I'm learning some tricks about publishing--lessons which are different in the small press/short fiction market and the mass commercial market.
1. Editors and readers of smart short fiction mags differ from the general reading public. Several reviews of my short fiction collections have brought this to my attention. Most recently, a reviewer in the UK wrote: " I particularly enjoy short stories that offer a final twist. I don't
recall any of this collection having what I would regard as a decent
ending" of Violent Ends. Ouch. Anyone in the UK want to counter that with some mild words of praise? I'll give you a cookie...
Anyway, final twists? Good luck getting a story with a "twist" ending published in most mags.
2. Commercial readers, by and large, don't give a sh*t about how beautiful your prose is. In fact, some will simply regard creative word-play as "typos" and snark about it.
I've published a few pieces under pseudonyms. No, I won't tell you what they are, yet, because they aren't in my genre. Let's just say they aren't my best work. Trust me. What I will tell you is that they are outselling In the Memory House, a book on which I worked for half the year. Gives a guy pause...
3. Cover art matters to everyone. I've given Black Medicine Thunder a Facelift and cover art change:
I think I like. You?