Moving On. Life After Samhain

samhain-logo1Even 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.



Samhain Publishing is Closing

samhain-logo1…and I’m not the least bit bitter. In fact, while I appreciate the sympathy, if you really want to show some support, buy my books. ūüėČ

If you haven’t heard the news by now, then you’re probably living in a cave. It’s true and hundreds of authors are spreading the news across social media. But the good news is that everyone is handling it just like they should. With professionalism. I’m honored to be associated with such an amazing group of authors.

Samhain has been a really great company. I made more money from them than I have before and I’m only talking one book. They gave me a chance that really blasted my confidence into the stratosphere, past the moon, and well into Pluto’s orbit. I have much to be grateful for, in fact. I’m especially grateful for how Crissy Brashear handled it. With class. Samhain was without a doubt one of the best publishers in the business. Their professionalism has always spoke volumes to me, which is more than I can say for those who prefer to handle their disappointment with vengeance and anger. This will not go down in flames like Triskellion or become an Ellora’s Cave where it’s better to string your authors along into the depth of your madness. Samhain has promised to do it gracefully and has asked us for our patience as they “wind things down.” Given what they had given me during my tenure with them, that’s the least I can do.

If authors are really worried about what happens next, they might want to do like a bunch of authors have been doing for a while. Form a publishing coalition (I’m game!) with other authors and start your own company where you can create your books, republish your abandoned books, and cross-promote the hell out of each other. After all, readers don’t really care who you publish with. They just want a good read.

I Blood-Curdling *heart* Samhain.

Remember what I said about having hopes for Dorchester?¬† Well, those hopes have become my horrific dreams.¬† And I mean that in the terrifyingly, nicest way possible.¬† ūüėÜ

Samhain has¬†scored the¬†amazing Don D’Auria from Dorchester to start a new horror line that will launch in October.¬† I did a Snoopy-dance *squeeeeeeee* when I had heard the news.¬† Even though I’ve done enough searching on the internet to see that the news has already hit the Horror communities, Christina Brashear will be making an official announcement on Monday.¬†

Not only is it good to hear that Don landed somewhere, it’s even better to know that he’s a part of Samhain.¬† I am beyond excited.¬† Writer fans of Brian Keene, Nate Kenyon, and Wraith James White start whipping your manuscripts into shape.¬†

BUT, I ain’t giving up my Anne Scott for nobody.¬† She’s da bomb.¬† ūüôā

A huge congrats to Don.¬† You’re going to love it here.

ARCs Have Arrived!

Santa Samhain brought me an early gift.¬† Pretty shiny, huh?¬† ūüėÄ

My first thought¬†when I saw the box on my doorstep was, “Who the heck is leaving their junk on doorstep?”¬† I¬†wasn’t in any¬†hurry to¬†open it because¬†I thought it would be something I’d have to go out of my way to¬†do a Return To Sender.¬† After packing away the groceries and opening up the junk mail, I decided to¬†open the box.¬†

Low and behold my author copies!  Woohoooooooooo!   

My mom keeps looking at the cover and wondering why the heroine has such a hard-looking face.¬† I had to explain to her what urban fantasy was without using the words “kick” and “ass”.¬† She’d just think I was cursing for no reason anyway, which isn’t very attractive.¬† Go figure.¬† She’s an¬†old-school chick.¬† ūüėܬ†¬† I guess it’s a good thing she doesn’t read my books.

Anyway, it dawned on me that Stripped¬†is being released in print on June 1st.¬† That’s less than two weeks away.¬† It also happens to be the start of my first day on my new job.¬† Oh, and did I mention I’m going to be guest blogging here and there?¬† I never thought this day would’ve rolled up so fast.¬† Oh happy dayyyyy.¬† Oh happy dayyyyy.

Now if only I can sell another book and have that “lovin'” feeling all over again.¬† ūüôā

Sammie Awards and Editor News

It’s awards season, even for books.¬† That’s right.¬† The Sammies (first time I’ve heard of them) are open¬†and awaiting your votes.¬† Click here to cast your vote.

