When you are trying to get published there are all kinds of rules to follow. Usually the rules are made by the publishers. What I have discovered on my own journey is to not listen to the noise.
Rule 1 that I would not pay attention to; Only submit to one publisher at a time. This is a numbers game. Give yourself every opportunity to find your publisher. I would submit to as many publishers as you have time to submit to in your genre.
The one rule I would advise you to follow is the rule of submission guidelines. Make sure you pay attention to what each publisher is looking for under their guidelines for submission. This rule is very important and you need to pay attention to it.
Make sure you submit the very best product that you are capable of submitting. Hire an editor or two to go through your manuscript. The cleaner your material is the more publishers will look at it.
The easier you can make it for a publisher the more they will like your work. There are hundreds of submissions every year. It is a competition and the more polished your story is, the more publishers will consider it.
Don’t take rejection personal. It’s not personal. You might have the greatest story and the best manuscript in the world. It is still a matter of connecting with a publisher that believes in your work. Don’t listen to the noise when it comes to being rejected. Learn from any advice being offered. Don’t let it be the end result for you. Don’t listen to the noise when someone rejects your work.
I love that I’ve reinvented myself at age 64 to have this new writing career. Writing novels that I love to write. If I had listened to all the noise I would not be writing today. Write with passion and love for what you are doing. Don’t listen to the noise around you.
Have a great time and write everyday!