Here I was at the top of my mountain worrying about my family, who was at the bottom of the mountain at the river. (Flash flood anyone?) It takes around 45 minutes to drive to the river even though it is only a few miles away as the crow flies. So, I'm trying not to worry. The kids are with their Dad, they're fine, I tell myself over and over. They got out of there when it started to rain.
They didn't, but they're perfectly fine. Why? Because it barely sprinkled--a couple of miles away. Microclimates. Harsh weather right here on top of the mountain. Warm and pleasant at the bottom.
Of course, as pretty much everything in life, it makes me think of publishing. (No, I'm not obsessed or anything.) There are tons of publishing houses. They all publish books. From off in the distance they look a lot alike. Seems the weather should be about the same, they're all close enough. Right? No way!
Even if two publishers publish the same kind of book, say picture books, they may be looking for completely different types of stories. Don't send your edgy story with human characters to a publisher who only does stories about animals. Find a publisher who likes edgy picture books. Don't send your 250 word story to a publisher who wants picture books that come in around 1000 words. (Yes, there are still some of those out there.) No matter what type of book you are writing, you need to do research on who to send your manuscript to. It may be raining literary young adult novels at the top of one mountain while it sprinkles educational non-fiction for grades 4-12 at another.
How do you do this? You're on the internet right now, aren't you? Find the websites of the publishers who interest you. Look at the books on their list. Read about the company. Find their submission guidelines and go over them. Find books similar to yours. Look up those publishers. Research, research, research. Then send out your well-targeted manuscript and hope for that storm of good news to roll in!