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Duosuma® Duotrope's Submission Manager

Duosuma Submission Fee Recommendations

A person holding out a handful of pocket change. (Photo by Annie Spratt.)

We at Duotrope have a lot of experience in seeing what works and what doesn't for publishing projects and their submissions process. This article is simply advice, to accept or reject as you see fit. We do not know the unique goals and financial needs of your project, so this advice is generic.

In general

Don't charge too much. Charging too much will significantly reduce (or even eliminate) the number of submissions you receive. The more you charge, the fewer submissions you'll receive. A journal that charges $3 might receive hundreds of submissions, while one that charges $15 might receive none. Your fees must be reasonable.

Understand that reputation matters. A prestigious, well-known project can get away with charging more than an up-and-coming project, but not by a large amount. A completely unknown project may not ever get off the ground if they insist on fees, especially if they're higher than average. (See our specific advice for fledgling projects below.)

Keep in mind socio-economic realities. If you have a goal to publish a diverse group of writers and artists, consider how charging mandatory fees might get in the way of achieving that goal.

Journals: On Duotrope, we see that most journals that charge submission fees charge under USD $5 (usually $2-4). Also, only about 8% of journals always charge fees, so consider whether your journal should be in that minority, especially if your journal is non-paying (many people refuse to pay a fee to a non-paying publication). Tip Jars on Duosuma have been very successful and are a great alternative to mandatory submission fees (and your Duosuma fees will be lower, too, so it's a win-win).

Contests: Regarding contests, the fee can vary widely, depending on what's being submitted (haiku versus novels) and the prize money. The average is around USD $20, although anything from $0-25 is common.

For fledgling projects

We don't recommend charging mandatory fees at all. Why? People don't know you yet. It takes a while to build trust. Most people are reluctant to give money to a project they've never heard of. Don't scuttle your ship before your maiden voyage! We do highly recommend Tip Jars for fledgling projects, though. In fact, we think you'll likely get more from a Tip Jar than you would from mandatory fees as a fledgling, and we want to see you take flight!


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