If you first publish in the wrong place, that is....? My dilemma is this; I have a significant number of short stories ready for submission. I am always told that virtually all mainstream publishers are not interested in short story collections, especially single-author collections; apparently they don't sell. However, I am also told that publishing short stories in magazines may be useful in terms of building one's credibility, getting a loyal readership, and hence eventually landing a deal for a 'proper' book. So I have put together a long list of magazines that may, in principle, be interested in the short stories that I have written. But I get the strong impression that the quality control of some of these magazines is, ahem, variable. My question to all of you out there who have been through this process is: can you harm your reputation by being published in a magazine which habitually publishes poorly-written material? Or is any publication, no matter where, a Good Thing for a previously unpublished writer?