on Jane Friedman site:
Is your manuscript ready to pitch, or does it still need work? It can be a maddening question to answer. Even for seasoned authors, the question of when a manuscript is ready to pitch can be a tough call.
Leonardo da Vinci is credited as saying, “A work of art is never done, only abandoned,” and it’s easy to feel like there’s always something else you can do, some new element you can add to make your manuscript stronger.
Of course, that’s usually true. But if you’re ever going to write another book, there comes a point where you’re going to have to take a deep breath, cross your fingers, and hit submit.
So: How do you know when that time has come?
The most effective process I’ve found for determining whether a manuscript is ready to pitch is to look at its opening the way a publishing pro would. This means first reading the query letter and synopsis and then turning a critical eye to the first fifty pages.