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Thread: Samhain Publishing

  1. #1326
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    I can see those lower percentages on mass-market paperbacks--I've seen them range from 2% to 10%, but I believe those figures were based mostly on cover. It was not stated whether this was net or cover price? Or was it and missed it? On a quality trade paper back, I think 8% on net would be ruinous, or even on an ebook. I think cover price on e-books are much more important to me since I'll sell 75--1 in favor of ebooks.
    It's 8% of cover price for paperback.

  2. #1327
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Suspense Author View Post
    Presses generally either have an advance with low royalties or no advance with decent royalties. Samhain has the worst part of both lol
    I don't know much about print royalty rates, but Samhain's e-book royalty rates are comparable to those of similar publishers, and I would expect e-books would greatly outsell print for most at Samhain. It is an epublisher, after all.
    Last edited by LJD; 10-28-2015 at 03:05 AM.

  3. #1328
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    I make good money at Samhain. Comparable to any of the other places I've published, and better than most of them.

    But of course everyone should submit to the place they think they'll get the best deal - what other houses are you considering, Suspense Author?

  4. #1329
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    FYI, Suspense Author, for erotic romance digital sales, Samhain is consistently one of the highest sellers in the field.

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  5. #1330
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    FYI, Suspense Author, for erotic romance digital sales, Samhain is consistently one of the highest sellers in the field.
    I was just going to say that. Some presses benefit from outstanding sales because of established reader base and publisher popularity. So a low royalty rate might be nearly meaningless if sales are unexpectedly high and consistent. A small press that hasn't been in business for long, has a small back-list and gives or claims to provide the highest royalties can have the weakest sales figures.

  6. #1331
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    We're talking PoD paperbacks, yes? The cost per book for Print-on-Demand is significantly higher than any other form of paperback. The publisher options are to offer a low royalty (on a product that clearly is not a strong seller for them or they would be doing off-set print runs) or to jack up the price of the book in order to offer higher royalties.
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  7. #1332
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Again, FWIW, I also have a contract with a big-5 publisher. The base % of cover price for mass market paperbacks 8% and for trade paperbacks is 7.5%. (There are sales escalators.)

    So Samhain is a little higher on it's trade paperback % (which is what their POD books are).

    So basically, I'm not sure why Suspense Author is barking up this particular tree. These aren't odd number at all, for either digital first or big-5.

    So what's the real issue?
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  8. #1333
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    Yeah, I just checked my Big 5 contract, and it's 8-escalates-to-10 as well. I got an advance for that contract, of course, so I guess that would fit under the "advance or higher royalties" rule.

    I looked at a couple of my contracts with other e-pubs, but they're paying on net for paperback sales, so there's really no way to accurately compare rates.

    Again, though, print sales are such a small proportion of my income from Samhain or other e-first pubs that the royalty rate barely matters. I'm looking at the rate on e-book sales, and also at the number of sales I can reasonably expect.

  9. #1334
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I still think 8% of cover is bog standard for POD paperback. I'm not sure what the comparison would be to that would make that bad. The fact they actually get stocked in chain stores (to an extent that variables by title) makes them almost unique for a small/mainly ebook publisher.

    As someone who has published with a few small presses, Samhain has stood out for me in terms of their distribution and the overall earnings per title. But if you can do better, then of course you should.

    I am however genuinely curious as to what presses you are comparing them with that are so much better for total potential income? I hope it takes into account that earnings are pecent of cover times volume of sales, a Samhain delivered what I think is average on #1 and above average for #2.
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  10. #1335
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    Welp, if 8% is terrible for a mass market romance book, then I'd guess a lot of people have signed terrible deals including me. lol

    My contract is with a Big 5, but having also received an offer from Kensington I know theirs is the same 8% for mass market as well.


    ETA: Obviously not all deals are created equal and what's good for me isn't good for someone else. There's far more that comes into play than just advance money and royalty rates. It's about choosing a publisher that works best for you and gives you the most visibility in your target market. I was willing to forgo advance money to go with a publisher (IMO) who does a better job with marketing and promotion. As a debut author, that's very important to me because I'm not just selling a book, I'm launching a career.
    Last edited by CEtchison; 10-28-2015 at 06:02 AM.
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  11. #1336
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Suspense Author View Post
    Presses generally either have an advance with low royalties or no advance with decent royalties. Samhain has the worst part of both lol
    Samhain is a digital-first small press. The norm with digital-first is to offer no or a small advance, and higher royalties on the ebooks than you get at a Big 5 house, paid monthly or quarterly. The print books are typically to a large extent a sideline, with a royalty rate that's similar to Big 5. Samhain follows this model.

    You were posting in another thread about a publisher that claimed to offer 76% of cover price. As pointed out there, that cover price is not physically possible to achieve when sold through a distributer. A very high royalty rate on print is a "run away" flag. I've never submitted to Samhain, but their royalty rate isn't the reason. If you're inexperienced enough to snigger at Samhain's payments as far too low, you're very likely to sign with a bad publisher that offers a high rate that in practice never gets paid.
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    big 5 have advances though, correct?

