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Thread: Samhain Publishing

  1. #1626
    The Hobbit-Vulcan hybrid Lillith1991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    Yeah... even if it had just been the initial we're-closing-oh-no-we're-not nonsense it would have been a big problem, as thethinker demonstrates.

    The "we never said we were going to close, you silly authors" is just the insult added to injury. It doesn't cause any more PRACTICAL harm, I don't think, but it's... I don't even know what it is. "Frustrating" seems a little weak, "unbelievable" a little vague. "WTF" really seems to be the best I've got.
    Thing is, I don't think the closing/no we aren't thing is as problematic as people say it is. Every company falls on hard times and has to rethink their stratergy from time to time, or change to avoid hard times. Though it does suck for the authors to be caught in the middle and they 100% should've been treating them better during this time.

    What's really alarming is the basically acussing their writers of being stupid in addition to everything else. That's why people should steer clear, preferably permanantly at this jucture, but at least until such a time as they get their shit together and start acting decent again. And even then, only with eyes wide open to their history with all it's sparkles and warts.
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  2. #1627
    Abnormal Romance Author thethinker42's Avatar
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    I've posted an open letter to Samhain on my blog.
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  3. #1628
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillith1991 View Post
    Thing is, I don't think the closing/no we aren't thing is as problematic as people say it is. Every company falls on hard times and has to rethink their stratergy from time to time, or change to avoid hard times. Though it does suck for the authors to be caught in the middle and they 100% should've been treating them better during this time.

    What's really alarming is the basically acussing their writers of being stupid in addition to everything else. That's why people should steer clear, preferably permanantly at this jucture, but at least until such a time as they get their shit together and start acting decent again. And even then, only with eyes wide open to their history with all it's sparkles and warts.
    I don't know - I think it's reasonable for authors, especially those with a lot of books with a publisher, to make plans for their future based on the information the publisher gives them. So if the publisher says they're closing (and then suspends most of the promo efforts and other services the authors have a right to expect), I think it's an issue.

    I mean, so far in 2016, we've had a deliberate release of information to Dear Author before authors themselves were told anything, then an e-mail saying things are fine, they're just downsizing, with a bonus "I don't get why people have to be such Debbie Downers and propagate doom and gloom. Sad." Verdict? "We are all in the for the long haul and we're working to push through this downturn." Authors make plans, submit books, etc. based on information from a trusted source.

    Then less than two months later we get "the Long Goodbye" e-mail - they ARE closing. Okay, they're a less trusted source now, but obviously they should know the state of their own business, so authors make plans, submit books (to others) etc. based on this information.

    But wait! Just a couple days later (the next day, maybe?) we get another e-mail saying there's a possible Hail Mary and Samhain might NOT be closing. Okay! Authors don't really know what to do, but make plans and submit books based on what information they've got.

    April 25 we get a kind of ambiguous e-mail - the Hail Mary didn't work and Samhain isn't going to be sold, but "Our focus at this very moment is to wrap up the move from the office (we are about to write the final rent check!), get settled in our home offices, and continue on as always." - some authors interpret "continue on as always" as a sign that they aren't closing. Authors hover indecisively.

    The very next day a clarification is issued. It includes "We are continuing on with the original plan of winding down" and "We don't have a date yet as to when we will be closing. When we do, we'll let you know." Okay. Clear. Authors make plans and submit books accordingly.

    June 23 - "All the scaling back of overhead, the reducing expenses and bringing our expenditures in check with our income has been more successful than I had anticipated. I no longer feel that Samhain has any need to close its doors in the foreseeable future." Oh. Okay? Maybe? Authors are cautiously (VERY cautiously) optimistic and make plans.

    Now? "Although some of my correspondence has been very informal and emotionally fraught, and used terminology that may have had some implications that I was not aware of, I was expressing that the downsizing process was difficult and stressful for me, as my emails ranged from thoughts of giving up and closing to excitement about new opportunities I was exploring." Authors throw manuscript pages up in the air.

