I am a new writer trying to simplify the publishing process. It seems to overwhelming. What are your experiences of Duotrope? Is it worthwhile?
I have used Duotrope extensively for about 4 or 5 years. Most of my publications (poetry) have come through journals and small press publishers that I found using Duotrope.
While you can do some searching (I think) without paying, one of the things that membership gets you is a look at the statistics for the market. If I see a site that doesn't respond 40% of the time, I'm not going to waste my energy with them.
You also have interviews with editors for some of the publications.
Personally, I put together searches based on my needs, save the searches, favorite journals that I intend to send to, etc. It also allows me to track where my submissions have gone, how long before I should expect a response, etc. For $5 a month (I think less if you pay by the year), I find it worth it.