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Samhain Publishing

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

aruna

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Can someone explain why Amazon is causing this? What is it in their policy that's causing small publishers to go under?
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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.


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What worries me more is the health of even smaller publishers.


I heard about this when it first happened and was shocked (but was cutting back on social media so said nothing at the time -- was busy writing a book). -- so sorry for everyone concerned, and I hope you all find viable alternatives. It must have been/be devastating, but I'm definitely a believer in the door closing/window opening scenario.

However, I still wanted to comment on the above comments.

I am with a very small digital publisher that is doing just fine. Bookouture is only three years old but it already has one million-seller author, several of their authors have quit their day jobs, and they regularly now get their books into the Amazon top 100. I'm not very savvy about the economics of publishing so I won't comment on the how or why they are so successful. I only know that they are soaring up with leaps and bounds, and all the authors are delighted. Many of them have been approached by top notch agents, and many of them are making fantastic foreign deals.

So it can't be all about Amazon, and it can't be all about publisher size. It has to be something else. Business-smarter heads than mine can maybe figure it out.
 

Captcha

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Latest e-mail from the publisher makes it seem like the buyout didn't work and they're back to the winding-down process.

But my last royalty cheque arrived on time, so... they're still doing a hell of a lot better than EC.
 

gingerwoman

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One important point people need to understand is that Samhain is not closing yet. They are not bankrupt. They are doing all this in order to be able to keep paying royalties.

If you like or love buying books from Samhain please keep doing so, because they are still paying authors (at least I believe so I haven't talked to anyone who hasn't been paid.) They are still selling books.

They are NOT contracting new books or authors. They are not releasing the books of authors still under contract.

They ARE releasing the books of authors whose contracts are done, but they emphasized that one person is doing this by herself in the order they come in and she's been sent some very harsh emails.

They are still releasing new books that were already contracted and edited, but are returning the rights to books that were contracted but not edited before they decided to slowly wind down.

Basically if you enjoy the books keep buying them as you normally would, don't stop buying Samhain books because you think they are over and done with. They aren't yet. Its a slow process of winding down which means the authors still get paid by Samhain and can't get out of contracts that are still current. People who have had a book with Samhain for more than 7 years can get rights back. Those of us whose books are still under the 7 year contract can't. The books are still for sale at all previous locations and authors are being paid for sales.

Especially if you are a Samhain fan, check the site for the new books coming out because those poor authors shouldn't have their titles ignored because of this slow wind down.

Also they are going to do random deep discount sales on the Samhain website so you could pick up some amazing books really cheaply.

I mean I'm not staff I'm just repeating what has been sent in emails to me as an author, so if anything I've said isn't true in your opinion as another author who has issues with the company that I'm unaware of please don't get mad at me, I'm just repeating what I've been told, and what I currently believe to be true from my own personal experience.

My concern is that I've heard/read some people talking as if Samhain has already closed and as if there are/will be no more books for sale, and this is not true and could be damaging to authors whose books could be unnecessarily ignored.
 
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LJD

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Has anyone tried to get their rights back? According to the February email:

The authors whose titles aren’t finalized as of today will have the rights reverted back to them.

That describes my situation. Are my rights automatically reverted back, and can I start submitting elsewhere? Or do I need to wait for confirmation from them? Do I need to email them to get my rights officially reverted back to me? (This is what I assume...) Not sure what to do.
 
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RosalieStanton

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Has anyone tried to get their rights back? According to the February email:



That describes my situation. Are my rights automatically reverted back, and can I start submitting elsewhere? Or do I need to wait for confirmation from them? Do I need to email them to get my rights officially reverted back to me? (This is what I assume...) Not sure what to do.

Everyone I know who has received rights back has contacted the publisher. I'd recommend doing the same.
 

Marian Perera

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One of my manuscripts had completed its first round of edits (I was about to send it back to my editor when I heard the news). I emailed Amanda Hicks and asked if I could have the rights reverted. Got them back promptly and am now revising the manuscript to submit elsewhere. So yeah... email them.
 

