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Thread: Samhain Publishing

  1. #1426
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Interesting. The bit about 'ad buys no longer effective' gives me pause, because the common wisdom has been that well-targeted ads can reach distributors, major review sites, and other important venues most single authors cannot. If Samhain can't do that anymore, what then?
    From the author email I had, it seems they surveyed Samhain authors about marketing ideas and promo, did a review of what kinds of advertising seemed to be having results, and decided no more banner ads on websites, because they didn't seem to be working.

    And they said they would put those marketing dollars into things that they thought might be more effective.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 01-01-2016 at 05:28 AM. Reason: Putting space between paragraphs.
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  2. #1427
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    That's more reasonable. I ignore banners, myself.

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  3. #1428
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    So, my question is - if I want to query about the status of a submission, how do I go about that? Attempting to follow-up with the submissions email resulted in an auto-response that says "Thank you for your submission."

    Given the loss of the horror editor and the closing of general submissions, I figured I should go ahead and follow up now that it's been four months. Is there another address I should be querying?
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  4. #1429
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Sent you an email, Aggy.

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  5. #1430
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Thanks, Filigree.
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  6. #1431
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunHorton View Post
    So, I just finished my first novella from Samhain's Horror line.

    Honestly, I'm not impressed in the least. If that's a good example of the work they published on a regular basis, I can understand why they might have considered putting someone else in charge and editing.
    A little belated here, but I'm with Shaun on this one. I tried a bunch of novellas and short stories from the horror line, and none were anything like up to the standard of their romance. It was really disappointing, especially the free shorts that were meant to be promoting the line. i haven't read anything Don edited from Dorchester etc, to the best of my knowledge, so I don't know if it was the editing or the standard of submissions, but I'm very unlikely to buy any more of Samhain's horror unless I already know and trust the author now.

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  7. #1432
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    I was a fan of the horror line at Dorchester. I bought their books on a regular basis and had no issues with the editing.

  8. #1433
    Keeper of the pace. popgun62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
    A little belated here, but I'm with Shaun on this one. I tried a bunch of novellas and short stories from the horror line, and none were anything like up to the standard of their romance. It was really disappointing, especially the free shorts that were meant to be promoting the line. i haven't read anything Don edited from Dorchester etc, to the best of my knowledge, so I don't know if it was the editing or the standard of submissions, but I'm very unlikely to buy any more of Samhain's horror unless I already know and trust the author now.
    I'll be releasing a horror/thriller with them later this year. You can trust me I was originally signed by Don D'Auria, but got a new editor. She seems very knowledgeable of the horror genre.
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  9. #1434
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    I've been following this conversation with a lot of interest (so thanks to everyone who has posted news - this is all very helpful), so I figure I'd add my recent experience with Samhain in.

    I subbed a fantasy romance novella to them at the end of September. Almost exactly 12 weeks later I got an offer for a contract. I was supposed to get it by the end of that week, but since it was the week before Christmas, I figured it was just holiday back up. The Monday before New Years, I reached out to my editor who promptly got back to me who let me know that a bunch of schedules are getting reshuffled next year and that was probably causing the back up. After reading this thread and the announcement that they're closing down the brick and mortar offices, I'm guessing that's got something to do with it too.

    It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. I really like Samhain as a romance reader - long before I subbed to them I was buying their books. I've recently returned to buying more of them after binging on a lot of free Bookbub romances, because the quality is so much better than a lot of what's out there. I think there's probably a nitche for them out there between the Self Pub/Big 5 divide, for readers like me who want a broader range than what trad pubs want, and want actual editing and more coherent stories than a lot of what's self pubbed out there. Hopefully they can make adjustments and position themselves well.
    Last edited by Prisoner24601; 01-05-2016 at 01:31 AM.

  10. #1435
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    I got permission to share the Samhain letter to authors, for those who are interested:


    Greetings to everyone from my post-Christmas sickbed. I've contracted the now annual after Christmas cold/flu. I mention this because the order of events happened incorrectly due to my being felled by a hainous disease after thinking I was going to skate by this year.

    The bottom line is we are not closing. I don't get why people have to be such Debbie Downers and propagate doom and gloom. Sad. About the changes reported by Jane Litte on Dear Author website, they are being taken more ominously than they actually are. We've performed each of these before during the course of the last ten years, the only difference is that it's been made public. It's unfortunate that someone felt compelled to write to Dear Author and tell them that Samhain is closing in six months, but I thank Jane for writing to me and asking, presenting me the opportunity to rebut.

