Thursday, June 30, 2011


MONEY TALKS: the best kept secrets of digital authors with Maya Banks(Samhain/Desire/Berkley), Toni Blake/Lacy Alexander , Lindsey Faber (Samhain managing editor) & Heather Osborn (Samhain editorial director)

Samhain is a digital first publisher specializing in romance and now horror.

Samhain’s most recognized authors. Maya Banks, Lauren Dane, Loreleigh James, Vivian Arendt, Dana Marie Bell, Shelli Stevens

Sales come from

1) Amazon Kindle
2) B&N - grows every month
3) Samhain direct bookstore
4) Fictionwise
5) Sony
6) Kobo
7) Apple
8) Other bookstores combined

Vendors are hard to compare because they pay differently with different invoicing – monthy, quarterly, annually. Sales are growing exponentially.

Amazon December 2010 210K copies, 310K copies January 2011

B&N January 2010 8K copies, January 2011 72K copies

Samhain sales numbers in the first 2 years, as of March

Best selling Erotic range…8K-25K copies…a novel-length book on sales on Amazon is about 1.35/copy, Non-erotic…2K and above…over 50K copies

Midlist Erotic range…6K - 15K…achievable for most who write erotic romance for Samhain, Non-erotic…1K-2K

Lowest selling Erotic range 200-2K, Non-erotic Below 1K

The key to making a living as an author is consistent publishing. 2-4 releases a year is the sweet spot for staying on a reader’s radar.

Pricing – based on length, 2.50-6.50. The 99 cent frenzy in self-publishing is flooding the market, but not effecting publishers, just other self-publishers. Books need to be affordable, but readers are willing to pay for quality.

Kindle giveaways – give away 3 titles every month. 1 for the month, 2 for 2 weeks. Great exposure. Like to entice with the first in a series or a backlist book. Lauren Dane’s Giving Chase is free tomorrow for a month.

If you’re going to self-publish, you need to be your own publisher and you don’t want a crappy publisher. Hire the best editor, copy editor, and cover artist you can.

Self-publish or e-publish. Keep your time in consideration, Do you want to write books or publish them? Do you want to deal with editing, formatting, marketing, cover art, dealing with book sellers?

Aside from Kindle giveaways, what kind of promoting do you do for your authors?

Web banners on websites, ad in RT, discounts on preorders and new releases from Samhain’s store, promote Samhain for brand awareness. Co-op with Barnes & Noble. Relationships with review sites, newsletter, blog
How do digital releases feed into the sales of your traditional releases? Each feeds the other. Ebooks come out faster, so you can build and audience while waiting for a traditional book to come out. Better promo than anything else, plus it makes money rather than costing money.


Nicole Maki said...

Thanks for the heads up about Giving Chase; I downloaded it this morning.

Phillipa said...

Jenna - thank you for all your workshop summaries. Really appreciate it!