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Samhain Publishing

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Just curious ... I'm wondering if self-pubbed sales had an impact in the overall decline.

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.
 

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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.

This is very accurate. Although it has even risen higher to the major brand-name indies on up to the NYC imprints. Not too profuse in numbers, but there is a noticeable difference.
 

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It has to be hurting at the level of the seasoned pro, or the skilled newcomer: people who've put in time honing their writing skills, who would have once only gone with commercial publishing. Now they have the option of self-publishing. That's a lot of valuable product not even being offered to small presses.
 

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New e-mail from Christina Brashear in which she claims it was all just a misunderstanding and they were never planning to close down.

I just...

WTF?


ETA1: I'm seeing the word "misunderstanding" used in quotes in some tweets/other posts, and I thought maybe I should clarify, in case that word was coming from this post...

The word "misunderstanding" isn't used in the e-mail from Brashear.

The e-mail is titled "Clarification" (well, "Clarifiation", but I think my interpretation is valid!) and she writes about how she's tried to keep communication open and casual and how this may have resulted in things being "confusing to those reading it". "All of the steps taken by Samhain, were merely steps to “trim the fat” in an effort to increase profitability. Downsizing a company is not the same as liquidating it." etc.

The overall message of the e-mail is "it was all a big misunderstanding". But those words are never actually used.

ETA2: And now there's a screen cap, so everyone can read for themselves! https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cmxud-bWYAEzxIM.jpg (Thanks for posting it, Amergina)
 
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So someone like LJD who had a contract essentially voided due to Samhain's plans to shut down... is now being told there were no plans to shut down. In which case why the hell were the contracts voided?!?
 

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So someone like LJD who had a contract essentially voided due to Samhain's plans to shut down... is now being told there were no plans to shut down. In which case why the hell were the contracts voided?!?

Yeah, I don't understand. Other than that...they fired my editor, so who would have edited it?

But I am glad I have my rights back.
 

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The original email is still here: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c3722290090b66c82793aeba7&id=0738cdfc68&e=31f609e14b Still titled "The Long Goodbye" and still contains such phrases as:

It’s with the heaviest of hearts and a great sadness I bring you the news of Samhain beginning the process of winding down due to our market share's continuing decline.

As it took time to grow to the size we became, it will take some time to shrink down and end our run properly.

We need the income to continue while we wind down and ask that you understand that we will release the books when we can and we won’t be abusing your trust. I won’t drag this out any longer than I have to, but it isn’t going to be something that will be wrapped up in the next six months.

Saying goodbye is always hard. I will miss working with all of you. Samhain has been my greatest adventure and I’m bereft at having to give it up.

(I've also saved a PDF of that link, 'cause at this point I expect it'll poof.)
 
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How sloppy of PW to have misunderstood the "we're closing down" e-mail as well - http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/...mhain-publishing-to-shut-down-operations.html

And after the mess with EC, you'd think Dear Author would be more careful with their reporting - http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/monday-news-samhain-is-closing-and-other-news/

They should have realized that the e-mail was just an expression of Brashear's stress, not a real, factual business communication.

Silly journalists and bloggers. Silly authors! If Brashear had realized what we were all thinking, I'm sure she would have cleared this up at the time instead of waiting for months and months!

Sigh.
 
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Yeah, I don't understand. Other than that...they fired my editor, so who would have edited it?

But I am glad I have my rights back.

Yeah - you're probably well off to be out of it.

I'm still fighting to find some way for this to make sense, because I really, REALLY liked working with them, and had good sales and good editing and good promo and I WANT to respect them and have them do well. Except... WTF?
 

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That's not a "misunderstanding" -- you can't misunderstand what they said. Going back on what they said makes me even more wary of them. It's not something you can be like "Just kidding, all!"

...oh wait... that's what they did.
 

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Just read over the email again. huh.

Do they have any new releases planned beyond this month? Do they even have any editors working for them now?
 
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I'm wondering if that's part of the whole "Oh we never said that" thing. A way to try to undo the damage they've done. They canceled all the contracts of books that weren't ready to go... so at a certain point, they're going to run out of new releases. They said they'd open for new submissions internally, but dollar to donuts most of their authors are going to raise an eyebrow and not send anything in. Why would they?

