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Thread: Samhain Publishing

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  1. #1
    edorothyb
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    Samhain Publishing

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any dealings with Samhain Publishing? They say their contract is negotiable...is it? Need information as soon as possible. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://samhainpublishing.com/

    They're an ebook publisher. What terms of their contract did you want to negotiate? Since "negotiable" doesn't equal "we'll give you anything you want", be sure you understand what rights you're willing to part with, etc., and don't be afraid to decline a deal you don't feel comfortable with.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 01-31-2006 at 06:04 AM. Reason: Godly Mod split thread.
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  3. #3
    edorothyb
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    Samhain Publishers

    They are also planning to go into print. What does grants to the publisher and its licensees "for the full term of the copyright available.... the following Primary and Secondary rights" mean?

  4. #4
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by edorothyb
    They are also planning to go into print. What does grants to the publisher and its licensees "for the full term of the copyright available.... the following Primary and Secondary rights" mean?
    It means it would be a good idea to have a reputable agent or a lawyer familiar with publishing look over the contract. An inexperienced layperson is probably better off not trying to negotiate alone. Google Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and find your local chapter's info.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edorothyb
    They are also planning to go into print. What does grants to the publisher and its licensees "for the full term of the copyright available.... the following Primary and Secondary rights" mean?
    What Aconite said, because that might translate to "life of author plus 70 years". Make very sure your counsel is familiar with publishing contracts in particular, because many "contract lawyers" aren't.
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  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edorothyb
    What does grants to the publisher and its licensees "for the full term of the copyright available.... the following Primary and Secondary rights" mean?
    It means you're granting the rights specified in the contract for the full term of copyright, which is the life of the author plus 70 years. Primary rights usually means book rights--printing and distributing the book in various parts of the world. Secondary rights, also known as subsidiary rights, might include book club, dramatic, audio, film, serial, translation, and others.

    Before you get alarmed about "life plus 70", this is standard publishing contract language (though not optimal for an electronic or digital publisher--more on that below). However, it MUST be balanced by a clear and unambiguous termination/out of print clause, which specifies exactly how and under what circumstances a book will be declared out of print, and what steps you can then take to get the rights returned to you. Many small POD-based publishers, which are often run by people without publishing experience, have poor or unclear termination clauses, or may even omit a termination clause entirely.

    As I noted above, "life plus 70" isn't ideal for a digital or electronic publisher. This is true for a variety of reasons--their books typically sell in small quantities and for a short period of time, they often go bust after only a few years in business, and their lack of business expertise often makes for all kinds of problems, from nonpayment of royalties to nonproduction of books. Also, things in the digital universe change fast, and if there's a better option you want to be able to jump on it. All of this means that you don't want to be tied to an e- or digital publisher for too long. Either a time-limited contract (1-3 years) or a contract that allows you to terminate at will with adequate notice is far preferable to "life plus 70".

    Another issue: smaller publishers often aren't capable of marketing secondary or subsidary rights (many of them are aren't capable of marketing their books, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms). A publisher shouldn't demand rights it isn't able to sell. Yet many small publishers want a whole smorgasbord of subrights, and often aren't willing to negotiate this.

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  7. #7
    edorothyb
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    Unhappy Samhain Publishing

    Thank you, Victoria and Others.

    I have been going over this contract for days now wondering whether I want to be associated with a publisher that wants my baby before it's even a twinkle in my eye. But I sent it off to a lawyer friend of mine who may be able to help. If not, whether she can or not, I am going to check out the "Volunteers for the Arts" for help. Thanks again,

    Elena

  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    If your lawyer doesn't have intellectual property experience, specifically publishing experience, the odds are she won't be able to help you. Publishing contracts are very specialized documents, and contain terms and clauses not found in other kinds of contracts. Unless you're knowledgeable about those terms and clauses, you may not be able to recognize an author-unfriendly contract. This is especially important when you're dealing with contracts from small publishers, which are often extremely nonstandard.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    New kid, be gentle! Carlene's Avatar
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    Samhain Publishing?

