Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November IWSG and Duotrope Insights

Happy IWSG Day! Many thanks to Alex and all of the co-hosts and admins for keeping this encouraging group together!
The awesome co-hosts today are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!

I have a host of insecurities. This last month, I had a tough time getting any goals done. I struggled to write, to exercise, to learn how to use a new tool - Dragon Naturally Speaking (a fancypants talk-to-text program). 
In the midst of all of that, I made a crazy decision to sign up for NaNoWriMo to write a draft of The Greenling Chronicles, book 2: Ancient Truth.
In October, I did some crazy, hand-written plotting for the entire series and had some wee morning hours working on world-building questions that I never answered properly in book 1 (it still needs revision) and had a "brilliant" idea on how to use foreshadowing. So, I think I'm ready. 

Here's my blurb for the book that I have up at NaNoWriMo:
Delving deeper into what it means to have superpowers, Dunnie and his friends discover more layers to the underworld of what they call "Supers" and the adults call "Mythfaeri." It turns out that neither term is truly correct when Dunnie meets an Ancient, who attempts to set him on the "right" path.

Best wishes to all NaNo writers and all non-NaNo writers this month!

Duotrope Report:
I used a trial version of Duotrope for a short time and then I signed on for the whole package as a writer. What this gives me and my thoughts on it:

1. A way of tracking submissions beyond my own word document method. The submissions tracker is nice because it helps me see immediately which of my stories has been submitted multiple times, how many times, and what my rate of success is for each individual story and for all of my submissions overall. 

2. A weekly newsletter highlighting newly opened and newly closed markets for writing submissions for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. When I first used Duotrope, I would scan this newsletter the day it came and get ideas for stories and submissions. I stopped doing that last year when I was sick and I've just started checking it again. 

3. An easy-to-use search engine for markets, which includes markets for short stories, poetry, non-fiction articles, and some book publishers. This is my favorite part of Duotrope. I can search out specific markets for specific genres, word count length, and other areas. Duotrope expanded the search engine and market base to include artists and photographers in 2017.

4. A way to make note of markets which have slow response rates. Duotrope likes to know how quickly markets respond to authors and uses this data for the writer's benefit. I know which markets take six months to respond because Duotrope has a record. However, the accuracy is based on writer's reporting so these dates can have some fault in them. Duotrope also recommends when a writer should simply retract their submission if the market has taken too long to respond.

So, have I been happy with Duotrope? Yes, as long as I use it, it works for me. It does cost money, but the story sales "repaid" my membership fee. I would love to say that I'm earning oodles of money, but I'm not. However, I haven't used it as frequently in 2017, so it takes use to make it worthwhile.

If you want to check it out, go here: Duotrope. I think there's still a free trial offered.

What are your insecurities this month? Have you used any writing services that you found useful, enjoyable, or good?

I love Insecure Writer's Support Group and the amazing tips and services that IWSG offers to all writers for absolutely FREE at the website and in our group. Writers coming together to encourage, to make our work easier, to share insights, and to overcome our insecurities - these writers (you, me, we) make IWSG awesome! (With special thanks to Alex and all of the Admin Team!)

If you want to sign the blog hop, go here: Sign Up!
If you want to see the website, go here: Insecure Writer's Support Group Website.
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krystal jane said...

Best wishes with NaNoWriMo!! I haven't done it since 2015. I was almost going to sign up this year, but I decided to just be a cheerleader instead. :D

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Duotrope. I've heard a little bit about it, but I didn't know very much at all.

Michelle Wallace said...

Good luck with NaNoWriMo, Tyrean!
With regards to Duotrope, I'm not very clued up so thanks for sharing your Duotrope experiences.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm glad you love it!
Good luck with NaNo.
That is handy Duotrope can tell you who is slow to respond.

Tanya Miranda said...

Good luck on NANOWRIMO! I tried back in 2015 and got 35k through a novel that I have never since touched. I have a deadline this week, and after that I will go back to that novel, and hopefully use NANOWRIMO to get it done. It's not exactly within the rules, but I'm not signing up anyway, so there's no "cheating". I'm just going to ride alongside the momentum. :-D

I'm definitely going to check out Duotrope. I'm very skeptical of writing services, so its good to get a review from someone who tries many. Thanks for that!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Tyrean, good luck for NaNo WriMo. The blurb sounds super intriguing.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Krystal - Thanks for your cheering! I read about five reviews of writers who used Duotrope before I even checked out the trial version.