    MOVING

    Our lease is up in May and we're moving. Our current office is annoying. Everyone knows everyone else's business regarding the use of the bathrooms. Ick. So we let the option to purchase go and we are not renewing the lease. I don't like any of the locations we spent the summer scouting and I see no reason to take just anything. We've only got five full-time people onsite, most of whom would love to not have to drive to work. I know for sure Jacob and Amanda feel that way as they drive the farthest distance. So we'll go back to working remotely until something of interest comes along. 90% of company business is conducted through the internet anyway.

    ATTRITION

    Again, nothing new for Samhain. We haven't always made announcements when people depart. We hire a lot of new-to-the-workforce people, interns, people rejoining the workforce after being off for a while. We're a woman-owned company supporting women. As people go, we hold off on hiring new to see what the actual needs of the company are in personnel. Needs shift from department to department with the ebb and flow of business. For example, I'm finding that utilizing our CPA firm and just doing the day-to-day bookkeeping is working out better than finding another staff bookkeeper. I still have to review and approve the invoices to be paid, so why not spend five more minutes and cut the checks I have to sign anyway myself.

    AD BUYS

    You all already knew that one. Ads aren't netting us any traffic. When an ad costs upwards of $10 per click it's not worth the cost of the ad buy, the production of the ad art, nor the hours put in by staff to manage it. We're seeing more traction with other efforts.

    SUBMISSIONS

    We've closed to submissions before. I think it was in '08 or '09. This gives us a chance to catch our breath and clear out the slush pile. We're never closed to our internal authors, you are always welcome to develop projects. Agents are always welcome to submit works, too. We're just closing the slush pile for a while. I'm working with Latoya to develop some Special Call projects, which we've not done in a while, and we want to get our decks cleared before we launch anything new.

    PUBLICATION SCHEDULE

    What wasn't mentioned in the Dear Author article is our publication schedule. Currently, we publish close to six books a week in Romance and about four or five a month in Horror. This schedule is going to change.

    When we first started Samhain, I had originally planned to publish four or six books a month. This had to quickly change to weekly and increase the number because of the demand. We were in the boom cycle of this new business model. The boom is over and we've got to look at how the industry is unfolding now. Time to be more strategic. We are looking converting the latter half of 2016 to fewer weekly releases and to increase our ability focus more publicity on the individual titles and increase the sales for each new launch. This is plan is still being developed and not finalized. I have no hard-and-fast numbers to give you at this point.

    Companies can't remain static and changes have to happen to keep up with an ever-evolving industry. We are all in the for the long haul and we're working to push through this downturn, something that almost all industries go through, to get to the other side.

    I hope this clarifies for you what's happening. It's nothing new. I apologize for how the information came out. I had asked Jane when she intended to post her article and she told me, but by the time she replied I was well dosed with 'Quil and not opening or even thinking about email. I had planned to go into the office today, but got too winded from showering, so I'm now back on the couch searching for episodes of Law & Order to lull me to sleep.

    Please have a safe and fun New Year's Eve!
    - - - Updated - - -
    Last edited by Captcha; 01-05-2016 at 04:40 AM.

  11. #1436
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    The changes to the publication schedule make the changes to submissions more logical, I think - if they're publishing fewer books, they need fewer MSs, so if their needs are filled with existing and agented authors, they'll be fine. And then if they run short, they can re-open for slushpile stuff.

    Other than that? It could be a good thing, if they really can increase the sales for individual books instead of overall sales. As an author, it's not that important to me that my publisher sells lots of books by other people; I mostly just care about selling lots of books by me!

  12. #1437
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    I got permission to share the Samhain letter to authors, for those who are interested
    Captcha, just curious, how did you receive this? Was it via the Yahoo groups? I signed my first contract with Samhain somewhat recently and didn't get the letter, but I haven't joined the Yahoo groups yet. (I've been procrastinating this because it appears you cannot do it without a Yahoo account, which I was hoping to avoid.) I also just got an email today that I will now receive the Samhain business newsletters.
    Last edited by LJD; 01-05-2016 at 05:39 AM.

