My condolences to all. I wasn't with Samhain, but I know your pain. I had two books with a publisher that closed. It's never easy. (((hugs)))
Can someone explain why Amazon is causing this? What is it in their policy that's causing small publishers to go under?
And do you know anything about Samhain not paying their authors/not returning rights to people for some time now? I've never heard anyone say anything like that, but a friend of mine said that she knows a lot of Samhain authors, and some of them have been complaining about this on FB.
Where I think I was also misunderstood (elsewhere) was in expressing my sadness that authors with literally no money to pay for the upfront costs of self publishing, can no longer send a great book to a small publisher and have it blow up, and be able to make money. With the only viable choices being mostly the Big Five or self publishing (hopefully not entirely but it's kind of the way things are heading) it cuts out what was a fabulous option for the poor and struggling.
We’ve tried to renegotiate terms with Amazon in order to buy better placement within their site and perhaps regain some of the lost traction from the early days but have been met with silence.
I'm mortified. I always thought they were a solid publisher. They've been around for years. I'm sad for the authors effected by this, I hope you guys can find homes again soon. I could just cry. It's hard to believe.
Please don't get me wrong, I am definitely not saying there is anything wrong with Amazon, or self publishing, or free, or 99 cents, or authors wanting their rights back. I'm just saying these are some of the things that made Samhain's fall a strong possibility.
I think the key line from the e-mail w/r to "Amazon causing this" is:
How things are exposed on Amazon is controlled by Amazon. What goes in newsletters. What's found in searches. The weighting of rankings, etc. And yes, like in brick & mortar stores, publishers can negotiate for better placement/pricing/etc.
Guess what books Amazon is going to weight higher?
Of course, it's not the whole story I'm sure. But it's a piece of it.
Amazon is a reasonably transparent system in some ways, and ARAT and other software allow people to track how things work. And there has never been any evidence that book rankings are a function of anything but recent and total sales. Yes large presses have some perks but not enough to tip the while boat as far as I can see.
Amazon is a reasonably transparent system in some ways, and ARAT and other software allow people to track how things work. And there has never been any evidence that book rankings are a function of anything but recent and total sales. Yes large presses have some perks but not enough to tip the whole boat as far as I can see.
Per title sales and cover prices are down for romance ebooks almost across the board. Its been a trend for a long time. I just don't see where Amazon is doing much different now than they were five years ago that would crash EC and Samhain, despite their comments. It is not Amazon's job to fix self-pub prices, limit competition, or manage how changing markets impact they publishers that retail through them.
I mean I could be totally wrong, but I felt like maybe Samhain books were so low just because the novels were $5.50 in a sea of cheaper romance.
As distressing and disheartening as this situations is, it is a bit odd for Samhain to drop Amazon into their letter as if pointing the finger. By naming Amazon seems to be noting the blame is on their hands (and noting that other retail sites are doing better than Amazon creates a contrast against it).
I agree that Amazon and its ranking and efforts aren't fully to blame. Amazon did bring about a change in the publishing industry, but if that's for the best and if Samhain closing is evidence of a bad turn or not I'm not totally sure.
The whole battle between more expensive vs less expensive/free books has always interested me. Every time I look on Amazon's best seller ranking I see the cheaper and more expensive books mixed in, and sometimes with that big best seller topping them all at $10+. So I'm not entirely sure if cheaper books are the reason why more expensive ones flop or sink publishers. r.
The market is really flooded with too many books and I am shocked to hear myself say that but sorry to say it isn't all quality.
Yeah, especially as you've noted with many books that incorporate all the common and buzz tropes being able to push to the top.In romance though, which was where Samhain used to be really big, it's more distinct than other genres. And what you see now in the romance best sellers on Amazon is a lot of cheap books plus the odd $9 book from Big Five publishers, or the somewhat more expensive ebook from big name authors self publishing.
The scary thing is, if these things made Samhain's fall likely, they also make all small publishers' falls likely, right? I mean, those factors are affecting almost all small publishers...