When I first started submitting my work to publishers, I read all the advice. Address your work to the right person (and in Grimbold Books’ case, don’t assume Sammy is a man…). Check what sort of genres and styles the publisher takes. Tell them something about your book and yourself, but don’t ramble. Don’t tell them that your mother loves it (of course she does!) and don’t make grandiose claims about bestsellers and the millions that your book will make if it’s published…
I thought the horror stories about “it’s a potential bestseller but everyone is out to get me”, “the beginning’s a bit slow and it needs some work”, “my friends all love it” and even “spell-check? What’s that?” were exaggerated.
I’m one of the readers for our current Grimbold Books sub call, and I also beta-read for people. I now know that the horror stories aren’t exaggerated. *weeps quietly in the corner*
So if you’re submitting a piece of work to a publisher, here’s my piece of advice to help the editors keep their sanity: for my brain’s sake, learn to write sentences. And don’t, please, tell me that your mother liked the book. I’m sure your mother is lovely but that recommendation did nothing to endear your book to me.
If you can follow the advice above, then I like you already!
Ps. If you want some more in-depth advice, then Jo Hall has done some excellent pointers on her blog.