Do you go to college? Do you study English literature? Most of us writers do, but I know writers who are software programmers or engineers, and they do just fine, too?
When you as an author are looking for a publisher, you need to know the hierarchy of a company. When you meet an editor, you need to know, “Am I talking to a real decision-maker here, or am I wasting my time?”
as authors, all of us want to get great word of mouth advertising. It is easily the least expensive form of advertising—since it costs you nothing—and the most productive form of advertising, since it comes in the form of testimonials from people that you know, and trust, and who are more or less a lot like you.
Most authors don’t think about “choosing” a publisher. Most authors send out manuscripts, sometimes rather blindly, in the hopes that a good publisher will choose them.
But think about this. Before a publisher can respond to your manuscript, you have to initiate the contact. You’ll never get a good publishing deal without first choosing to send the manuscript out in the first place.
For most authors, the publisher might just be a name that they see on a list. The author doesn’t necessarily know if the publisher is a good one, a great one, or a terrible publisher—and publishers do run the gamut from fantastic to mediocre and down into terrible and hellish.