Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.” Carol Burnett

This week I’m summarizing the Spotlight on Samhain Books from the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta.

Publisher Lindsey Faber, Editorial Director Heather Osborn, and Editor Amy Sherwood presented this spotlight. Samhain is a digital first publisher; titles appear in digital format and are released about a year later in print. Anything over 50,000 words goes into print in trade paperback. Shorter works may be grouped together for print titles. They publish romance, horror, and science fiction, fantasy and urban fantasy with strong romantic elements. They started in 2005.

In addition to publishing original material, they publish a line of Retro Romance in which they reprint previously print-published books that are at least 10 years old or older, if the authors have the rights back to the work.

The Spotlight was conducted primarily as a Q&A. Some of the material covered in this section include:

It takes six to eight months from the time the author turns in the manuscript until publication. They release 4 to 6 books a week.

They love series – readers love them, too.

With a new author, they usually contract one book at a time. They don’t offer an advance, so why would you want to contract for six books at once with no advance?

They wouldn’t rule out contracting on proposal, but they prefer a full manuscript so that they can go to work on it right away.

They have sold very well in contemporary romance, particularly contemporary western romance. They’ve done well with paranormal romance in the past, particularly shape-shifters, although that market is tighter now. Paranormal is still selling well, but it’s not growing as rapidly as it was, though it is still very popular. They also sell very well with gay romance – male/male, particularly in digital sales. They are growing in historical and romantic suspense. They are working to develop a larger multi-cultural romance market. “We are still looking for things across all genres.”

There was a long discussion about trends. The gist was that digital publishing has been particularly successful in reaching readers who are fans of genres and niche markets that are not widely available in brick and mortar stores. Authors can make a living in digital publishing with books that appeal to niche markets.

Samhain accepts agents and unagented submissions. Anyone can submit to them, anytime. They prefer a full manuscript and a short synopsis. Fine more information here. 

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If you’d like to read my novel, The View From Here before the sequel, The Mountain Between Us, comes out at the end of the month, you can grab an ebook copy for only $2.99 (normally $9.99) at the following e-tailers. The View From Here is set in a small town in the Rocky Mountains and follows the adventures of the sometimes quirkly residents. I call it “Northern Exposure comes to the Rocky Mountains.”

Barnes and Noble Nook http://bit.ly/15kn93R

Sony Ebooks http://bit.ly/16PLZMg

Kensington ebooks http://bit.ly/15TvwG6

All Romance ebooks http://bit.ly/jMFA4

Amazon hasn’t dropped the price yet for the Kindle version, but I’m hoping they will. (If you want a Kindle Version, you might click the “Notify us of a lower price” button at the bottom of the listing for the book to enourage Amazon to price match. )

If you’ve already read The View From Here and want a copy of The Mountain Between Us, I’d appreciate it if you’d pre-order. Pre-orders really help my rankings and increase the chances that there will be more books in the series. Thank you!

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Alloy Entertainment’s book division — the folks behind the Gossip Girls and Vampire Diaries, to name a few — is launching The Collaberative, to work with authors who have complete young adult, middle grade, chapter books or women’s fiction manuscripts. Warner Brothers will retain the right to produce any projects acquired in film, television and new media. The Collaborative hopes to acquire works from 12 authors a year, and is open to submissions from both agented and unagented authors. If you are not agented, please submit a query with a brief overview of your book, a description of your writing background, and the first five pages of the manuscript to thecollaborative@alloyentertainment.com. Find more details here.

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Entangled Publishing is seeking sexy historical romance short stories for an as-yet-untitled anthology to be issued under their Scandalous imprint. The editors are interested in stories set in hot and romantic stories in any historical setting up through World War II, with explicit sex scenes. Stories should be 15,000 to 20,000 words. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2013, and the stories will be published in fall 2014. Find all the details here.

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Reprint it, repost it and pass it on. All I ask is that you give me credit as the source, and include a link to this blog. Thank you. Cindi

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