If you are an unpublished author and wish to read articles about how you actually get published, this is a very good post.
I am not good at writing posts like that, because my success was a deeply bizarre series of events that could not be duplicated on demand, so this is a much better post, and the only thing I could add is A) get an agent, get an agent, for the love of god get an agent, and B) don’t ask published writers with agents you know if they will introduce you to theirs, as this is generally a social faux pas unless you are best and dearest friends and have, on at least one occasion, saved them from being eaten by weasels.* As with many things, they are allowed to offer–and if they offer, leap on it!–but you probably should not ask, and if you DO ask, be willing to take “Um. I don’t think she’s taking submissions right now” for an answer and do not keep digging. Your friend is a writer, not an agent herself. If she wanted to be an agent and send people’s work to other people while feigning enthusiasm, she would have gone into that line of work in the first place. (As you may guess from this, I had a few people who I knew vaguely in passing suddenly become very interested in bein’ buddies the minute I got an agent and a book deal and made no attempt to disguise the reasons. It was tiresome, and I still feel awkwardly about the whole thing years later.)
Also, and totally unrelated, I had a fan recognize me in the grocery store yesterday! It was awesome. I have never been recognized at random before–I mean, one time when I handed over my credit card, and she actually read the name, but never just cold before–and I was thrilled. I hope the fact that I was caught largely flat-footed and probably babbled like an idiot or leaving Awkward Hanging Pauses did not make her feel too awkward. (Should you randomly recognize me in a grocery store, feel free to say hi! You will feed my ego for a month! I’m just, err, kind of a dweeb, so…y’know.)
…I just hope that she didn’t see the bit where I was surreptitiously fondling toilet paper to see if the stuff made from sugar cane fiber was going to be as much like wiping with burlap as I thought it would be. That was perhaps not dignified.
*My buddy Deb did indeed get me an agent...but not HER agent, and not quite intentionally at first. See "deeply bizarre series of events." Her agent is a lovely woman and would not agent me in a million years, given that we are a bad genre mis-match.