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    Also, I wasn't comparing Samhain to that other publisher. 76% or whatever is uncommon. i have looked at tons and tons of publishers and 8% is the lowest I have seen from a company that doesn't offer advances. I get that they're ebook focused but still.

  14. #1339
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Suspense Author View Post
    big 5 have advances though, correct?
    You *do* understand that advances then have to be earned out through royalties, so that two grand you get may be all you see until the book earns out - right?

    You seem to be fixated on how much money you can pull in for your book. You may want to rethink your priorities if that's how you're judging publishers.

  15. #1340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl Nantus View Post
    You *do* understand that advances then have to be earned out through royalties, so that two grand you get may be all you see until the book earns out - right?

    You seem to be fixated on how much money you can pull in for your book. You may want to rethink your priorities if that's how you're judging publishers.
    This is why Uncle Jim says the only money you can be guaranteed is the money in an advance. Which, if the advance is large enough, is fine. But small advances are sometimes worse than getting the royalties from the start.
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  16. #1341
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    I'm aware of that. I believe a advances gives the publisher incentive to promote your book harder as well.

  17. #1342
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Suspense Author View Post
    Also, I wasn't comparing Samhain to that other publisher. 76% or whatever is uncommon. i have looked at tons and tons of publishers and 8% is the lowest I have seen from a company that doesn't offer advances. I get that they're ebook focused but still.
    What publishers are those?

  18. #1343
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Suspense Author View Post
    big 5 have advances though, correct?
    Yeah, don't get exicted about the advance you'll get as a debut author with *any* publisher. Unless you have a damn good agent it's not going to be more than a few thousand, it'll be paid in (at least) three installments, and you still have to earn it out in royalties before you see another penny.
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  19. #1344
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    ...there's a publisher that pays 76% of the cover price on print????

    How are they still in business?

    Seriously. I've never heard of a half-decent publisher (let alone a decent pub) giving those kinds of royalties. Even with ebooks, the royalty rate is usually around 40%-50% (net from 3rd party sites) with some companies having escalating rates as more copies are sold.

    Even Amazon only give 70% if you publish through KDP.
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  20. #1345
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amergina View Post
    ...there's a publisher that pays 76% of the cover price on print????
    I very much doubt there is...
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  21. #1346
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    Quote Originally Posted by amergina View Post
    ...there's a publisher that pays 76% of the cover price on print????

    How are they still in business?

    Seriously. I've never heard of a half-decent publisher (let alone a decent pub) giving those kinds of royalties. Even with ebooks, the royalty rate is usually around 40%-50% (net from 3rd party sites) with some companies having escalating rates as more copies are sold.

    Even Amazon only give 70% if you publish through KDP.
    This is what they're talking about.

    Start with post #52.

    And yeah, it's what you would expect.

  22. #1347
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    Ah. I see.
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  23. #1348
    AW's resident Velociraptor ShaunHorton's Avatar
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    So, there's been some kind of shake-up at Samhain Horror. Brian Keene has mentioned a #SamhainBlackout and apparently will be discussing the matter more on his Thursday podcast. All I can find though, is that their main Horror editor Don D'Auria was fired. Something about the higher ups not valuing editors over social media reps. They're switching one of their romance editors over to his position.

    That's all I can find at this point. Anyone else know more?
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  24. #1349
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    Shaun that's all the information I've uncovered. I'm sure more details will be revealed soon enough.
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  25. #1350
    AW's resident Velociraptor ShaunHorton's Avatar
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    Ok, I found more.

    Apparently, as soon as he was let go, Don emailed every author he was working with and/or knew, letting them know of the fact.

    Samhain later on released a letter repeating such. Part of the reasoning seems to be this.

    His departure was one of several difficult choices we’ve made recently regarding overhead and editorial support, as we adjust to the evolving marketplace.

    A social media presence is an absolute must because marketing has become about a conversation, and not just about blasting people with ads.

    Throughout our other lines, Samhain’s editorial staff is not only well-versed in curating content and helping it shine through their polishing efforts, but they are social-media savvy and understand how to promote their authors’ works.
    There seems to be a ton of anger over the decision to let Don go, and Brian Keene is calling for people to jump ship, boycott, and claiming Samhain is now more focused on things like Twitter than actual editing.

    It seems to me that they're looking for editors that can also promote and that understand social media; and considering this is part of Don's bio from Samhain...

    For those avid D'Auria followers who wish to know more about him, Don notes, "Since I'm a recluse who makes J.D. Salinger look like a campaigning politician by comparison, I have no social media links or personal website to display."
    It kind of makes sense that they wouldn't be holding onto him, if their focus is on trying to get their editors on double-duty.

    Are people blowing this completely out of proportion?
    Last edited by ShaunHorton; 11-04-2015 at 08:08 AM.
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