Michelle - Thank you for your encouragement! Duotrope is a service I heard about several times before I tried it.

Alex - Thanks! Yes, it is handy.

Tanya - Best wishes on your deadline and your novel! I think NaNo works best when we fit it to our projects instead of the other way around.

Rachna - Thank you for your double dose of encouragement!

The Cynical Sailor said...

Best of luck with NaNo - your blurb sounds very interesting. I'd never heard about Duotrope. Not quite at that stage with my writing, but good to hear about products/services that might be useful later on.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've heard good things about Duotrope. It might cost, but that's a lot of great features.

Suzanne Furness said...

Good luck with NaNo hope the words flow for you. I haven't heard of that system but it sounds very useful for tracking submission info.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Ellen/Cynical Sailor - Thanks for the encouragement! Duotrope is great if you have a small stack of short stories, articles or poems you're ready to send out into the world, or if you want to be motivated to write more of that kind of thing.

Diane - Yes, it does.

Suzanne - Thanks! And yes, it is. I recommend it for short story, short article, and poetry writers.

Julie Flanders said...

Sorry you're struggling with so many insecurities but yay for NaNo! We can cheer each other on.
Thanks for the info on Duotrope. Sounds like a fantastic tool.

Good luck writing!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Julie - yes, let's cheer each other onward!

Charity Bradford said...

Thanks for the Duotrope mention. It's been years since I looked into them and it sounds like they've made several improvements to their services. I might have to get into submissions again in 2018 and see if I've made any progress. :)

Heather R. Holden said...

Never heard of Duotrope before, but it sounds like an incredibly helpful resource. And best of luck with NaNo! Hope your goals go more smoothly for you this month than they did in October...

Nick Wilford said...

I did use it a bit back when it was all free. These days I'm not submitting very regularly - only sporadically when something catches my eye - so I would have to be more organised on that side to make it worthwhile. Great that your story sales are justifying it.

Christine Rains said...

Good luck with NaNo! I'll be cheering you on. I've not used Duotrope, but I know a few writers who will use nothing else. I usually go to to get places to submit to.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks for sharing the info and your opinion on Duotrope. I remember using it a long time ago, back when it was free. I'll definitely check it out again - and hopefully use it, maybe for some 2018 goals. :)

cleemckenzie said...

Good luck on your NaNo adventure. Let us know how things go. And thanks for the Duotrope information.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good luck with NaNo. Great blurb! And Duotrope sounds like it was useful for you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - interesting to read about Duotrope - thanks for that. Excellent you might be able to utilise NaNo to finish off novel and smack it into shape ... good for you - cheers Hilary

Mary Aalgaard said...

Never heard of Duotrope. Good luck with NaNo, and happy writing!
Mary at Play off the Page

Laura Clipson said...

Good luck with NaNo! I did it in July, so I'm not doing it this month.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Best of luck with NaNo. I tried once and failed and never tried again.

I've never tried any services, but then I don't query a whole lot. I suppose i should write more and submit more things.

Olga Godim said...

Good luck with your current NaNo project.
I used Duotrope a lot and loved it, when it was free. Now, I use other market finders, the ones that are still free. Maybe not as good as Duotrope, but they serve.

Cherie Reich said...

Your book description has intrigued me. Good luck with NaNo! I used Duotrope a long time ago when it was free (or free-ish) to find places to submit stories to, but I haven't submitted a story in several years. It does sound like a good investment if you're submitting regularly.

Lynda R Young said...

Duotrope has more than I realised. There are a couple of segments there that would be of great help. Best wishes for your NaNo novel!!

Stephanie Faris said...

I've always just used Excel spreadsheets, but I do like the idea of software that can handle it all for you. Too bad Submittable isn't more useful for tracking EVERYTHING, not just things you've submitted through there.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Wow, I love your blurb!!! It sounds amazing, right up my alley. I've never participated in NaNo, but I'm wishing you the Best of Luck!!!

Crystal Collier said...

Best of wishes with NaNo! It sounds like a fabulous project and I hope it comes together well, despite all the other crazy in life. =)

The problem with these subscription services is that they count on you using them for a short time, then lapsing in activity while they continue to collect your dollars. That one sounds epic, but if would definitely require a commitment to make it worth it. Doesn't everything these days?

Anonymous said...

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Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Very concise and helpful report. I've never tried any services so it's interesting to hear first hand knowledge instead of just what the ads say.

Arlee Bird said...

Hope you had a fun month of writing during NaNo. Most of all I hope the outcome was productive and turns into success.

Tossing It Out