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Doors Close, Doors Open - The Samhain Situation

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 So, here are my thoughts on the closing of Samhain Publishing. Yes, I know others have beaten me to the punch on this, but honestly, I’ve been so caught up in my writing, work, and Women in Horror Month blogs that I just didn’t have time to write anything until now.

I doubt my words are going to shock anyone who knows me or who’s talked to me about this over the past few days.

The closure of a small press publisher isn’t that big a deal.

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Sure, it sucks for the authors who were published through them (including myself), and for the people employed by the company (some very nice, wonderful, and talented people who I’ve really loved working with the past 2 years). But, in terms of the greater publishing world, this is only going to cause a ripple, not a tsunami.

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It’s a sad truth that small press publishers come and go. Some last for years, as Samhain did. Others flare and burn in only a few months. The reasons for this vary – poor business models, poor sales, poor marketing, bad business tactics – you name it. Ultimately, it comes down to sales, though. Very few small press publishers can compete with the big NYC publishing houses, and so they either find success by creating a unique niche for themselves or they get lucky, strike gold, and get that big breakout hit that makes it possible to fund other projects.
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In Samhain’s case, they were trying to recreate with the horror line the success they had with their romance line. For a while it looked like it might work. They had a stable of talented writers, a strong editing team, and lots of ideas for marketing. They put out books with excellent cover art.

It just didn’t work.

Perhaps they could have kept the line going a while longer, funded by the romance sales, but recently romance sales – especially in the ebook sector – have either leveled out or shrunk, depending on who you talk to. So the cushion disappeared.

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What does this mean for me and the other Samhain authors? Well, in a way, it means freedom. When the company closes its doors later this year, the rights to all books and novellas will be returned to the authors, which means we will be free to either sell them to another publisher or publish them ourselves through Amazon or another company. So the books will only be temporarily out of print.

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Now, what does this all mean for the customers, the fans, the readers? Right now, it means good news. Samhain and Amazon will be putting all remaining books on sale until stocks run out, so now is the time to grab any Samhain titles you’ve been thinking about reading. I’ve placed links to mine with the book covers in this blog.

Later on, when the books are back on Amazon, likely they’ll be sold at a cheaper price than the originals, because self-publishing or reprints tend to cost less. So, another win for the readers!

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What does it mean for me, personally? Well, I had several novellas with Samhain that were only available in ebook format, not print. Now I’ll be able to put those books onto paper for fans who enjoy holding a book in their hands.

So, while we’re all sorry to see Samhain coming to an end, and hope for only the best in the future for the management and staff, this isn’t a tragedy for the horror fiction community. We’ve survived after Leisure, we’ve survived the loss of several influential magazines over the years, and we’ll survive this.

And come out the other side even stronger.

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And of course you can always visit my Amazon page to purchase any of my other books!


  1. Great Post! Nice to hear positive comments. I understand this is business and really see no point in taking it personally. Good Luck - you're a terrific writer and I'm sure you'll come out on the top.

  2. Sad news, but I enjoyed reading your positive take on it. It's great to have the perspective of someone who's been through this before.

    Thanks, JG. I'm so glad I got to work with you and share an anthology with you. You're the best.


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