    I think the original back-and-forthing did most of the damage in terms of current authors and current plans. This last e-mail has just done the damage in terms of people ever wanting to work with the company again.

    Which is sad, because, as I've said far too many times on this thread, I really, really liked working with them. But there has to be some stability, you know?
    Last edited by Captcha; 07-07-2016 at 04:02 PM.

  4. #1629
    The Hobbit-Vulcan hybrid Lillith1991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    I don't know - I think it's reasonable for authors, especially those with a lot of books with a publisher, to make plans for their future based on the information the publisher gives them. So if the publisher says they're closing (and then suspends most of the promo efforts and other services the authors have a right to expect), I think it's an issue.

    I mean, so far in 2016, we've had a deliberate release of information to Dear Author before authors themselves were told anything, then an e-mail saying things are fine, they're just downsizing, with a bonus "I don't get why people have to be such Debbie Downers and propagate doom and gloom. Sad." Verdict? "We are all in the for the long haul and we're working to push through this downturn." Authors make plans, submit books, etc. based on information from a trusted source.

    Then less than two months later we get "the Long Goodbye" e-mail - they ARE closing. Okay, they're a less trusted source now, but obviously they should know the state of their own business, so authors make plans, submit books (to others) etc. based on this information.

    But wait! Just a couple days later (the next day, maybe?) we get another e-mail saying there's a possible Hail Mary and Samhain might NOT be closing. Okay! Authors don't really know what to do, but make plans and submit books based on what information they've got.

    April 25 we get a kind of ambiguous e-mail - the Hail Mary didn't work and Samhain isn't going to be sold, but "Our focus at this very moment is to wrap up the move from the office (we are about to write the final rent check!), get settled in our home offices, and continue on as always." - some authors interpret "continue on as always" as a sign that they aren't closing. Authors hover indecisively.

    The very next day a clarification is issued. It includes "We are continuing on with the original plan of winding down" and "We don't have a date yet as to when we will be closing. When we do, we'll let you know." Okay. Clear. Authors make plans and submit books accordingly.

    June 23 - "All the scaling back of overhead, the reducing expenses and bringing our expenditures in check with our income has been more successful than I had anticipated. I no longer feel that Samhain has any need to close its doors in the foreseeable future." Oh. Okay? Maybe? Authors are cautiously (VERY cautiously) optimistic and make plans.

    Now? "Although some of my correspondence has been very informal and emotionally fraught, and used terminology that may have had some implications that I was not aware of, I was expressing that the downsizing process was difficult and stressful for me, as my emails ranged from thoughts of giving up and closing to excitement about new opportunities I was exploring." Authors throw manuscript pages up in the air.

    I think the original back-and-forthing did most of the damage in terms of current authors and current plans. This last e-mail has just done the damage in terms of people ever wanting to work with the company again.

    Which is sad, because, as I've said far too many times on this thread, I really, really liked working with them. But there has to be some stability, you know?
    I think you've made my point for me. How Samhain has been treating authors is the problem, not the close/not closing issue itself. Closing/Not closing is just a good way to highlight other issues and emphasize how much things have gone down hill. If they had maintained the same high standard of care towards their authors throughout, the understandable grumbling would be considerably less. Author treatment is paramount in these sitatuions after all.
    Last edited by Lillith1991; 07-07-2016 at 04:38 PM.
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  5. #1630
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillith1991 View Post
    I think you've made my point for me. How Samhain has been treating authors is the problem, not the close/not closing issue itself. Closing/Not closing is just a good way to highlight other issues and emphasize how much things have gone down hill. If they had maintained the same high standard of care towards their authors throughout, the understandable grumbling would be considerably less. Author treatment is paramount in these sitatuions after all.
    I guess? It's kind of hard for me to separate the two issues. I'm not really sure what it would look like to show a high standard of care toward authors in a situation where the company may or may not or may or may not be closing.

