I feel like such a dolt. Not only did I forget to do a tip yesterday, I forgot to do one last week. So here's my belated advice.
Tip of the Week: Never admit it's your first time.
Now this can be taken to mean so many things, but I'm referring here to cover letters. In the submissions for the now defunct ghost story anthology I had a fair number of people tell me that this was there first submission ever. Now other than being slightly flattered that they chose my humble little press to make their first foray into the publishing world, I was confused by these people's choice. Why on an otherwise professional letter would they chose to admit that they were new at this? It won't change my opinion of their actual story, and I've worked with new and established authors. I haven't got a preference. And except for that sentence telling me, I would never have known that these folks weren't experienced submitters. I could tell that they'd never been published because of the lack of publishing credits. However they were professional and properly written submissions that didn't send up any red flags. So, my advice is to never tell an editor or agent that you've never submitted to anyone before. We don't care if it's your first or thirtieth submission. We care about the manuscript attached. You are a professional writer regardless of whether or not you've happened to be published. Act professional. Volunteering your newness to the profession isn't professional.