A brief but long overdue update, on erotic romance publisher Samhain. After announcing their closure late in 2015, they regrouped in a flurry of activity over 2016.
But they’re closing for real at the end of February 2017, only a few days after releasing a last round of contracted books. Those first rights are burned, and how much will those authors earn now in less than a week of sales? I’ve seen new authors who actually submitted mms to Samhain over 2016, when many seasoned authors warned them off. Loyal readers are scrambling to back up their digital libraries.
The company had a good run over much of its eleven years. I’m sorry to see Samhain go, but wish they could have kept their first promises and folded more responsibly last year.
The death of the romance industry small presses…claims another round of victims.
Update 2-12-2017: In a move eerily like their announcement in 2016, Samhain announces it will retain a handful of employees and ‘wind down’ company sales to help satisfy customers. During this process, as rights come due, those will be reverted to the authors. Ready-to-launch books will still be sold. Uncompleted projects will be reverted.
Potentially, this means that a Samhain title released in late February of this year might not go out of contract for 7 more years…or by March of this year. We don’t know yet, because we don’t have a ‘lights out’ date for Samhain. A potential title (contracted but not ready for release as of February 2017) would be reverted this month to its author.
Now, this is just a year’s delay of closure, not long in the publishing world. Samhain is closing because of poor ebook sales. So it’s very likely those remaining Samhain authors are not going to see the sales levels they might have, from back in the company’s glory days. How much marketing and promo will Samhain do now, over how long the company winds down?
I still think it was irresponsible of Samhain to solicit and contract more authors between 2016 and 2017, but at least the company appears to have a plan in place.
If you love erotic romances and Samhain authors, keep buying while you can…and back up your digital library!