We have used tons of resources over the years to help us create efficiency for ourselves and to develop our own beliefs and processes. We have likely forgotten some, but the ones we come across most often are below. We’ll add to this as others spring to mind.
Clifford is an author and someone who not only got tired of the lack of available resources on creating a smart submission process, but he also did something about it and built it himself. We are trying to follow in his footsteps.
Clifford put together a method to view the Pushcart nominations and awards in a way that creates less disturbance year-to-year. We have further rolled up the data he makes public to show the trends over the last five or six years. Like Clifford, we too believe in using Pushcart prizes as the grist for how to best gauge the quality of magazines. You can read about his methodology here.
Admittedly, one of us used Duotrope for a time. It isn’t expensive at $5/month, and they do a phenomenal job at collecting and displaying data. We love their data approach and dedication to data collection. We used Duotrope mainly to discover which magazines were no longer active or in business. Basically, to confirm what we were seeing on a journal’s website, we would search for “<journal name> duotrope” and the meta data inside the search engine results would answer the question.
This group has been doing some difficult quant work powered by user-fed response times. Basically, they are tracking the response time of literary journals by taking submissions from writers who have received (mainly) rejections. It is all plotted out in easy-to-understand visual methods. What we mainly do is use the search query “<journal name> diabolical plots submissions” and it will return what we are looking for. In many of our journal entries we have used their data where we don’t have our own. Many thanks, DP!
Erika is a writer who has been published in about every magazine anyone would ever dream of. And she did the hero work of collecting her thoughts, providing her honesty, and dropping the knowledge on tiers of journals. This is some difficult work that is thorough and helpful. Erika rocks.
At one point, we purchased Writers Markets for both Poetry and Fiction to get a complete picture of what was out there. They now have a key code with each book that gets you access to the same directory behind their paywall.
We don’t use this much but came across it often in our research. They do a nice thing in their side navigation where you can filter journals that pay writers (how noble). That isn’t how we make decisions, but it’s there if you want it.