Duotrope, Paypal, and Whatnot

So my novel still isn’t finished. I would estimate there’s still a good 30k worth of writing ahead of me, but it’s coming along at a much slower pace than before. I refuse to give up on this piece even though NaNo is done with for the year.

In other news, I think everybody’s heard by now that Duotrope is going pay soon. As of January 1st access to all its fabulous features will be $50/year, or $5/month. I know there’s some interesting debate going on as to whether their services are wroth the monthly fee, but I already know I’ll be subscribing to it. I simply don’t have the time to go hunting for all the markets that I want to post to. One of the things that caught my eye was that PayPal won’t be available until January 1st, which is a bit of a bummer for me cause I was going to go ahead and purchase the annual subscription. The small print really had me worried though.

The fine print:
If you don’t plan on subscribing and you use our submission tracker, you should back up your data for your personal use before January 1st.

Well crap. Does that mean if I don’t pay in advance then I lose all of my data in my subscription tracker? I’ve got a handsome 85 rejections over there I just can’t live without! (Seriously, 85 rejections… I like to think of them as war wounds) I really didn’t want to lose that record, and I didn’t want to have to pay with a credit card. I would like to minimize who all has my card information, if you know what I mean. So I sent off an email. This is what I asked:

My Email:
This is a question regarding the new subscription plan going live on Jan 1st. I understand that PayPal won’t come up as a payment option until January 1st, but if we don’t subscribe earlier than that we could lose our Submission Tracker information. Does this mean that I will be forced to use a credit card and pay in advance in order to prevent my submissions tracker information from getting wiped? Please let me know.

And here’s the response I got back:

Duotrope’s Response:
Not at all! All of your Duotrope information remains on file; it does not matter when you subscribe, it will be waiting for you for when you do.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience of not having PayPal available right now, but that is their rule, not ours. They do not allow pre-payments for services rendered in the future.

One option, if you prefer to subscribe now via PayPal, is to buy yourself a gift certificate. PayPal does allow buying them now, because they consider gift certificates a tangible good.

Thank you very much for supporting Duotrope.

Dang, they’re so friendly, aren’t they? I recall vividly life before I found the site, and it was a very difficult, challenging task to try to hunt down markets and guess at what their response times might be or whether they were open or not. I’ll definitely be keeping the service for some time. It’s good to know they’ll keep the record of my previous submissions even if I have to skip a few months here and there too.

Thanks for being so awesome, Duotrope!

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