It's surprising how much writing is research. The funny part is that writers research for the stories inside their book more than for the book itself. I know the feeling. You're done and you just want to get it out there. You just want to get it published.
If you've spent hours tracking down whether a character could have used a certain slang word in the year your story takes place, you certainly need to take a few minutes on the blog circuit before sending that book out into the world to a publisher or agent though. Find out about who you're dealing with before you send the manuscript. It's your work and worth the protection or at least going in with your eyes wide open.
Here is one site I recommend with some suggestions there for others you need to view: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22
This site lists publishers and agents to be wary of and they keep it fairly updated. There are discussion forums for some of the worst industry offenders that really, really can save you from the expense of self publishing traps. And those other publishers and agents that take advantage of your trust too.
Of course, take anything into consideration. Everyone has an axe to grind and everyone has a different publishing experience. But it doesn't hurt to learn from others and save yourself and your book from the mistakes that are easy to make.
Stay sharp out there and your pen will remain mightier than any sword against you. Knowledge is power and combined knowledge prevents the abuse of power. Pass the website on and let's eliminate some of the abuses out there.
Causes Teryl Cartwright Supports
United Methodist Committee on Relief, American Red Cross, Heifer Project, American Cancer Society, Doctors without Borders