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Samhain Publishing

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thethinker42

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If you're a Samhain author and have spent money preparing books to be released after Samhain's closure, please contact me at gallagherwitt/gmail.
 

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I went back and looked at my notes from 2012. The 7-year contract with no reversion clause for low sales...that was a major concern. Probably the reason we didn't requery them.

Filigree, I probably wouldn't say this if I wasn't already pissed off at Samhain, so to some extent it's unfair to you because my irritation at them is spilling over. I apologize in advance for that, but at the same time...

Your "I knew better" routine is getting really old, and at a time when people are already really stinging, it's an extra irritant. You've posted elsewhere in this thread about how you plan to query Samhain in the future, so clearly your notes from 2012 DIDN'T make you realize that Samhain's contract was a problem. Right? It's easy to point out issues AFTER the problem has come, but it's not really useful and it's a bit insulting to act as if the authors who signed the contracts weren't at least as aware of the contract terms as you are.

You didn't sign a contract with Samhain because they didn't offer you a contract. Right? So it just feels like sour grapes for you to be criticizing the contract now, and there's already a LOT of sourness going on for Samhain authors. I don't think we need any more.

(I know this probably feels like an overreaction by me based on your one post. But you post like this a LOT, and I guess my skin is currently thin enough that you got through it)
 

Filigree

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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.
 

amergina

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So, Samhain is down to one book left on its "coming soon" page.

Anyone heard anything about more titles? Or anything at all, in terms of continuing business? Because right now, it looks like they said "Haha, we're not closing!" and promptly vanished, thus tying up everyone's books.
 

Anna204

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Someone in a Facebook group I'm in has a manuscript under consideration with them. I thought to tell her about this whole thing, but she didn't seem like the type of person who wants other people to butt in.
 

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They're still closed to unsolicited submissions, too.

I'd be surprised if many of their existing authors are submitting anything...

So this may be them "staying open" in order to avoid having to return the rights to the books they've already signed? They can "stay open", hold onto everyone's rights, and do nothing more than process royalty cheques in order to keep collecting money for the foreseeable future.

I hope that's not the case; I hope they plan to remain an active publishing company (that promotes my books, etc.). But I can see the temptation of holding onto the essentially free revenue for as long as possible.
 

Lordofthehunt

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gingerwoman

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They're still closed to unsolicited submissions, too.

I'd be surprised if many of their existing authors are submitting anything...

So this may be them "staying open" in order to avoid having to return the rights to the books they've already signed? They can "stay open", hold onto everyone's rights, and do nothing more than process royalty cheques in order to keep collecting money for the foreseeable future.

I hope that's not the case; I hope they plan to remain an active publishing company (that promotes my books, etc.). But I can see the temptation of holding onto the essentially free revenue for as long as possible.

Chrissy's last email said stuff like "we're looking forward to continuing to work with you all", and encouraged authors to submit to their editors, but my editor has moved on... so yeah...
 

JasonWrites84

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Any word or updates on what is going on with Samhain? I noticed their submissions page is open now to anyone and it's like business as normal. Since there's been a 3 month drought on updates, I am interested to see if anyone has regained their trust with them or not.
 

Lordofthehunt

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Any word or updates on what is going on with Samhain? I noticed their submissions page is open now to anyone and it's like business as normal. Since there's been a 3 month drought on updates, I am interested to see if anyone has regained their trust with them or not.

I just received the rights to my horror novella back a couple days back. Quick and painless. Seems they're clearing the decks for the new year.
 

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Any word or updates on what is going on with Samhain? I noticed their submissions page is open now to anyone and it's like business as normal. Since there's been a 3 month drought on updates, I am interested to see if anyone has regained their trust with them or not.

I'm a never-say-never kinda person, but I'm definitely not going back to Samhain anytime soon. I loved working with them, I had good sales and good reviews on my books with them, but... there has to be a level of trust, and that's pretty well blown for me now.

I'm still working with Riptide and Entangled, I hope to go back to Dreamspinner (once I've got my eggs distributed a little better between baskets), and I'm self-publishing more. I'll keep sending stuff to my agent to see what she can come up with. But Samhain? Maybe I'll treat them like a brand-new publisher and wait a couple years to see if they're stable enough.

I guess the only other thing that would convince me to give them another try would be a really short-term contract. And even that I'd have to think about pretty carefully...
 

Captcha

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Just read a post that said they're closing for good at end of February... haven't seen an e-mail yet.
 

LJD

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I got an email about half an hour ago. Yes, they are closing.
 

cmhbob

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amergina

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I feel really bad for the folks with books coming out on the 21st. It's so shitty that they're releasing those books and not just reverting the rights.
 

mrsmig

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I feel really bad for the folks with books coming out on the 21st. It's so shitty that they're releasing those books and not just reverting the rights.

That really brought me up short, too. What in the world is that supposed to do, besides eat up those authors' first rights? If the books sell, how will Samhain pay royalties if they're out of business?
 

EMaree

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Sad to hear they're closing, angry to hear they're deliberately wrecking author's first pub rights in the process. That's not the way to bow out gracefully.
 

Undercover

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Sad to hear they're closing, angry to hear they're deliberately wrecking author's first pub rights in the process. That's not the way to bow out gracefully.

Yeah, this just sucks royally. I don't understand their reason behind it either. For some reason I thought Samhain closed already. I think I might have mixed that up with another publisher.
 

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