Make a submission folder for your work. You usually need the first 3 chapters or 50 pages (this can vary), a synopsis, a short biography, a sheet with your details and a very good letter.
Check website and obey their rules exactly.
Address to a named person if possible.
Make multiple submissions (avoid sites which ask you for exclusivity)
Email submissions are easier, cheaper and more likely to be answered
Keep a record of where you have sent which manuscript
Check in two to three months
These can be reputable or charlatans. Reputable agents often belong to the Association of Authors’ Agents. www.agentsassoc.co.uk or the US equivalent.
Firstwriter.com lists many, but does not carry out extensive checks on their credentials.
Charlatans are everywhere. Never pay them money upfront. Check the get out clause on any contract – you could lose your work if you don’t. Check their legitimacy at www.pred-ed.com.
Another site I like and use for checking is http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/
Some publishers require an agent, many do not. It is worth a try.
There are lots of large and small publishers listed on Firstwriter and on the web. Some are legitimate, some are not. Firstwriter does not check them all but deletes those which are inactive. DO NOT PAY THEM MONEY UP FRONT. Check them out on www.pred-ed.com
The big ones are Kindle and Smashwoords. There are others. Both are free but have strict requirements. Formatting Checklists for Kindle & Smashwords are available on request.
Your print publisher will supply you with an ISBN.
Ebook publishers will give you one free – this is called an ASIN.
You can buy your own ISBNs at www.isbn.nielsenbookdata.co.uk Current price for 10 = £121.98. You need one for hardbacks and paperbacks.