Following a couple of agent sites, which I won't mention names, I have read that do not bother submitting unless you are well-known, already published by a royalty-paying agency, or have been recommended by someone already with the company. WOW!! Where's the opportunity in that? So if you are a nobody, good luck!! Basically, what is happening here is that if you are not published (a newbie) you don't stand a chance unless there is a royalty-paying agency out there willing to take you on. So it is like looking for your first job, you must first have experience to get that first job. Big oxy-moron here, putting it nicely. You are ------ if you do and ------ if you don't.
Platform, platform, platform my friends. That is important. Comment on others sites often (advice by Nathan Bransford). Visit Writing conferences and sell your manuscript personally with 10-minute slots you purchase to spill your elevator pitch. This is your only shot in the dark if you are unknown.
Platform, platform, platform--make yourself known. Do what you can to prove your worth as an author. But, remember my friends, enjoy writing, enjoy the journey, enjoy learning the ropes, and best wishes in your success in getting published. The New Year is the new year and we have a whole new road to begin our travels. It is my wish you enjoy the journey, and write, write, write.