The Book Smugglers started a publishing arm this year -- starting with short stories -- and I love their site so I eagerly submitted. It turns out I am to be their inaugural story (eee! ), coming out next week, and they announced today, so I can now talk about how UTTERLY AWESOME the experience of working with Ana & Thea the past few months has been.
Production Value: I was not expecting anything near the production value they gave my story -- they're releasing it as an ebook as well as on their site, and the proofs look incredible. I am floored. (And I have very high standards!) Seriously, I cannot get over how good the book looks.
Cover: IS UTTERLY BRILLIANT. They commissioned a custom illustration for the cover (!!) by a wonderfully talented artist and asked me for feedback / what was important to me every step of the way.
Editing: Marvelous. Their edits improved the story by a lot -- and it had been through rigorous beta before submission. The edit process was absolutely painless partly because their edits were so good that I just flat-out agreed with most of them and partly because it felt very collaborative -- they were always willing to listen to my thoughts on how something should be changed (or not changed).
General Correspondence & Professionalism: Through the roof. I don't know when they sleep, but they were always immediately on top of everything and are absolutely lovely people to talk to.
Payment & Contracting: Very prompt, very clear, and good rates & terms (at least, as far as my research / limited experience suggests; this is my first sale but I have done a bunch of reading on what this stuff should look like ).
What They Look For In General: This particular call was for subversive fairy tales, and in general, they particularly seek out themes like feminism, diversity, underrepresented viewpoints, etc.. You can get a good idea by looking at this year's upcoming lineup here:
They're going to be announcing their next call this week, and I HIGHLY recommend submitting to them. Truly a joy to work with. I am thrilled to be publishing with them and I'm just over the moon about everything they've done with my story.