  6. #1631
    Abnormal Romance Author thethinker42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    I guess? It's kind of hard for me to separate the two issues. I'm not really sure what it would look like to show a high standard of care toward authors in a situation where the company may or may not or may or may not be closing.
    Ditto.
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  7. #1632
    Romance with Kick-Assitude! Cassie Knight's Avatar
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    All I know, for me, is that I still have to wait to get the rights back on two books that aren't selling, one not at all. I've done marketing and promo and I've gotten very little. To my mind, I'm getting NO support from Samhain, who I truly, sincerely appreciate for taking a chance on me years ago, whose focus is on their best sellers and new releases with little left for "old" releases. The only good thing is I can write the third book in the series and don't have to take it Samhain.

    I'm bewildered, sad, frustrated and a bit annoyed. I honestly didn't read that email the same way you all did (call me Captain Oblivious) but was all these things when I learned Samhain wouldn't be closing. For my career, it makes no difference except that now I continue to have my books held when they aren't selling.

    I'm sorry for the rest of you who have done well--I can only imagine how much worse this back and forth is.
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  8. #1633
    Three of a perfect pair. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    So I've put together a bit of a timeline.

    June 23, 2014: Dear Author reports that Brashear reclaims the helm at Samhain.
    November 3, 2015: Samhain lets Don D'Auria go. (link to AW post)
    December 29, 2015: Dear Author reports on changes at Samhain. (Jane claims info comes straight from Brashear)
    December 31, 2015: Brashear sends email to authors about changes. (link to AW post w/ letter)
    February 26, 2016: The "Long Goodbye" email. (link to email) Samhain's closing is reported by DA (link) and PW (link) and RT (link) and others.
    February 29, 2016: Reports of a "hail Mary" possible deal. (link to AW post)
    April 26, 2016: Reports that the hail Mary fell through. (link to AW post)
    June 23, 2016: Samhain says they aren't closing. (link to Dear Author)
    July 6, 2016: Samhain sends "clarification" email that they never said they were closing. (link to AW post)

    It's all very very strange.
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  9. #1634
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    This is just mind-boggling.

    This M/M space opera
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  10. #1635
    The Hobbit-Vulcan hybrid Lillith1991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    I guess? It's kind of hard for me to separate the two issues. I'm not really sure what it would look like to show a high standard of care toward authors in a situation where the company may or may not or may or may not be closing.
    Quote Originally Posted by thethinker42 View Post
    Ditto.
    Well, honoring ALL their commitments to their authors. Including RT and other such events. Promoting all their authors work properly instead of just the best selling stuff during this uncertain time period. Not running to the press before their writers knew about the potential closing, and generally not playing all this drama out in the public eye when they didn't need to. At the same time, they should've been keeping their authors informed of the goings on. Publishing is a business, and it pays to have happy/not-overly-disgruntled employees or partners in the case of authors at a time like this.

    In other words, their future was uncertain but they needn't have acted like chickens with their heads cut off when they could've presented a stable front that would've benefitted them and their writers.
    Last edited by Lillith1991; 07-07-2016 at 08:32 PM.
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  11. #1636
    Three of a perfect pair. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    I'm just going to drop this link here:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cmxud-bWYAEzxIM.jpg

    It's a screencap of the most recent letter that someone on my twitter timeline posted.
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  12. #1637
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    Promoting popular authors over other authors happens at just about every publisher I know. It might not seem far, but it's the business end of it I guess. I myself have felt the brunt of this.

  13. #1638
    Pixie with dust, beware Rebekkamaria's Avatar
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    Thethinker42, omg, that's terrible, and you're surely not the only one who started to prepare for the closing. I don't even know what to say. I'm baffled. How do you authors feel about buying books from Samhain, because you'll be getting your royalties still (hopefully). I want to support the authors and their awesome books, but... I just don't know what's right in this situation.


