• We’re running on a new server at a new host with a new forum software called XenForo. Some things are different. Some things may not work as expected. I am working on it as fast as I can. Please be patient. Please read this post.
  • I'm going to be working on the forums for a while. Things may be wonky. I may turn the forums off without notice. Consider this a bit of a public beta test as we figure out the new software and make adjustments. But you've been much missed, and we can't wait to see you again!

Samhain Publishing

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

edorothyb

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.
 

CaoPaux

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
13,730
Reaction score
2
Location
Coastal Desert
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:

edorothyb

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?
 

Aconite

Gone
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
3,589
Reaction score
0
edorothyb said:
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.
 

CaoPaux

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
13,730
Reaction score
2
Location
Coastal Desert
edorothyb said:
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.
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Super Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
edorothyb said:
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.

- Victoria
 

edorothyb

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
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Super Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
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
 

Carlene

New kid, be gentle!
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
773
Reaction score
0
Location
Coos Bay, OR
Website
www.carlenedater.com
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
 

Sassenach

5 W's & an H
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
2,199
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern Calif.
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.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
0
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
They are a new epublisher. If they have plans to move into paperback publishing there isn't much evidence of it.
 

KPainter

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.
 

pepperlandgirl

American Aquarium Drinker
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
811
Reaction score
0
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.
 

ShannonStacey

Registered
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
Location
NH
Website
shannonstacey.com
The first three Samhain titles (the launch books) are already in print and on the shelves at Borders! As things stand now, there's only a 3-month window between e-release and print release, and that---along with Borders real estate---is pretty awesome for a new company.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
0
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
They do seem to be a great publisher but as they are primarily an epublisher I wouldn't assume that every book goes to print--I imagine that would need to be discussed upon acceptance.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
0
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
I stand corrected--Samhain go straight to print after a few months and their authors seem very happy with the deal.
 

AnneMarble

Nefarious Ghost Fan
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
2,902
Reaction score
0
Location
MD
Website
gorokandwulf.blogspot.com
veinglory said:
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.