“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
― Lloyd Alexander


This week I’m continuing my overview of the Publisher Spotlights from the Romance Writers of America convention in New York City, with a look at Samhain Books. 

LaToya Smith, executive editor of Samhain Publishing, began this publisher spotlight. Samhain is celebrating its tenth birthday in 2015. Samhain publishes ebooks and POD paperbacks. Their books are distributed through all major retailers and etailers. They publish romance, horror fiction and erotic fiction. They publish all sub-genres and try to give their readers lots of variety. They pay royalties monthly. Samhain is a full-service publisher with editorial, marketing and art department professionals. Samhain works with the author to come up with a good cover that the author will be happy with. Most manuscripts are published within six months of acquisition. Samhain is not opposed to authors publishing with other publishers or self-publishing, in addition to publishing with Samhain.

Marketing coordinator Kaitlyn Osborn talked about Samhain’s marketing efforts. All books published by Samhain receive Facebook and Twitter banners. Romance and horror titles are sent out for review at over 150 places. They promote the reviews on social media. They send a weekly newsletter highlighting new releases and Samhain authors. All of Samhain’s new releases receive an ad. If authors want to purchase additional ads, Samhain is happy to provide artwork for the ad. Samhain is very active on social media. Samhain will also work with authors to come up with promotional ideas.

Samhain accepts both agented and unagented submissions.  They accept manuscripts between 10,000 and 125,000 words. Every published work over 50,000 words also goes into print-on-demand.  Send a query letter, the full manuscripts and a detailed synopsis to romance@samhainpublishing.com  Allow 12 to 16 weeks for a reply.  Find all of Samhain’s writing guidelines here.


Fireside Magazine publishes flash fiction in all genres — westerns, mystery, romance, sci-fi, fantasy — almost any kind of fiction. They are open to submissions now and will accept 1,000 to 4,000 words short stories until September 30, 2015. They pay 12.5 cents per word for accepted stories. Editor Brian White is looking for complete stories with a strong plot and compelling characters. The magazine strives to depict diverse characters and encourages submissions from writers who may have traditionally been excluded from publishing. Find the magazine’s detailed submission guidelines here.


For a limited time, my fictional autobiography of Jesse James’ wife (based on true events) is on sale for Kindle for only 99 cents. The regular price is $9.99, so this is a bargain. Get your copy of The Woman Who Loved Jesse James here.



Jerry Jazz Musician is sponsoring a short story contest with a first prize of $100. Editors prefer stories of up to 3,000 words, but will consider stories of up to 5,000 words. The magazine will accept stories on any theme for this contest, but the magazine’s readers are particularly interested in the jazz culture of 20th century America. There is no fee to enter and the deadline for entries is September 20, 2015. For more information, go here.


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