    Edit. I read the letter, and it doesn't actually say: It was a misunderstanding. She's talking about the current state of Samhain throughout the letter (ie. it's not going to close down), in my opinion, not the fact that authors just misunderstood her words (she is saying that she's been too informal in a sense and has been writing while feeling anxious and overwhelmed with the whole situation, and she's been looking for answers while being in contact with the authors which probably hasn't been the best way to handle everything). I don't know, maybe I'm too kind, but that's how I read the entire letter.
    Last edited by Rebekkamaria; 07-08-2016 at 01:55 AM.
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  14. #1639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebekkamaria View Post
    Thethinker42, omg, that's terrible, and you're surely not the only one who started to prepare for the closing. I don't even know what to say. I'm baffled. How do you authors feel about buying books from Samhain, because you'll be getting your royalties still (hopefully). I want to support the authors and their awesome books, but... I just don't know what's right in this situation.
    I don't think there's a right or wrong, in terms of book-buying. This isn't like EC, where the publisher is keeping all the royalties without giving the authors their share--in that case, I definitely recommend against buying books. But Samhain, despite other squirrelly behaviour to date, has been paying royalties, so... if the books appeal, buy 'em!
    Last edited by Captcha; 07-08-2016 at 01:39 AM.

  15. #1640
    Abnormal Romance Author thethinker42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebekkamaria View Post
    How do you authors feel about buying books from Samhain, because you'll be getting your royalties still (hopefully). I want to support the authors and their awesome books, but... I just don't know what's right in this situation.
    I don't actually know what to recommend there. Samhain IS still paying us (hell, my royalty statement posted today), so a boycott would cut into our income. But buying books gives money to Samhain. I honestly don't know.
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  16. #1641
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    Having personally experienced the shut down of a publisher two years ago when Strange Chemistry Books went under, I feel for the authors. This sucks. I hope you all get the rights back ASAP.
    Last edited by Saskatoonistan; 07-08-2016 at 06:44 PM.

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  17. #1642
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    The point is, looks like they are not closing. So it is the author's choice whether or not (appropriately enough) to Sexit.
    Last edited by veinglory; 07-08-2016 at 11:34 PM.
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  18. #1643
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    That's the theory, for sure - a lot of smaller publishers, especially those focused on e-books, are getting hit pretty hard lately, and they seem to be saying it's because there's so much competition from self-publishers.
    Well also losing tons of back list in a way they haven't done in the past.
    But those of us still under contract can't get our books back. Samhain doesn't have a low sales threshold for getting rights back, it's 7 years regardless of sales right now.

    Having personally experienced the shut down of a publisher two years ago when Strange Chemistry Books went under, I feel for the authors. This sucks. I hope you all get the rights back ASAP.
    They aren't closing now and we can't get them back for 7 years from the date we signed, or the date they came out. I forget which.

    It really doesn't read to me as her saying that she's clarifying that they were never closing. She was clarifying that they re the email just before this one they've decided they don't have to close, and they aren't liquidating.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 07-08-2016 at 08:41 PM.
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  19. #1644
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    Yeah... even if it had just been the initial we're-closing-oh-no-we're-not nonsense it would have been a big problem, as thethinker demonstrates.

    The "we never said we were going to close, you silly authors" is just the insult added to injury. It doesn't cause any more PRACTICAL harm, I don't think, but it's... I don't even know what it is. "Frustrating" seems a little weak, "unbelievable" a little vague. "WTF" really seems to be the best I've got.
    I don't think she's calling anyone "silly" or denying that there was talk of closure at one point? I think her email was meant to be entirely about the current decision not to close and trying to clarify what she meant in the previous email. (Not over all the emails.)

    Personally none of the emails concerns me, so much as the fact my first book with them made four times as much in one year as my second book with them made in a year and a half.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 07-09-2016 at 07:07 AM.
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  20. #1645
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerwoman View Post
    I don't think she's calling anyone "silly" or denying that there was talk of closure at one point. I think her email was meant to be entirely about the current decision not to close and trying to clarify what she meant in the previous email. (Not over all the emails.)

