What do publishers and agents want most?
Let me enlighten you: They want professionals.
They want a mystery writer who will bust his ass selling books.
They want a YA author who can rip out a full trilological book series with each book stronger than the last.
They want a romance or a literary woman who knows her target audience and is willing to sit down and bang out two novels a year, steadfast, from A to Z, starting with A is for Alibi.
Let us face reality, my pre-published friends and neighbors: Agents are business people. Publishers are businesses. Editors don't work for free.
So when you ask, "What does an editor/agent/publisher want from poor little unpublished me?"
The answer is simple, and they respond, "We want you to make us some money, you dumb knucker!"
Don't forget that.
Be professional. Show them a strong work ethic. Demonstrate the ability to bust your ass in sales and marketing.
You might be surprised at their response.