Sending your manuscript to the right publisher is extremely important. Valuable time—both yours and the publisher’s—can be wasted by sending manuscripts to publishers who are not publishing in your genre.
Do some research! Determine which publisher is best suited for your manuscript and which publishers are publishing material that is similar to yours by visiting bookstores or your public library. Bookstore shelves offer a wealth of information, including the titles your book would be competing against, how popular your genre is, and which publishers are involved in the market. Similar information can usually be found online – visit publishers’ websites and online bookstores. Browse around. Take your time. It is probably the most important aspect of the entire process.
If you write fiction or poetry, literary journals and magazines are a good way to explore the fiction and poetry that is currently being published.