So, one of the more annoying questions a writer with a newly finished manuscript gets is "So do you have a publisher yet?" It's not really their fault for asking, but they don't know there's a process that you have to go through to get an agent first when you're going the traditional route of mainstream publishing.
That process generally starts with a query.
A query is a proposal that sells your 70-100-thousand-word book in under 250 words. You need a hook. You need a touch of what goes down. You need to get it as close to right as possible.
And as Revo said in his WriterWorld of Horror, the flawless horse doesn't exist. http://therevofiles.blogspot.com/2012/04/writerworld-of-horrors-part-two.html
You just need to pique an agent's interest. But what's too much? What's not enough? What do you show, and what do you tell? These are questions we writers deal with on a critique-to-critique basis, and I got so fed up with my inability to get more than one agreeing response (I've had people look at the same query and have one person say I said too much while another said I didn't say enough), I stopped looking at it for two months. I also sent a proposal to a company that said, "Don't send us queries, they're ineffective." I'm paraphrasing, but that was still a blessing.
Anyway, after we get it as right as you want it, we then play the waiting game, because once you send in a proposal, synopsis, query, many places let you know there is a wait on the 2-6 month scale, so, here's to throwing your baby out there and seeing if someone says, "Can you send us the full manuscript?" or "Thanks for letting me read that...but no."
*imaginary shot of rum taken*
The other day, I decided to write a query off the cuff without looking at the last one I'd written. It was about as vague as it could get, and when I finally found the last query I concocted on AQConnect (writers need to go here, by the way http://agentqueryconnect.com/), it was much more detailed, too. I like things out of both of my last two queries, so I'm going to splice them and see what happens. I'll probably get some AQC's to critique it first, but I will post it here.
Crossing my toes! (Because I need my fingers to type.)