1 What's your company called?
Matthew James Publishing.
2 What do you publish?
Under our Matthew James imprint we publish feel-good stories and local interest pieces. Tiny Tree Children’s Books is all about bright, colourful and unique children’s books, and Rejoice Publications deals with RE materials and spiritual books.
3 What's the story of the company?
Matthew James was founded almost 25 years ago by Michael Shaw to produce RE materials and religious books. In 2012 his son James took over and led the business in a new direction, splitting the company into three imprints and diversifying our roster of books.
4 How's business?
Great. As a small publishing company our overheads are pretty low, and we continue to release new and interesting titles that sell well, so we can’t complain.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
It gives us the freedom to pick and choose our projects. We’re a small team, of four people at full strength, so we really have to love and believe in a book to publish it. Being independent gives us that choice, and it’s worked out well for us so far.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
For us, it’s a reliance on ready-made brands. It’s hard for new authors, books and ideas to get noticed when everybody is talking about the latest celebrity or YouTube personality to release a book.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Just be yourself. Publish books that you love and go with your gut. It won’t steer you wrong.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
The IPG has been so helpful as a learning resource, but also as a way to make new contacts and meet people in the industry. Our time on the IPG stand at The London Book Fair was a testament to that.