Some of you may remember that, earlier this year, Samhain announced that they are starting to wind down operations, and that this process will likely take at least, and likely longer than, six months.
I have kept my ears open for news on this regrettable development; as a reader, I had never heard/read anything negative about them. If there have been rumbles over the years, they have been pretty quiet.
However, after the announcement came out back in late February, I heard some vague rumors that things weren’t going quite as smoothly as Ms Brashear might have wanted. Not being privy to industry scuttlebutt, I really didn’t know anything concrete, so I kept quiet.
What I did gather was that there was some possibility of a buyout/merger of some sort with another, financially healthier, publisher. I had hoped that would be the case, for the sake of every author under contract with Samhain, as that would cut down considerably on the uncertainty they are obviously feeling, over the fate of their works’ rights in the longer term–let alone royalties and revenues in the shorter term, as some readers seem to be operating under the assumption that Samhain has, effectively, already closed its virtual doors. (Spoiler: no, they are sill open)
Today, after weeks of silence, I saw the following message over at the Absolute Write forum (emphasis on original):
One important point people need to understand is that Samhain is not closing yet. They are not bankrupt. They are doing all this in order to be able to keep paying royalties.
If you like or love buying books from Samhain please keep doing so, because they are still paying authors (at least I believe so I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t been paid.) They are still selling books.
They are NOT contracting new books or authors. They are not releasing the books of authors still under contract.
They ARE releasing the books of authors whose contracts are done, but they emphasized that one person is doing this by herself in the order they come in and she’s been sent some very harsh emails.
They are still releasing new books that were already contracted and edited, but are returning the rights to books that were contracted but not edited before they decided to slowly wind down.
Basically if you enjoy the books keep buying them as you normally would, don’t stop buying Samhainbooks because you think they are over and done with. They aren’t yet. Its a slow process of winding down which means the authors still get paid by Samhain and can’t get out of contracts that are still current. People who have had a book with Samhain for more than 7 years can get rights back. Those of us whose books are still under the 7 year contract can’t. The books are still for sale at all previous locations and authors are being paid for sales.
Especially if you are a Samhain fan, check the site for the new books coming out because those poor authors shouldn’t have their titles ignored because of this slow wind down.
Also they are going to do random deep discount sales on the Samhain website so you could pick up some amazing books really cheaply.
I mean I’m not staff I’m just repeating what has been sent in emails to me as an author, so if anything I’ve said isn’t true in your opinion as another author who has issues with the company that I’m unaware of please don’t get mad at me, I’m just repeating what I’ve been told, and what I currently believe to be true from my own personal experience.
My concern is that I’ve heard/read some people talking as if Samhain has already closed and as if there are/will be no more books for sale, and this is not true and could be damaging to authors whose books could be unnecessarily ignored.
Keep in mind that I, personally, don’t know anything about the source of the comment above, and that there have been no recent internal or author loops emails put out there, so take this with as large a portion of salt as you need.
Again, personally, and unless and until I hear negative things from people I trust to know fact from fiction, I’ll continue to think there’s underlying goodwill, and honesty, in the behaviour of Samhain’s principals.
Your mileage may very, of course.