  13. #1438
    Needs hugs. Lots of hugs. Saoirse's Avatar
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    That does clarify a lot. thank you Captcha for sharing it.
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  14. #1439
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJD View Post
    Captcha, just curious, how did you receive this? Was it via the Yahoo groups? I signed my first contract with Samhain somewhat recently and didn't get the letter, but I haven't joined the Yahoo groups yet. (I've been procrastinating this because it appears you cannot do it without a Yahoo account, which I was hoping to avoid.) I also just got an email today that I will now receive the Samhain business newsletters.
    It was apparently mailed to authors, somehow, but I didn't get a copy - my editor posted on her Facebook page that it was out there and we should let her know if we hadn't received it, so then she sent it to me directly.

    Do you have an editor assigned yet? You could contact her... or just read the copy above!

  15. #1440
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    So are they currently closed to unagented submissions? And did they estimate how long they might be closed? Iirc, they closed three months the last time.

  16. #1441
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    It was apparently mailed to authors, somehow, but I didn't get a copy - my editor posted on her Facebook page that it was out there and we should let her know if we hadn't received it, so then she sent it to me directly.

    Do you have an editor assigned yet? You could contact her... or just read the copy above!
    I have an editor! I pitched to her at RWA.

    I was just worried that there was an important list that I wasn't on, or something that I still needed to sign up for, etc.

  17. #1442
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin lenaf007's Avatar
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    I submitted a horror novella back in mid-August and have yet to hear back. I heard about Don's leaving, but didn't know about the rest of the changes over the holidays. That certainly explains the delay!

    Aggy, did you hear anything back when you asked them about works still in the slush pile? It sounds like you and I are in a similar boat.
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  18. #1443
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenaf007 View Post
    I submitted a horror novella back in mid-August and have yet to hear back. I heard about Don's leaving, but didn't know about the rest of the changes over the holidays. That certainly explains the delay!

    Aggy, did you hear anything back when you asked them about works still in the slush pile? It sounds like you and I are in a similar boat.
    I emailed Imogen Howson (imogen@samhainpublishing.com) who is the editorial assistant on the Horror line. She responded within a day or two, saying she had forwarded my inquiry to the editor looking at my MS and if I didn't hear anything further within two weeks to contact her again.
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  19. #1444
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin djcooper's Avatar
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    Samhain Contact Info

    Quote Originally Posted by LJD View Post
    Captcha, just curious, how did you receive this? Was it via the Yahoo groups? I signed my first contract with Samhain somewhat recently and didn't get the letter, but I haven't joined the Yahoo groups yet. (I've been procrastinating this because it appears you cannot do it without a Yahoo account, which I was hoping to avoid.) I also just got an email today that I will now receive the Samhain business newsletters.
    The latest email authors received from Samhain said at the bottom regarding Yahoo lists versus email:

    "We are migrating away from Yahoo! Groups to a Newsletter format. Your email address has been added from the contact sheets you completed upon contracting with Samhain."

    So, if you don't recall filling out the contact sheets or don't remember what email address you gave them, I would get in touch with your editor at Samhain and make sure they have your correct email info. Whenever you DO receive your first email from them, there is a link at the bottom where you can update your subscription preferences.

    djc

  20. #1445
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Thank heaven. Wish more companies would do that. Because the Yahoo, it sucks mightily.

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  21. #1446
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    Quote Originally Posted by djcooper View Post
    The latest email authors received from Samhain said at the bottom regarding Yahoo lists versus email:

    "We are migrating away from Yahoo! Groups to a Newsletter format. Your email address has been added from the contact sheets you completed upon contracting with Samhain."
    That's awesome. Yahoo! Groups really bites for announcement lists and so on. Much better to use Mailchimp or something like that.
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  22. #1447
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    Holy Smokes - Samhain is shutting down!

    Sounds like they're doing it responsibly, but, still... yikes!

    ETA: I'm kind of in shock. Just got the e-mail. I don't have that many books with them or anything, but I really felt like they were in it for the long haul.
    Last edited by Captcha; 02-27-2016 at 01:12 AM.

  23. #1448
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    Just got the email.

    I'm... gobsmacked. I have a book coming out with them next month and another in May. They will come out, of course, but I have four older titles with them.

    Just... gobsmacked.

    Wow.

  24. #1449
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    Yeah, that's about where I am. (Not with the publishing schedule, just with the gobsmackedness).

  25. #1450
    practical experience, FTW eternalised's Avatar
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    What in the world? Samhain is shutting down?
    I have no books with them and even I am shocked.
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