In one of my writing groups the coordinator said you should start at the top to submit. I agree. But it is a tough business, writing. Let alone getting it picked up by anyone especially the big five humongous publishing houses.Thankfully there are small presses and medium presses to help out when a manuscript is rejected or not even looked at. But does it take away from your book if you are picked up by a lesser house? That is a debate for people who write. It all depends on your view-point of whether you are okay with a smaller press or if you are willing to get rejected excessively by a big house.
To me traditionally publish is traditionally published regardless of the size of the company. I always when I submit start at the top and work my way down and hope before I reach the bottom someone is willing to take a chance on my submission. Smaller presses to medium presses give you more freedom than the larger one.
I have two full books that are out in print and two more will be coming out this year. I have had the luxury in having a final say in the cover, the edits and overall the structure of the book. I like that. A lot. Writing is a hard occupation, getting your book out there even harder. So why make it even worse by limiting your options for your book? Doesn’t it deserve a chance to shine?