    Personally none of the emails concerns me, so much as the fact my first book with them made four times as much in one year as my second book with them made in a year and a half.
    "Although some of my correspondence has been very informal and emotionally fraught, and used terminology that may have had some implications that I was not aware of, I was expressing that the downsizing process was difficult and stressful for me, as my emails ranged from thoughts of giving up and closing to excitement about new opportunities I was exploring." - this absolutely sounds like walking back from the Long Goodbye, to me. I mean, "implications I was not aware of" means what, in your interpretation? To me, The Long Goodbye wasn't about "thoughts of giving up and closing", it was an announcement that they were doing so. And authors don't need to be told that "Downsizing a company is not the same as liquidating it" - possibly SHE needs to be told that, since she's the one who announced that she was closing when she apparently meant she was downsizing...

    I don't know - you've got a much more generous interpretation than I do, obviously, which probably says good things about you. But I'm far from alone in interpreting it the way I am...

    ETA: And what's she talking about with the "Less business-like and more conversational made you feel more comfortable and confident in what was being imparted. I tweeted blurbs, posted facebook comments, YahooGroups messages, newsletters and email blurbs to try and stay as open and transparent in everything I do." Have people been misunderstanding her tweeted blurbs, her facebook comments, etc.? I don't read any of that stuff from her. What I read is her business e-mails. So... what exactly is she saying has been misinterpreted?
    Last edited by Captcha; 07-08-2016 at 11:32 PM.

  21. #1646
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  22. #1647
    practical experience, FTW Deirdre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebekkamaria View Post
    Seriously, this is the worst way to handle it. Owning your shit is the only way to move on and this isn't it. This is saying: oh, you guys misunderstood. No, we did not. I wanted to support them, but to destroy the trust in this way... Yeah, I can't.
    I probably own about 20% of all Samhain titles. I've read almost all of them, quite a few more than once. This really saddens me.

    I don't even know what to do. Buy the new titles? Buy the old titles I don't have yet? Hold off so it's easier for authors to get reversions?

    Lori knows I'll buy her books even if she has to use Western Union (please don't).

    Update:

    Quote Originally Posted by thethinker42 View Post
    I don't actually know what to recommend there. Samhain IS still paying us (hell, my royalty statement posted today), so a boycott would cut into our income. But buying books gives money to Samhain. I honestly don't know.
    So long as that remains the case, I'll keep buying through the usual.
    Last edited by Deirdre; 07-09-2016 at 07:20 AM.
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  23. #1648
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    "Although some of my correspondence has been very informal and emotionally fraught, and used terminology that may have had some implications that I was not aware of, I was expressing that the downsizing process was difficult and stressful for me, as my emails ranged from thoughts of giving up and closing to excitement about new opportunities I was exploring." - this absolutely sounds like walking back from the Long Goodbye, to me. I mean, "implications I was not aware of" means what, in your interpretation? To me, The Long Goodbye wasn't about "thoughts of giving up and closing", it was an announcement that they were doing so. And authors don't need to be told that "Downsizing a company is not the same as liquidating it" - possibly SHE needs to be told that, since she's the one who announced that she was closing when she apparently meant she was downsizing...

    I don't know - you've got a much more generous interpretation than I do, obviously, which probably says good things about you. But I'm far from alone in interpreting it the way I am...

    ETA: And what's she talking about with the "Less business-like and more conversational made you feel more comfortable and confident in what was being imparted. I tweeted blurbs, posted facebook comments, YahooGroups messages, newsletters and email blurbs to try and stay as open and transparent in everything I do." Have people been misunderstanding her tweeted blurbs, her facebook comments, etc.? I don't read any of that stuff from her. What I read is her business e-mails. So... what exactly is she saying has been misinterpreted?
    No sorry. I know you're far from the only one to interpret it that way. As soon as I saw the title "The Long Goodbye" I didn't even need to open that to know it meant closure. And while I was a little sad I wasn't shocked or very sad because I'd already pretty much given up on the idea that I could make more money from Samhain from my own experience and from what other authors were saying, and I'm very unhappy that I probably can't get rights back until 2018 or 2019 and 2021. Even my micro publisher Freyas Bower have lowered the price of my one 2008 book with them in an effort to try and increase sales, but Samhain never plays with pricing. At least not for those who aren't really big names.