    Hi all - has anyone heard of Samhain Publishing? I went to the website and it looks like a ebook pub. I'm asking because I just got a solitation from them. An editor I had from another publisher is now working there and said she liked my book that she edited so much, she wanted to me send her whatever I have. She did say she couldn't guarantee publication. I won't even bother if it's strictly ebook, but she did say they do paperbacks and distribute through Ingram to Borders, Waldenbooks to name a few. I checked Preditors & Editors but they don't have anything. I'm just curious as I don't have a finished manuscript right now.

    Thanks,

    Carlene
    www.crdater.com

  10. #10
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    From their site [under 'Submissions']:

    Samhain is a royalty paying ebook company that offers 40% of the cover price (as set by Samhain Publishing, Ltd) for a single-author ebook.
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  11. #11
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    They are a new epublisher. If they have plans to move into paperback publishing there isn't much evidence of it.
    Emily Veinglory

  12. #12
    KPainter
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    Samhain was started by Chrissy Brashear, one of the Ellora's Cave co-founders. I don't think there are any plans at this stage to take their titles into print.

  13. #13
    American Aquarium Drinker pepperlandgirl's Avatar
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    Actually, there are plans to go to print, as far as I know. Their contract stipulates print rights, not just e-rights, and Christine has discussed it on the author loop as well. She specifically mentioned everything over a certain word or page count would be elgible for print. (I paid attention to that bit because it looks like my book with them will be my first officially printed and not just published online).

    I haven't seen any indication that her plans have changed.

  14. #14
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory
    They are a new epublisher. If they have plans to move into paperback publishing there isn't much evidence of it.
    I saw a couple of their books in the romance section of Borders today (along with the other trade paperbacks), but I'm pretty sure this was the first time I'd seen them. As far as I could tell, there were only two Samhain books there, one copy of two different titles. So even if they are showing up in stores, they probably won't turn up in mall stores, etc.
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  15. #15
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    The company has only been going a few months with 3 books out in print, so I think having two of then in any given Borders is an excellent result for what is, so far, a smallish press.
    Emily Veinglory

  16. #16
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I liked the look of them enough to submit a novel that has just been accepted. So give it a few months and I should have more to report
    Emily Veinglory

  17. #17
    Print release:Sept.1,'09 Branwyn's Avatar
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    That's great! Congrats!
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  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW Josie's Avatar
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    I've been looking over Samhain Publishing and decided to submit a novel to them also--hopefully they will accept my submissions.:0

    I like the look of them and what they say about publishing authors.

    I'm going to trust and hope they survive.

    I'll keep you posted also.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Josie; 08-11-2006 at 04:55 AM.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Manat's Avatar
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    Any further news from those who went this route?

  20. #20
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Mine won't be out until next year but the signs continue to look good as mentioned above.
    Emily Veinglory

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    Samhain Publishers

    I saw quite a while ago on this board that Samhain Publishers takes novels of 65,000 + straight to print. Is this true, or are they primarily an e-pub? Has anyone seen their books in bookstores?
    Toni
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  22. #22
    Gifted Goofball
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    I think they e-pub everything first, and then print pub novels later...?

  23. #23
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Books over 65,000 always go to print after 6 months (to allow sending of ARCs etc). However in terms of sales is may or may not be fair to say they are primarily an epub, I don't know.

    I don't know in general but I see about a dozen Samhain titles in my local store, all in the romance section. It is easy to chack. Just go to the TPB shelves and look for the red logo at the top of the spine.
    Emily Veinglory

  24. #24
    Print release:Sept.1,'09 Branwyn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I'll let you know, Toni. My book is scheduled for release in April of this year. So, anytime after that(3-6mos.) in print.
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Branwyn
    I'll let you know, Toni. My book is scheduled for release in April of this year. So, anytime after that(3-6mos.) in print.
    Great Branwyn! Good luck. Yes, I'd be interested to know your experience, in case I decide to submit there.
    Toni
    Repped by Josh Getzler, HSG Literary
    Hey! My cat has his own blog! (Yes, Rocco blogs!) http://www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com
    Out now: CLAWS FOR ALARM, the second Nick and Nora mystery
    coming December 2016: OF CRIME AND CATNIP

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