I’m delighted to welcome J.M. Snyder, founder of JMS Books to the RNA blog today.
Welcome JM. I understand that it’s your 9th Anniversary in July, can you tell us what made you set up JMS Books? How difficult was it to start up as a new publisher?
Hi! Thanks for having me 🙂 I started JMS Books when several of my older titles were coming out of contract and the publisher I enjoyed working with wasn’t taking re-releases at the time. A friend of mine had stories he was interested in selling, too, so he encouraged me to look into creating my own press. I wouldn’t say it was difficult to start up, but it was a lot of paperwork!
Are you planning on doing anything special for your Anniversary?
To celebrate our 9th year, all of the stories we’re publishing in July use the number 9 in some way. From 9 gravestones to 9 cocktails, the 9th planet to the 9th ingredient, every story is a celebration of our anniversary. (We’ll most likely also throw in a sale there, too!)
That sounds fun! What are your future plans for the company? Where do you hope to see your company in another nine years?
My plan for the company is to keep publishing LGBTQ+ romance our authors love to write and our audience loves to read!
What’s your typical working day like?
Well, here’s a secret — I run JMS Books while also working a full-time day job. I was self-employed for several years, but the loss of some distribution outlets made it necessary for me to get back into the working world, especially since my cats seem in no hurry to become internet stars. So my day is a bit overflowing. I wake up early to write before I go to my day job, and when I get off work at 5, I come home to work on JMS Books — cover art, book layouts, paperbacks, as well as marketing, distribution, and updating our websites. Around midnight I head to bed to start it all over again in the morning!
It sounds like a very long working day! What are you hoping to find in your submissions pile?
I would love to see more diversity. We publish all flavors of the rainbow, and the bulk of submissions are M/M, but we’d like to see other queer pairings, as well. Personally I’m a big genre fan — I love sci-fi, fantasy, western, dystopias, post-apocalyptic, or futuristic stories, so I have a soft spot for those!
How important is the synopsis to you?
Not very, and that’s why we don’t require it for stories under 40k. We want a detailed blurb that highlights the story and discloses the ending. A lot of author will be delighted about that, writing a synopsis is something most of us hate, but if the story doesn’t grab us from the opening paragraph, a synopsis isn’t going to help much. You know when you find a great story, simple as that.
What makes you sit up and take notice in a submission? Can you give us any tips on how to make a submission attract your attention?
You’d be surprised how nice it is to see a submission formatted per our guidelines. 🙂 Just receiving a story that’s clean and error free and formatted the way we ask shows the author cares enough about it to want to get it published. There’s no bigger turn off than spelling, grammar, or formatting mistakes.
Also, at times we get subs I know the author’s just flinging out into the void. My advice is to do your research — don’t send us a story that doesn’t fit in with the rest of our catalog. Look at our best-sellers, see what works for our audience, read our books.
How important is it to you that an author has a social media presence?
In this day and age, it’s almost imperative for an author to have social media of some type. Unless you’re JK Rowling or Stephen King, you aren’t going to sell many books on your name alone. Social media is a great way to find readers and promote yourself. But don’t only use it for promo purposes — readers like to get to know the person behind the words. I’ve found I sell better when I interact with readers and not just try to get them to buy your books.
What do you enjoy reading when you get chance to relax?
Stephen King is my favorite author, so anything he writes in an insta-buy for me. I also like to re-read favorite books (the longer, the better!). I read a lot of quirky nonfiction, too, and I love a good zombie story.
Thank you for talking to us today, JM. To find out more contact JMS Books here:
JM- http://www.jmsnyder.com (mostly inactive),
http://www.jmsnyder.net (needs to be u
JM was talking to Karen King. Karen writes sassy, heart-warming romance and edgy YA with a heart. You can find out more about her here: Website