    But my interpretation of "implications I was not aware of" is simply that there are all kinds of things being said on blogs and in forum posts about her emails that may include stuff she doesn't agree with, rather than that she's specifically backing away from The Long Goodbye email.


    Now they're reusing covers? ��

    https://twitter.com/lori_ella/status/751573817596796932
    I mean stock art gets reused at a crazy rate. This was very unfortunate and what it is, is a reminder to at least search the title of a book on Amazon thoroughly before making a cover.

    Because if you search "stock art" and then the word "bait" you'll get the image. I tried it. http://comps.canstockphoto.com/can-stock-photo_csp5533362.jpg

    I mean I don't know why I keep defending Samhain, when since that "Long Goodbye," email my sales completely suck, and it's very unfortunate that I have to wait so long to get my rights back on books that I put an awful lot of work into, I could really use getting my rights back now.

    My royalties dropped by about 75% after The Long Goodbye email. So I think announcing a closure did make a bunch of fans of Samhain think "oh well they are done, won't buy from them any more."

    But I guess I just keep defending them a little because I keep seeing comments about Samhain and Chrissy that I think are exaggerations.


    All that being said what happened to Lori is wrong and hopefully Chrissy will do the right thing, and give Lori back the rights to books that she actually spent the money on new covers and formatting for.

    Especially considering there seems to have been a personal email to Lori indicating Samhain would close this year, and give her her rights back.

    I'm sure Chrissy will be very reluctant and hesitant to do that, however because Lori is a big seller, but it seems she made a big mistake heavily indicating to Lori she'd get rights back this year, and for good will to continue she probably needs to give those specific titles back.

    I understand she can't afford to just up and give everyone their rights back instantly, but I think if books have fallen below a ridiculous sales threshold she should be giving the rights back to those authors too, or putting some large effort and money into those old books if she won't return rights.

    I'm talking about books still under 7 year contract. As far as I know she's not refusing to return books that are no longer under contract. Although the insistence on the registered snail mail bollocks to ask for rights back is unfair on overseas authors.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 07-09-2016 at 07:34 PM.
    Paranormal Romance -Menage - Erotic Romance from Samhain Publishing 4th place for Best Published Paranormal in the Passionate Plume award.




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  24. #1649
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deirdre View Post
    I probably own about 20% of all Samhain titles. I've read almost all of them, quite a few more than once. This really saddens me.

    I don't even know what to do. Buy the new titles? Buy the old titles I don't have yet? Hold off so it's easier for authors to get reversions?

    .
    Not buying Samhain books won't make it easier for anyone to get reversions as far as I know. What's in our contracts is unfortunately for me at this point based only on years and not sales.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 07-09-2016 at 07:58 AM.
    Paranormal Romance -Menage - Erotic Romance from Samhain Publishing 4th place for Best Published Paranormal in the Passionate Plume award.




    To find actively acquiring publishers and agents visit my blog
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  25. #1650
    Abnormal Romance Author thethinker42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerwoman View Post
    All that being said what happened to Lori is wrong and hopefully Chrissy will do the right thing, and give Lori back the rights to books that she actually spent the money on new covers and formatting for.

    Especially considering there seems to have been a personal email to Lori indicating Samhain would close this year, and give her her rights back.
    At this point, I'm not holding my breath. Especially since Chrissy emailed me yesterday regarding a minor correction to my royalty statement, and made no comment about my open letter. I can't imagine she's unaware of it; the post has over 10,000 hits and has been reposted all over social media for two days, including directly @ Samhain.

    And now their new marketing company (which they've apparently hired after trimming the fat their marketing department) is cheerfully coming to me for some blog posts to promote my next (and last) Samhain release. I mean...how the hell do you even write guest posts for a book being sold by a company that you've lost faith in?
    Lori
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