My friend Mindy Klasky posted a wonderful tutorial on what to do to increase your chances of publication. It's called "How to Move Your Stories into the World" . I'd like to mention another area of concern for writers trying to get better at the craft, and that's tools. I don't think there's as much universal advice on the tool side of the task--everyone works differently--but I will say it helps a lot of have a decent printer. Proofing on the screen is not as good as from the page. Mindy recommends reading aloud, which is a very good thing, but definitely easier to do from paper. If your printer is slow and clunky, it's tempting to put off printing another draft after you finish revising, but it's so much better if you do!
And now I'm off to print my m.s. and send it to my agent! A much more cheerful task than when I printed it to read aloud.
(20 minutes later) Argh! There is some ancient Greek Fury who flies through the air listening for people who are bragging about their printers! She instantly zaps the ink from the cartridge in mid-manuscript