Let’s presume you’ve done al this. How would you put the final touch on your work so that you have a decent chance at selling it well?
I think there is one secret:
Write what you feel like writing.
Well, that’s a bit of a no-brainer. Of course you write what you want to write.
… or do you? Are you trying out a lot of different things? Are you writing stories that are ‘like’ someone else’s? Are you writing a particular subgenre because there is a lot being published in that subgenre?
… or are you writing what experience has told you can write successfully?
… or maybe you haven’t discovered your strengths yet?
… or maybe your strengths are in a genre that doesn’t seem to sell, so you feel forced to write something else?
Just write what you want to write, regardless of the market. Because when you write what is your passion, your stories will be better. Because the magazines may be thoroughly sick of seeing more of the same. Because they may be looking for something that feels genuine.
Write something because your heart is in it, not because you want to sell it.