As many of you know, Don D’Auria has departed Samhain Publishing, and we wish him great success in his career. His departure was one of several difficult choices we’ve made recently regarding overhead and editorial support, as we adjust to the evolving marketplace.
While we remain dedicated to making a success of our Horror line and to supporting our Horror authors, due to the slow build of a paying audience we must work more diligently to engage readers. A social media presence is an absolute must because marketing has become about a conversation, and not just about blasting people with ads. Throughout our other lines, Samhain’s editorial staff is not only well-versed in curating content and helping it shine through their polishing efforts, but they are social-media savvy and understand how to promote their authors’ works. We look forward to bringing this kind of support to our Horror line as well.
In addition to preparing existing contracted books for publication and reviewing submissions, we have the following efforts underway:
- Samhain will once again be sponsoring the HWA / Stoker Awards as we have for these past four years.
- We have begun planning for the perennially successful HorrorHound Cincy.
- We have submitted numerous works for the annual Bram Stoker awards, and look forward with great excitement to those results.
- We will be submitting works for the Shirley Jackson awards within the next two weeks.
Our promotional efforts are changing as well. You spoke, we listened and then confirmed your suggestions and ideas through our own testing. Over the past six to twelve months we’ve been monitoring the advertisements we’ve bought and have come to the conclusion that banner ads simply aren’t selling books. As we pull back from traditional advertising, however, we’ve begun focusing our marketing dollars on the channels that have proven to work. We’ve already seen improvement.
In addition, we’ve begun developing a second Horror newsletter where the authors can contribute and engage, more so than the standard new releases e-blast which is announcement only. Content equates to discoverability. Discovery leads to engagement. Engagement brings about conversions—which for authors, means book sales.
We’re proud of our many horror authors and look forward to continuing to bring great stories to readers, as we’ve done for the past 6 years since launching the line. All authors with existing contracted books will be reassigned to new editors, based on where you are in the publishing process. Look to receive an email on this subject later this week.
In closing, we’re very sad to have to see Don move on, but we’re dedicated to Samhain Horror and to making it a success. As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions, ideas and comments, and we sincerely appreciate your work and the stories that you have to share.