Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Open Letter to Duotrope (Even Though No One from the Website Will Read This)

Dear Duotrope,

I like you a lot. You probably know that, considering in this message

you point out that I've visited your site 90 times this year. I think you're pretty nifty. What isn't nifty, however, is the quite-often request for money.

I get it: you want to pay for staff a decent wage. That's awesome. I think everyone who uses your website should contribute a bit. I don't like how you try to guilt people into it, however. "Is it worth skipping that $4 double caramel latte for, or that $6 hamburger." I doubt this sentiment applies to many of your users. I, for one, hate coffee, and I can make a damn fine hamburger for less than $6. Even if I wanted to waste my money on those things, I couldn't since I don't have any. I haven't been employed since February 2011, and I haven't had a full-time job since August 2008. (To be fair, I was in school until May 2009, so I couldn't have had a full-time job anyway.) Any money I do get from story acceptances goes to pay for personal expenses. I'll probably send you something when I'm working again, but until then, I don't like the reminder that I'm broke. I already know.

I know there are people who could afford to pay that wouldn't anyway. Those people are probably the minority, however. Many of your users probably don't have a lot of extra money, if they're lucky enough to have jobs, so they can't send much to help. I know you're asking for $5 a year from everyone, and that's not much, but as I'm sure you understand, every little bit matters when you're broke.

Please keep in mind that things are still crappy for a lot of people. Hopefully things will get better soon, but in the meantime, let's keep the guilt trips to a minimum, shall we?

Thanks for all the good you do.

Kristina R. Mosley

(And a side note: I have issues updating this thing regularly, so if any of y'all want regular updates, I'm on Twitter.