Dear Miss Snark,
When you submit to Ballantine, for instance, and receive a rejection, do you then submit to other Random House family publishers like Knopf or Shaye Areheart? Or is one editor's opinion applied to the entire family? Random House, again just as an example, has a whole slew of imprints and divisions, and it appears that many of them overlap in type of books they publish--for instance, a bunch of them publish commercial women's fiction. Or is each imprint very precise in what it handles, even if that's not apparant to an outsider?
Excuse me I think I fell off my chair laughing at that idea! KY is having a hilarity seizure at my feet. Where's the inhaler??
Now that we've restored what passes for order around here:
The big houses like Random, Penguin, Simon and Schuster, Holtzbrink and Hachette (formerly Warner) all have divisions within divisions, imprints within divisions and groups gathering many but not all under one VP. Confusing doesn't BEGIN to describe it.
I have maps to sort out who's where and reports to whom.
Just to make everything REALLY fun, some editors who work at a specific imprint can also acquire for other parts of a division. So, a guy who works for a science fiction division has lunch with me, mentions he likes cowgirl lit, and next thing you know I've sold him something that can be described as women's fiction but won't be cause it's going to be a western now.
I spend a good part of my day yapping with editors about what they are looking for and what they aren't. My colleagues and I exchange info so we can all try and stay up to speed on who's where and what they want.
I don't think any of this would be obvious or even fathomable to someone who isn't in the mix on a daily basis.
And just to keep us all on our toes, every imprint has different policies about whether no from one editor means no from everyone.