They've posted on the Paying Markets forum and someone suggested we should have a thread for people to discuss the experience. Hopefully our first guinea pig can cross post his experiences here. (Tom?)
It's early days yet - the book hasn't been published - but I'm very impressed so far.
JMS has responded very quickly to all my queries and been very open about what they can and cannot do.
Their contract looks pretty straightforward and fair. Plus it only assigns print/Kindle rights and that only for two years so how bad can it be?
They went over budget on the cover to get me the cover illustration I wanted (a portrait in the National Portrait Gallery that we have to pay the NPG for).
JMS edited my work and tightened it. I can only compare this with editing a non-fiction book Gower published. JMS was better.
The down-side is that JMS is very small and distribution is likely to be limited, though they claim good contacts with some gay bookshops and a presence at gay fairs and events. They do have a professional looking web presence and Amazon listings.
I'll let you know how it works out. Fingers crossed!
Nicely designed site with good covers. It's not so great to see so many of the owner's amongst them (5 out of 12 on the front page), or that the 'we will open' spiel is still there despite the date mentioned being July 1st.
Prices look sensible, they're going to be available through a range of retailers, and the whole site is pitched at readers rather than authors. Royalties are 50% net; doesn't specify what goes into net, though probably will in the contract. They're working with ASP Wholesale to get books in niche stores in the US.
JMS has experience with publishing magazines before, but doesn't seem to have worked with novels (apart from her own). I can't find anything on A D Haines (name is too common) but Loukie Adler has worked as an editor for Mundania Press for three years. So, more experience than a lot of start ups, but not tons.
I corresponded briefly with her. She wanted to publish my novel but her offer was second and I felt obliged to go with the first (most else being equal). I checked with Writer Beware and JMS came back with a clean bill of health tho with the comments nkkingston made. JMS was very pleasant, knowledgeable and responsive. I actually felt a little bad about turning her down. Hearing Tom's remarks, she sounds great.
We're officially getting published on 28 November but it's already live on Amazon.com (not amazon.co.uk though) and I have copies of the paperback.
It looks lovely. JMS arranged to print with a POD printer who can run here and in the US so it's printed by Lightning Source here. A friend who's into fonts complains they don't like the font but I do (and I could have asked for changes at pdf, I guess). I'm into paper and I reckon they could have used slightly better paper but I don't notice the font and my friend doesn't notice the paper and I'm guessing that most people will think it's just fine.
I'm impressed that JMS went to the trouble of finding someone who can print in the UK, making it sensible to have copies run over here. My copies cost £3 each (to the printer for 244 pages) and delivery was cheap.
JMS is really a start-up and recruiting new authors like crazy but she's giving us all a lot of support, including trying to develop an online community for us. She has had a lot of experience of self-publishing and is transferring that across to her new venture. She certainly comes over as professional and knowing what it's about in a way that some people who appear saying, 'I'm going to start a press' don't.
I have yet to see any actual sales (on account of it's not officially published yet) but I remain very, very impressed so far.
I believe Tom has two books there now--altho I probably shouldn't say that; he's undoubtedly quite capable of answering for himself. I have one book with their YA imprint, Queerteen Press.
It is what it is, a small press with an (apparently) active author community (I get regular messages) and a hands-on publishing style. My book went thru a regular editing phase and I was presented with Galleys, etc. and royalties thus far have been paid timely. I hate my cover, but I don't much fault them for that. I approved the dang thing.
There is not a huge marketing dept/strategy--but that is pretty standard for small publishers. They have access to all the normal outlets, but be prepared to ferret out as much of your own promo activities as possible. They always supported me in anything I wanted to do.
They no longer automatically do paperbacks - you have to meet a qualifying sales target in e-format first.
If you don't like a cover, you're welcome to put up an alternative. I was heavily involved in both my covers and like them.
JMS has realised that the money is in relatively short straightforwardly homoerotic stuff, preferably featuring sports players. If that's where you're at, you should definitely go for them. I'm not in that market, but I think I could have done a whole lot worse.
Hey I'm looking at a division of this press, QueerTeen and wondering what people's experiences are? Do they pay on time? How is there editing? The publication process? What do they do for marketing? Anyone know?
No problems with payment. They have professional line editing. Publication process is smooth. Marketing is limited, which is inevitable given their size. But they do have a presence in the gay community and their books can be ordered through regular wholesalers.
JMS and I are parting company because commercial realities mean that they have tightened their focus. My next book has a heterosexual hero and they won't want it and it wouldn't be a good fit anyway. They have been very straight about letting me have the rights back, even though they could have delayed. They're a good company and if your books fit their list, you could do an awful lot worse. I'm very grateful that they took me on and I'm happy to recommend them.
Solid small publisher of mainly m/m. I have bought some of their books. They look to do print over a certain length. I can honestly say that I haven't heard anything negative about them through the author grapevine.
I've got three short pieces with JMS Books (2 out, one coming out in Feb) and I'm working on another one for a submissions call. Though small, it's well run and just as professional as larger publishers I've worked with. Definitely worth including them on your list of places to submit to.
Selling from their website for people in Europe has been hit by the annoying VAT changes, but the books are also available on Amazon, Smashwords, AllRomance ebooks and the other usual places.
I was wondering if there was a separate link within this forum with regard to this publisher because this thread had been silent for a while. Glad to note that it usually stays that way when there's nothing to be discussed.
In case anyone is interested in submitting to this publisher, my experience with it (so far) has been great. The acceptance takes anywhere between 5-10 days. Cover is, more or less, negotiable with the owner. The marketing can be better, but considering that it is such a small press, it is to be expected. The royalty statement and payment were prompt; at least mine was - my first one, that is.
Then again, I only have one book out with this publisher so far, which was released on December 17th, 2016, so they only have to deal with statement from December 17th-31st, 2016. LOL! My sales number (only through the publisher's website so far because the distributors have yet to submit information and payment to my publisher) is small, but considering that the number is only from the publisher's website and only from December 17th-31st, I think it's not such a horrible number.