Pick a reputable writing conference to go to. You meet other writers (it’s good not to be on your own all the time), you learn from the lectures and you may make a break through if you get the chance to make appointments to see editors, agents and/or publishers. Visit any associated bookfair to support fellow authors and there’s usually a wide range of books to help support your writing too.
You can’t write unless you read in and out of your genre, fiction and non-fiction, modern and classic. You’ve got to know what you like and/or dislike to help you decide what you want to produce. Also it is a question of supporting the industry you want to join as an author!
Always go into things with your eyes wide open and accept that every industry has its charlatans. Why should publishing be exempt? After all writers are dealing with “dreams” – and what do con artists exploit? Check things out, the Society of Authors is very helpful, and if in doubt use Google. If there’s something dodgy about a company, someone somewhere will have Googled about it. If it seems too good to be true, it is.
Always spell check your work with a decent dictionary and don’t rely on the computer. I find the grammar check more useful but still like to check grammar for myself. All faults are my own etc etc! Be professional in your approach to agents and publishers. Your cover letter/synopsis must be word and grammar perfect.
Being too Perfect
Make your work as good as it can be before submitting it anywhere. But don’t use that as an excuse never to send work out. Ultimately submitting work is the way to get the feedback you need. If it’s really good someone somewhere will want that piece. You’re looking to make sure that nobody can read your work and automatically dismiss it. You want them to read it, love it, remember it and publish it!