First off, I write Novels so I'm not certain how submitting applies to other areas. When I was younger, it used to be that you could submit a query to the larger publishing houses and they would be at least read. Because the industry became flooded with manuscripts from every tom dick and harry, most of which couldnt write well at all, they stopped accepting manuscripts, queries and the like from non-published authors. These days, the most commonly accepted route of publication for a novel, is to seek out an agent to represent your work. The following is the process I follow: 1. Make sure you manuscript is complete. KNow the word count, the page count, title, and make sure it is properly formatted. 2. Research, google, use the library to find agents that represent the kind of work you write. If you write Womens Fiction, seek an agent that represents it. Certain agents have certain preferences and if you submit a genre to an agent that doesnt represent that genre it will go straight into the round file. 3. Once you find an agent that is taking submissions for your genre, you must write a "Query" letter. A query letter usually includes a brief introduction as to what you are submitting along with a "synopsis" of the story and a small authors bio. the "synopsis" for the query should not be confused with the "summary" which will come later. The Synopsis should read like the short blurb on the back of a book. Never let your query letter exceed one page in length and NEVER email anything as an attachment unless SPECIFICALLY asked to do so. 4. Next, you wait. If you get a "sorry this isnt a project for me" , move on to the next agent. If you get a positive response, they mostly look something like this "We would like to see a summary and a few sample chapters of your work blah blah..." Do exactly what they ask. The SUMMARY should be a one or two page description of your story from beginning to end devoid of detail. They want to know what happens from start to finish with NO SURPRISES. Include your sample chapters and by all means make sure they are clean crisp and as polished as you can possibly make them. Sometimes they ask for specific chapters, other times they just want samples and you can pick which ones to send. If they dont request specific chapters, my usual method is to send the 1st, a middle chapter and the last. 5. Then u wait some more and hope to god they like it enough to see the whole thing I havent gotten to THIS point yet so I cant really help you here.. I have gotten some good responses to my queries over the years but where my work fails is once they request to see more, it usually gets rejected. The trick then is to figure out what is not catching them..in my case, it was the opening of the novel which I have fixed. So..im off to submit some more! Hope this helps some of you!