Let me be frank.¬† I’m only mentioning this because I hope you’ll vote for me.¬† And just to make sure there isn’t any question about it, my book is called¬†STRIPPED.¬† I don’t care who you vote for second and third, but doggone it, I want to be first.¬† ūüėܬ† There are several categories my book is listed in and it’s a LONG¬†list.¬† My book won’t be released in print until June 8th, so it’s no eligible for that category.

Also, there are so many links on the left-hand side that you probably didn’t notice my newest one under Blogs – Others.¬† My Editor, Anne Scott, has her own blog now.¬† It’s mostly for advertising purposes because she’s new to the blogging thing, but I’m sure she’ll come up to speed fast and talk about other stuff.¬† So, if you’re interested in getting to know here, this is where to start.¬† She’s a cool chick. ūüėÄ

Other than that, there’s not much news to report.¬† Well…I sort of.¬†

I¬†had a really weird–not scary–dream last night that involved me being the manager of a body-bag maintenance plant.¬† For some reason I was pointing at the black bags and telling my workers to trash them with the carcasses inside.¬† I absolutely hated my job.¬† Abhorred every second of it.¬† In fact, it gave me the creeps.¬† Most of the bodies were charred¬†and mutated beyond recognition.¬† Don’t ask me how I knew since I hadn’t opened any of them.¬† I even violated someone’s religious beliefs by ordering them to handle a bag knowing there was a corpse inside.¬† The¬†guy threatened¬†to sue the¬†me and the company for not¬†warning him before hand.¬† I don’t know what happened after that because my internal alarm clock¬†woke me.¬† Go figure.

Any weird dreams you want to share?

Guest Blogging at Magical Musings Today!

I really suck when it comes to being a guest on a blog.¬† Usually, I like to check back and reply to commentors, but I’ve been completely oblivious lately.¬† As if you can’t tell based on my own.¬† I’m so sorry guys.¬† Trust me, in that I’ve read each of your beautiful, supportive comments, even if you think I haven’t.¬†

Just chalk up my neglect to¬†searching for¬†a plumber who’s not a crook and¬†will¬†fix the leak in my first floor ceiling,¬†multi-tasking on the day job, and trying to make sure all of my promo was in place for STRIPPED‘s release.¬† Of course, I had screwed that up, too, because I had forgotten to post an excerpt on the Samhain Cafe loop.¬† To make matters worse, my book was released on my grandmother’s birthday.¬† Guess what I forgot to do?¬† You guessed it.¬† I had to give grandma a call yesterday and apologize for not getting to her sooner.¬† Thank goodness she took it all in stride, but it would’ve been nice to remember her on her 77th birthday.¬† *sigh*¬†

Anyway, I’m blogging with the lovely ladies at Magical Musings today!¬† Stop by for the chance to win a free copy of STRIPPED.¬† This might be a second chance to win, assuming you posted over at Shapeshifter Romance, too.¬† ūüėČ

Hitting the Nail

I was going to take a break from the blogsphere so I could¬†concentrate on¬†my newest WIP, but this came up and I wanted to share.¬† ūüôā

The time has come.¬† I’m talking about edits.¬† Samhain handles their edits in a way that’s new and different to me, and I like it.¬† But do you want to know what REALLY made me smile?¬† My fabulous editor called STRIPPED a “gritty urban fantasy”.¬†

It’s GRITTY!¬† Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!¬†

Do you have any idea how I’ve longed to hear that word?¬† Do you know how good it feels to have someone get you like that?¬† Whether it’s a crit partner, an editor, or a beta reader, nothing feels better than¬†when they¬†hit it on the head.¬†

Gritty pretty much¬†describes my writing these days.¬† There are very few topics I’ll shy away from and don’t think I should.¬† Then again, I’ve seen so many horror movies that I’m pretty much desensitized by now.¬† I have no problem with putting my characters through hell and dragging them through the brimstone on their bare backs.¬† Let’s face it.¬† If I were in their shoes, I’m pretty sure the worse would happen to me.¬† I guess that’s why I like “glad I survived” endings.¬† Gotta balance out all of the doom and gloom somehow.

But getting back to the topic.¬† My editor gets me and I am so cool with that.¬† Fingers crossed that my cover artist does, too.¬† ūüėČ

Whether it’s an editor, a crit partner, or a beta reader, who “gets” you?