Yes, you read that right. An experiment was done twenty some-odd years ago by a reporter for the Orlando Weekly. He submitted the best selling, Pulitzer prize winning novel THE YEARLING to publishers as an un-represented manuscript with a new (un pc) title.
The results may seem surprising to you. But from a publishing/development perspective, this is a hard truth of the modern literary world. Back in the 30’s, agents weren’t a necessity. Corporations didn’t own the major distribution houses. Heck, there wasn’t a near monopoly on publishing or distribution anyway. More open avenues of distribution meant more attention put to every single submission, represented or not.
Read this article as it should enlighten you to what you face in the modern era of content distribution. Even though it’s from 1991, it still holds up for the most part today.