Why would they??? There's no trust anymore.

My guess is that they'll open to outside subs in fairly short order, but those authors who are savvy will back away because it's a hot mess.

I suspect they will not get nearly the quality submissions they once got. After all, there are so many other options open to authors other than submitting to a company that seems to be trying to gaslight its authors.
 

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My guess is that they'll open to outside subs in fairly short order, but those authors who are savvy will back away because it's a hot mess.

I suspect they will not get nearly the quality submissions they once got.

I have had no involvement with Samhain, as announcement of their closing down came just as I was beginning to research publishers. But looking at their website now, they do appear open to submission from agents, and also say they'll request submissions via conference pitch events.
 
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LJD

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I'm wondering if that's part of the whole "Oh we never said that" thing. A way to try to undo the damage they've done. They canceled all the contracts of books that weren't ready to go... so at a certain point, they're going to run out of new releases. They said they'd open for new submissions internally, but dollar to donuts most of their authors are going to raise an eyebrow and not send anything in. Why would they?

Why would they??? There's no trust anymore.

My guess is that they'll open to outside subs in fairly short order, but those authors who are savvy will back away because it's a hot mess.

I suspect they will not get nearly the quality submissions they once got. After all, there are so many other options open to authors other than submitting to a company that seems to be trying to gaslight its authors.

My book was supposed to come out Aug. 31, which is why I'm guessing they'll be out of new releases very soon. And yeah, a LOT of authors will never submit to them again.

Am now freaking out that maybe they didn't ACTUALLY return my rights to me, and that document was all just one big misunderstanding, too. I've already submitted that book to other publishers. In fact, I already have an offer. I just read over the reversion of rights to make sure it said what I thought it did, and it seems pretty clear. Still...
 

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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. God, what idiocy. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone is too quick to react sometimes, but when that happens you work hard to gain back that trust. You don't accuse others of drawing false conclusions. :(
 

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I don't have anything published with Samhain, but I was highly disappointed to cross them off my list when they announced they were closing. After this, I don't think I'll be uncrossing them anytime soon. To echo everyone else: WTF?
 

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This is very...confusing news. 0_o;;
 

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Wow, there was nothing to misunderstand in that original email! WTF indeed...

What does this new email actually say, can anyone share?
 

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I have had no involvement with Samhain, as announcement of their closing down came just as I was beginning to research publishers. But looking at their website now, they do appear open to submission from agents, and also say they'll request submissions via conference pitch events.

They are still open and plan to stay that way. That's the problem. We were told they were beginning the process of closing down, but then six months later, surprise! They're staying open. And we're expected to be happy about it.

Me? I'm not happy about it. Not after this whole debacle has cost me actual money/time.

For one, they bailed on us for the RT book signing. For that signing, we have to sign up months ahead of time and tell the bookseller which books to order for us. A month ahead of the con, suddenly Samhain won't be providing those books after all, so we have to scramble and come up with books on our own (fortunately the RT organizers were willing to work with us and let us change the titles on our list, but we still had to actually GET the books). So suddenly the already expensive RT is costing me an additional chunk of change for books, not to mention getting those books *to* RT. I live in Spain, so you can imagine the cost associated with either shipping or transporting ~40-50 books to the convention. (Spoiler alert: NOT CHEAP)

Additionally, with almost 30 books published by Samhain, it behooved me to be proactive and start preparing to re-release them on my own. This means cover art, re-editing some older books, formatting, etc. Again...NOT CHEAP. And it was a little unnerving to go forward with it without a set end date, but I was told by Christina Brashear that she hoped and intended to wrap things up by the end of 2016. She wasn't 100% sure if it would work out that way, but that was the goal. So I had to assume I would need to find homes for or re-release 28 titles at or around the end of the year. With that many books, it would be stupid for me to sit back and wait before starting the processes. Better to get them formatted and ready to roll so that when Samhain closed, I could re-publish them.

Six months and a lot of money later, suddenly it's back to business as usual.

*screams*
 

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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.
 

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