LJD

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Emailed on Friday and got the reversion of rights on Monday, so that was fairly painless.
 

gingerwoman

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We just got an email saying they aren't closing after all but are open to submissions only to in house authors at present. :Shrug:

No actually I understand it, she's made it virtual only instead of paying for an office, and all these other changes to lower overheads etc... so she feels a smaller scale operation could work now.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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We just got an email saying they aren't closing after all but are open to submissions only to in house authors at present. :Shrug:

No actually I understand it, she's made it virtual only instead of paying for an office, and all these other changes to lower overheads etc... so she feels a smaller scale operation could work now.

I didn't get that email. Can you send it to me via PM? Thanks!
 

Captcha

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I'm feeling really unsure about this. The editors are still fired, I assume? (The e-mail mentioned hiring someone for some publicity for new releases, but no other new hires).

Once the books are edited and out there, I guess they're essentially passive income, so I can see the appeal of keeping people from pulling all their titles. But I'm not feeling too confident in the company right now... too many turn-arounds, too much drama that I think should have been avoidable. (Not the financial stuff, just the months of will-they-won't-they).

I've really enjoyed working with Samhain in the past, but I'm not eager to submit anything to them again in the future, which is too bad.
 

gingerwoman

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I'm feeling really unsure about this. The editors are still fired, I assume? (The e-mail mentioned hiring someone for some publicity for new releases, but no other new hires).

Once the books are edited and out there, I guess they're essentially passive income, so I can see the appeal of keeping people from pulling all their titles. But I'm not feeling too confident in the company right now... too many turn-arounds, too much drama that I think should have been avoidable. (Not the financial stuff, just the months of will-they-won't-they).

I've really enjoyed working with Samhain in the past, but I'm not eager to submit anything to them again in the future, which is too bad.
My email has been acting really weird today. Opening up the spam folder instead of inbox when inbox clicked and then not even letting me out of it. Like locking me in the spam folder, and not letting me delete the spam emails, or read the inbox emails even when I refreshed the page.

I was starting to worry I'd somehow read an old Samhain email that it had thrown up. And now I can't find that email sorry, Sheryl. I might have somehow deleted it while trying to delete the spam.
user-offline.png
 
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gingerwoman

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.Too much drama that I think should have been avoidable. (Not the financial stuff, just the months of will-they-won't-they).

.

I don't think the "will they/won't they" was drama, so much as she was trying to negotiate a deal that took a lot of negotiating and then fell through.


lol Can anyone PM it to me now because I'd feel like I dreamed it if Captcha hadn't seen it too.

My concern is only can Samhain still SELL books.

I hope if they hire a publicity person it isn't like some of the ones I've heard about from one of the Big Five digital first lines who just emails authors asking if they've posted about their books on Facebook. :tongue
 
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LJD

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Just read the e-mail. A week after I got my rights back, lol. (Should I have done that? Hm.) Don't know how to feel about this...
 

LJD

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I'm feeling really unsure about this. The editors are still fired, I assume? (The e-mail mentioned hiring someone for some publicity for new releases, but no other new hires).

E-mail just said "We'll be utilizing the editors and artists with whom we've had a long and successful relationship," but my editor has moved on to other things...
 

Sheryl Nantus

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I'm not sure how to feel about this.

I had two out of three books in a trilogy come out during "the Troubles" and they got little to no publicity because, obviously, the publisher was closing and I didn't expect much.

I suspect I lost sales. But now it's all good and happy and we're charging forth with... what?

I'm not sure if this is a revival or just avoiding the inevitable.

Not sure at all how I feel today.
 

amergina

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My heart goes out to the authors who had started to make plans and got ready to shift their careers and their books and now have had the rug pulled out from them for a second time. Some folks have spent time and money figuring out how to cope with large back lists returning to them...and now?

I suspect know there's a lot of broken trust.
 

gingerwoman

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My heart goes out to the authors who had started to make plans and got ready to shift their careers and their books and now have had the rug pulled out from them for a second time. Some folks have spent time and money figuring out how to cope with large back lists returning to them...and now?

People who weren't under contract wanted their rights back because of poor sales and then those who were under the 7 year contract were not allowed to get them back regardless if Samhain was closing or not.
 
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gingerwoman

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Well presumably the general book-buying public don't even know all this has been going on, so if they were selling before they should still be able to sell now I would have thought?
I meant in relation to the plummet in sales numbers that caused talk of closure.
 

PeteMC

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Oh ok, sorry I didn't realise sales were down before this happened - I had it in my head that this was due to costs going up rather than revenue going down.
 
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