My friend and teaching colleague, Margie, emailed me some incredibly interesting writer'y stuff. First off is a site called Authonomy from Harper Collins. You can upload a portion of your book - get feedback and get ranked. Those who rank high get attention...from real Harper editors.
However, I remember from the SCBWI conference - you don't want to submit to editors and agents at the same time - bad no-no. So, either wait till you get all no's from your agent queries and then submit to Authonomy OR submit to Authonomy first, before you query agents.
I'm damn close to the 'all no' from agents phase. Anyone have a tissue?
The other awesome site she found is called Namelos. It's brand new on the scene of publishing - Cynthia Leitich Smith interviewed Stephen Roxburgh, Namelos's head dude. Her interview gets right to the heart of the company. It seems to be a full service company with a sole purpose of getting writers and illustrators to publication - but with no bs. He talks straight about the first eval of your work and if there is no potential, they'll tell you.