Question: I've finished my manuscript, I've gotten feedback and polished it until I'm sure it shines. I know i want to submit it for publication, but I have no idea how. Now what? What do I do next?
Answer: Hopefully, along the way, you've begun to attend writers' conferences, lectures or book signings at bookstores and libraries and maybe even joined a writers' group or two. As in any other profession, it helps to network. You never know who the person sitting next to you knows, either, so be nice to everyone.
One of the first places I'd go to find out how and to whom to submit my work is to writing magazines and books on writing and publishing. Bookstores, libraries and even online communities have great advice on what proper manuscript format looks like, and directories where you can find out who is acquiring what and in what format they'd like to receive it.
Depending on what you've written and to whom you want to submit it to, you may or may not need an agent. Children's literature and short fiction, for example, are traditionally not handled by many agents. And, in this brave new world of Internet communities, you may decide to that a non-traditional route - e-publishing or Print-on-Demand - may be right for you.
So keep an open mind, ask a lot of questions and never take "no" for a final answer. Happy writing!.... annie