Publishers and how to find them
There are so many publishers out there. Big press and small press. Print publishers and e-publishers. Even before I started my first story, I researched which publishers just to see what it was that they were interested in. I wanted to target my submissions to a receptive audience...
Different publishing houses all have their own submission guidelines, as well as types of stories they are looking for, or are willing to accept. The sheer volume of publishers threatened to overwhelm me, so I took a couple of my favorite authors, and looked to see who their publishers were. Then, when I participated in an online writing course, someone mentioned Piers Anthony's website. He has an amazingly detailed list of publishers with explanations and recommendations for each. Definitely a must see if you plan to start submitting.
In the end, I entered my first novella in a writing contest - The Red Sage Publishing Alpha Male Contest. It won first place, and they offered me a contract to publish it in Secrets - Volume 30. Since they publish several of my favorite authors, I was thrilled. After I managed to overcome the shock, I accepted quickly before they had a chance to change their mind.
The next story I wrote was a short sci-fi erotic romance, and I submitted it to Changeling Press, both because they actively acquired this type of story, and because I loved their books. Imagine my surprise when they accepted it! I'd already decided it sucked, and was planning ways to revise it. LOL.
I have to be honest; I didn't look a lot farther. Changeling has accepted every manuscript I've written since, and until I decide to branch out into full-length novels, I see no reason to change publishers. They are incredibly author-friendly and helpful.
My next search is going to be for an agent. Anybody got any suggestions?