Having recently finished a short body of work, I took to the internet to see how to go about publishing.
I started off checking out the advice on the professional organizations websites, SFWA and HWA. The main piece of advice I got was to start at the top with professional organization and work down. I also discovered Duotrope and Ralan's, which I have bookmarked up to the right.
Now I noticed that looking through the Duotrope stats, most people don't start with professional rates and work down, they tend to work up. I'm not a fan of that because 1) what if you could get a pro sale, but don't? 2) there are many semi- and non- paying markets. I figure once I exhaust the paying markets, I can submit to these to my heart's content. Also, in order to reach my goal (becoming a member of a professional organization), I need at least one pro sale.
The nice thing about Duotrope is that it tracks my submissions for me. Not only that, but I can put in new pieces and do a search for applicable markets.