Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Change for the better: online market tools

By T.W. Fendley

Many things have changed in the industry since I first started writing fiction in the mid-‘90s. Between 1997 and 2007, I was busy doing my “day job” and didn’t submit many stories or query agents. One of the nice surprises when I returned to the field was how far online tools had advanced, ready to make my life as a fiction writer easier.

I used to keep a Word table listing my stories and where I submitted them, and the same for agent queries. And that was after I found suitable markets or agents by pouring through my pricey print resources, which often were out of date by the time they reached the stores. Of course, they also had to be replaced each year.

Compare that to the immediate access and tracking now available on Duotrope (markets) and QueryTracker (agents & publishers). If an agent switches to another company, you'll know it. If a publisher is closed to submissions, it's quickly apparent. If you already queried a publication or agent, you won't mistakenly contact the same place twice. You can see average response times and what percent of submissions are accepted. It's enough to make you swoon!

Both these tools are free, but you’ll love the premium features you get on QueryTracker for only $25 per year. And I always donate the same amount to Duotrope because I remember what it was like before they existed.  
Duotrope’s award-winning, free writers' resource lists more than 3,800 current fiction and poetry publications. Free services include an online submissions tracker for registered users. 
QueryTracker – free, but worth paying $25 for premium features!
  • Check out 1,258 literary agents & 130 publishers.
  • Organize and track your query letters.
  • View statistics about agents and publishers.
  • Join QT’s community of writers. Meet other writers who are on the query path, share experiences, and help each other along.
 Do you use other online tools like these? I’d love to hear what else is available!


  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Since I'm in the query process right now for a non-fiction, these tools are really going to come in handy. I need all the help I can get staying organized.

  2. Yay! I learned about them a few years ago from other St. Louis Writer's Guild members, so I'm glad to get a chance to pass the info along. They've certainly helped me!