Even though I love having an indie press, Samhain was the reason why I decided to be a hybrid author. Even though I wasn’t able to get another book published with them–more so because I hardly write romance anymore–I was able to publish with other amazing companies like Mocha Memoirs Press and Purple Sword Publications. I also don’t believe in putting all of my eggs in one basket. Many financial advisors always tell their clients to diversify their portfolio, so that’s what I like to do with my writing business.
I don’t look at this as an end as much as I do a beginning. This is a chance for ex-Samhainers to really shine, so I hope for their sake they take full advantage of it. Self-publishing has really taken off to the point that the market is flooded. But at least, there’s a place where they can republish those books and perhaps make some pocket change from them. And even better, they get to keep almost all of it. Imagine that! They can get as much as 70% of the profits (if not more), depending upon where they publish and their price point. Again, imagine that!
Now, I understand why those authors might be bitter, too. After all, it also means they have to do all of the work for themselves. They definitely have to have new covers and market until they’re blue in the face. For those of us who are hybrids, that’s nothing new and probably why we’re less affected by Samhain’s closing. It’s a business. Period. That’s why I don’t feel like I’m losing a publisher as much as I’m gaining a new asset in my self-publishing portfolio. I’m cool with that.
So what does this mean for other e-pubs if the one of the biggest games in town is shutting its doors? Your guess is as good as mine. I’m sure some might want to snatch up those authors who have hit the NY Times and USA Today lists, but the rest of us are on our own. I’m sure there will be naysayers who’ll say, “Ha! You see? I knew they wouldn’t last.” Here’s a thought. If Samhain is “winding down”, which I interpret as trying to stay afloat before they head into shore, what’s going to happen to those publishers who don’t have NY Times bestsellers on their lists? How long are they going to last if they can’t meet the low price points of most self-published books? You can say what you want about the quality of those books, but the fact is self-publishing is chipping away at the traditional market. In some cases (i.e. Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking), they’d already redefined it for themselves. I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s a good time to be self-published, whether the market is flooded or not. Still don’t believe me? Then take a look at Author Earnings for 2016. These numbers tell me that indie/self-publishing is a major contender for readers’ attentions.
Believe it or not, I’m not trying to sell anyone on self-publishing. Do whatever you want to do. But, I had a very wise author who is not only my friend, but a USA Today Bestseller talk me off the ledge that some authors are probably feeling right now. She was the one who talked to me about self-publishing, so I took a chance. I’m glad I did, too. Even though I haven’t made anything near “rock-star dollars”, I’m happy because my books are doing more than just collecting dust on my laptop.
I’m sure there are those who feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath them. If so, then perhaps you need to make the best of those hardwood floor underneath. Everyone is too excitable in this business and I really hate the drama, the speculation, and the hate that things like this generate. Rather than shout at the rooftops about how unfair it is and feeling duped, authors needs to actually tend to their business. The business of writing and putting a plan in action to take care of their assets. Leave the emotions out of it. Better yet, leave that stuff for your next manuscript. The last thing a customer wants to see is an author whining about how their precious publisher abandoned them. Customers would rather see the results of your hard work.