So it seems I actually have some news to report other than STILL WORKING NO REALLY I AM PROMISE.
On Thursday, Feb 26, my traditional publisher Samhain Publishing, Ltd announced they would be closing their doors. This surprised me, not just for obvious reasons, but because I was always under the impression that they were healthy. After all, they’re a digital first publisher that treated their authors fairly, paid them well, and didn’t have the extreme overhead involved with regular, traditional publishing.
But it seems that shrinking market share was an issue with the Wild, Wild West of self-publishing and Amazon’s ever expanding market share gobbling up the landscape like The Nothing in Neverending Story.
This is a shame. Digital-First, POD publishers are an excellent option for newer writers just gaining their wobbly feet in a very scary place, especially for those without the capital to invest in self-publishing.
Samhain paid me much higher royalty rates than “regular” traditional publishing, got my foot in the door, and gave me the post-production things I wouldn’t have been able to afford on my own, even after self-pub hit its watershed moment. Editing, cover art, marketing and promotional clout–all of this costs money, and not everyone has it when they’re starting out. Therefore I never felt I was leaving money on the table by traditionally publishing–I always felt I was investing that money in my continuing future as an author. It wasn’t money I had to spend up front, as it were.
So what am I going to do now? The Winds of Change requires a shifting of tacks, so now here am I, coming up with A Plan.
The rights on my first contract weren’t due to revert for another couple of years, so that will no doubt be accelerated as Samhain winds down its operations. They’ll be honoring current contracts and their pending release schedule, but obviously won’t be offering any further contracts. They do still need incoming revenue to keep them afloat long enough to dissolve properly.
For myself, I’m going to attempt to get my rights back earlier, and Editor Awesome, who is going freelance at the Evil Eye Editing, has agreed to re-edit the first book in my Keepers of the Flame series (someone else edited Book 1, Holly edited Books 2 and 3).
I’ll then I’ve a special Author’s Edition of BRIGHID’S CROSS, and the beginning of a starter library to offer my newsletter. Also, I can start pumping promo dollars into Book 1, and send readers down the line, hopefully in time for Book 5’s release later this year on my indie platform. Whether I’ll re-release all three initial books at once or stagger it is something I haven’t decided yet.
So there’s that. Some bad news, but not so terrible there isn’t hope for the future. I’ll keep you guys apprised of the situation as it unfolds.