This came from a panel of two publishers, Billie Johnson, Jo Wilkins, Christopher Scott Wyatt and Marilyn Olsen at the PSWA conference. I'm just going to list the things they said, not who said them.
Looking at the content, that it flows, no passive voice, fixed POV, continuity and strong verb usage.
Strong narrative voice, wants to really be pulled into the story, fresh approach, manuscript edited, voice is most important.
Everyone needs and editor. Get it manuscript into shape before sending it out. Revisions can make inconsistencies.
Style appropriate to the subject.
Think about the genre, subject matter. Great title, first sentence and first paragraph.
Need to use the 6 senses--and don't forget smell. Smell is the strongest memory, should mean something to the story.
Convey to the reader the inner working of the mind. Add texture.
Balance dialogue, narrative and action. Every sentence needs to move the plot forward.
Keep fictional and real facts true.
This was another great panel at the PSWA conference.