, rather than accusing the non-contributors and leaving it at that.

    Thanks for posting, Marina!

  3. “And when viewing your submissions history you can’t narrow down your submissions by year.”

    I’ve added that to our to-do list, thanks for the suggestion. That’s a straightforward one, but hadn’t occurred to us. I think there’s a lot of things that can be done to summarize/visualize the data that Duotrope hasn’t done and we’d like to explore that too.

  4. Thanks for the comments, guys! And thank you, David, for all of your hard work on the Grinder! And if I think of any other features I’d like to see, or hear of features others would like, I’ll be sure to pass them along. 🙂

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