Are you a writer seeking to publish your work? Are you having trouble finding markets that suit the nature of your writing? I am often shocked by the quantity of writers who do not use Duotrope. Though it may seem a little daunting to anyone who hasn’t used it before, it is a beneficial resource to any writer seeking to be published. Here are some strategies that will help you utilize this crucial publishing resource and beef up your portfolio of published work.
Duotrope.com is a writers’ resource that allows you to plug in details of your story or poem into a search engine, find potential publishers for your work, and keep track of your submissions with a free profile.
The search engine is broken down into choices of genre, style, length, theme, pay-scale, medium, and more. Below are the key sections on which you should focus in order to find markets that will want to publish your work.
- Browse through genres.It may take you a few tries to find the right market for your work as some writing is difficult to classify. Let’s say you want to publish a story about fairies that kidnap children. You could list this in the “fantasy” genre, “fairytale” sub-genre, and “dark” style, and if that does not result in a sufficient list of publishers, you could try the “horror” genre with a sub-genre like “creature horror,” “cross-genre,” or “dark fantasy.” Keep experimenting with these selections as necessary until you find a good market for your story.
- Set your pay-scale.Some markets will pay you for your writing. Although paying markets tend to decline more manuscripts then others, there are some magazines with acceptance rates as high as 40% that pay their contributors.
- Choose your medium. When I first began publishing, I submitted to print magazines only. They felt more legitimate to me. However, if your aim is to increase traffic to your website or blog, online publishing is the way to go. Follow the links to the websites of the listed markets to see which medium is the one for you.
- Start easy, and work your way up. You may find it rewarding to submit to magazines with the highest acceptance rates and gradually work toward the magazines which accept a narrower range of manuscripts. This will build your confidence (and your portfolio) as well as your writing skills as you publish more of your work.
Finally, don’t forget to track your submissions with Duotrope’s handy submissions tracker and apply these strategies to watch your personal acceptance ratio climb.