Grab bag: A Rejection, Nook and Duotrope

And I’m back.

After a nice visit out to California, I’m back in the saddle for another year of writing fiction. Today’s post is a grab bag of updates and musings. I’ll take them on one by one.

SF Story Rejection
My science fiction short story finally got rejected by Analog. The story was held up for quite awhile as they had some management changes over at the mag. But hey, it was a form rejection from the Editor with some useful, though boilerplate, tips for what they’re looking for. So what did I do? Dusted off the story, queued it up and sent it to the next magazine on my list for Sci Fi markets. However, I am thinking I will try some horror mags next (that is, after the next rejection) as the piece is on the border between both genres. (One of Analog’s tips was that they won’t consider stories where the science is incidental or peripheral. My story is set in a future world, but the science fiction takes a back seat). If you have suggestions for markets, let me know. It’s my 3rd rejection for the piece and I’m eager to get it out there. I also submitted another fantasy piece to Daily Science Fiction and will let you know what happens.

Why Nook Sucks
Don’t get me wrong, Barnes and Noble has created a great device. But the news this past week that Nook is not doing so well wasn’t a big shock.

First, I look at it as a writer. Amazon lets me self-promote with easy tools on it website. It lets me giveaway my book for FREE five days for every 3-month period. I’ve given away over 1,000 copies of The Library of Lost Books using their KDP Select program. They let me put in as many books as I want, which encourages me to write more. And I can make my book eligible for “borrowing” which at $2 for each borrow, adds up.

Last I checked Nook has nothing like this. Instead under the header for “marketing” it has useful tips on how to self-promote your book. Not exactly what I was looking for.

I’ve also heard from users that the Nook website can be frustrating when you want to buy something and that the customer service isn’t the best. I don’t know about you, but  I’ve never had those problems with Amazon.

In the end, I hope B&N uses this as an opportunity to change their game plan, focus on digital and self-publishing and get the Nook back on track. The last thing I want to do is be a creative negotiating with a monopoly. B&N could start by offering a KDP Select-like program that would let you giveaway a limited amount of books. It’s just the sort of thing that would get me to post my books on their shelves again.

Why Duotrope Rocks
Finally, this  brings us to Duotrope, the friend of every writer trying to publish short stories.

The website used to be 100% free and based on donations (I sent them a donation in 2012). They switched to a pay model January 1. At $50/year or $5/month it seems a little steep to me, but on the other hand you do get some great content:

  • Detailed listings for magazines and publishers in almost every genre imaginable.
  • Data for magazines like average acceptance rates, average response times, etc.
  • You can input your story’s exact parameters (science fiction horror, 7,000 words, paying markets only) and the site will spit out a listing of mags looking for just that. Duotrope’s  Killer App!

So, I sucked it up and paid the $50. It’s well worth it for those serious about submitting a lot of stories.

Alright, that’s your post for this week. Hope you writers out there found it useful. I’ll see you next time.


3 thoughts on “Grab bag: A Rejection, Nook and Duotrope

  1. I’ve been thinking about Duotrope, but still can’t decide if it’s worth the money.


  2. 1 Story a Week,

    They hooked me while it was free, now I can’t live without it.

    Anyway, you can always pay $5 for a month, see if you like it and quit later. It makes sense if you plan to submit a lot of short stories.


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