I revisited Miss Snark's blog today and read her critiques of several queries and book proposals. She recently took Crapometer submissions and is currently reviewing them and posting her responses. She points to several basics that those submitting to agents should keep in mind:
- Address the agent/editor by name--do your research!
- Use your spelling and grammar check before sending the submission!
- Have a hook--if you didn't know how the story ends, would you keep reading it?
- If what you've written screams cliche, throw it back!
Take a look. You might find something helpful. Reading the submission critiques might make you feel better or terrify you, but as long as you have a sense of humor, you will laugh.