I've been searching online and so far I've seen $250 to $2000. I've decided to write a short piece and send it off somewhere. My novel will take until the spring, and I feel a need to test the water with something shorter.

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Good luck with that. :-) The most I've made for a short story is $25, and I've had 15 published.
Thanks, J.E. The payment from these mags is disappointing. Seems like EQ and AH pay the best. I think my work is a little too risky for EQ, so I'll try AH.
EQMM and AHMM probably pay better than anyone in the field. Check their websites for details. They pay per word.
When I finish a short story, it goes to EQMM first (and I'm actually getting personal rejections from Janet Hutchings now,) then to AHMM, then I work my way down through the ezines. Some of the ezines pay, most don't. Some of the ones that don't pay can still be worth submitting to. If you're in New England, you can submit to Level Best Books - http://www.levelbestbooks.com It's an anthology, not a magazine. They pay $25.
That's a good sign. You should try to make sure each story you send Janet is better than your last. And if she gives you any indication what she didn't like about the story, send her a letter back with a suggestion on how you can fix things. I went also from personal rejections from Janet to being published in both EQMM + AHMM, but I made sure that when I got that first personal rejection that the next story I sent her was the best I could do.
Thanks, I.J. Picked up Ellery Queen at the bookstore. I think my stuff may be pushing the envelope for them.
I'm in the same boat Doug. My stories tend to be a little....rough. I have had a lot of luck publishing with the ezines, however, they don't pay much of anything if at all. My short fiction career thus far has netted me $10.
Clay: Yikes! I guess that's why I'm writing a novel. Novels are still a valid economy if you can hit big. I'm thinking of trying my short story at one of the cross-over magazines like Ontario Review that includes noir with its mainstream stuff. Pays okay.
The short story market can be the opening you need to find a book publisher. It was for me.
I've already published, but not in crime fiction. I have an agent who's waiting for me to finish my novel. Did your publisher find you in the mystery mags? My publisher found out about my memoir from a literary journal.
I won an award, mentioned it to an agent, the agent took me on and found my first publisher.
That's what I kind of hope for one day. That my short fiction will help get someone's attention.


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