That's okay, Captcha. I apologize if I irritated some folks, because I didn't mean to add to anyone's pain. I'm not a positive person to begin with, and I'm trained to expose operational cracks if I dig deep enough; that kind of pessimism never really goes away, no matter the industry.
Perhaps if I clarified some things?
My particular case was more about my stupidity in writing a SFF M/M romance set in a larger space opera universe that had het and bi main characters, and much more of a SFF slant. At that time, too much erotica for a mainstream SFF publisher, so erotic romance was basically my only commercial option. I queried by myself, got an agent's help *after* the interest from Samhain and the offer from Loose Id, to narrow down any contract to just those characters, and not my whole series (which no erotic publisher would have touched at that time, anyway.)
Back in early 2012 we were offered another look at a faulty submission (my fault, a format error) by a Samhain editor who'd liked what she'd been able to see, but at that time LI seemed the better and quicker deal. It was a week or so later that my agent talked me through some of the potential upsides/downsides to that contract length. Our thoughts were to see what LI did, and see if Samhain softened on negotiations (mine wasn't the only agent to note that it was rather difficult to get Samhain to budge on certain clauses.) If they did, and I had a project that suited them, we'd look at the issue again. They never budged that I could see, and my work was going a different direction...so that second sub never happened. Then Don got booted out and some other stuff happened, and I started getting a bit nervous about the company's trajectory.
I still think Samhain was an amazing place, and remains one of my favorite catalogs. What happened to it, and to all its stranded/misdirected/gaslighted authors is a horrible trainwreck. I had no intention of concern-trolling anyone, and I'll apologize again.
What really hurts about the Samhain case is that for a very long time, it was *not* unstable and badly run. It was not one of the usual Crappy Little Publishers. The money was good enough on average that a lot of authors cheerfully accepted locking a book away for seven years without recourse. If you're consistently making a couple thousand dollars per book per year, that's no sacrifice...and it's basically the promise and threat the Big Five offer, too. (But most of them will negotiate some form of sales threshold reversion, too.)
Samhain was supposed to be one of the ones to get it right, to improve the erotic romance industry and show Ellora's Cave a reasonable blueprint for publisher behavior. I never expected to see Samhain in these straits.
I'm working with only one new erom-publisher right now, cautiously and with projects I can afford to lose. I broke off things amicably and mutually with my agent, and am now seeking representation from someone who is comfortable with both SFF and erotic romance. But I'm just as likely to follow other authors into self-publishing, because there's so much infighting going on in erotic romance right now.