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I recently wrote a short story (I'm still in the process of editing it, but it's all written), and have been looking at different publication options. The story is about 8,000 words, a mystery story.

I could publish it online on a website (such as Medium), or I could submit it to magazines that publish short stories (The Strand, Ellery Queen). The main difference is that with a website like Medium, my work will automatically be published online (if I understand correctly), but a magazine has only a small chance of publishing my work.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of publishing on a site that will publish anything versus submitting to a selective magazine? I suppose, if it's relevant, that my ultimate goal would be to publish a collection of short stories.

I live in the US.

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How you publish all depends on your ultimate goal. Do you want to reach the maximum number of readers? Do you want to make a profit? Or, do you want to just finally get that manuscript anywhere so that someone other than yourself will finally see it?

If you publish on a website which will publish anything, your work will get out there. That's easy. The problem is that every other author can also get their work on their pretty easily... so, your work will be a drop in a bucket. Unless you work hard to market traffic to your work, there's a chance that nobody might see your work.

The advantage of a more selective magazine is that if your work gets in, it has less competition. Readers trust the editors to vet stories that are actually good.

If I was in your shoes, my personal decision would be to publish in a place where I can get my work out easily and then I'd do the legwork to plaster the links all over social media. It's a lot of work... but nobody believes in your ability to draw an audience more than you.

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