by Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly, 06/22/2009
Samhain focuses on romance, and its authors receive no advance but are paid royalties that range from 30% to 40% for e-books and 8% on print books. Samhain’s staff includes 12 editors, and Brashear estimates that the company receives roughly 30 to 50 submissions a month. What attracts both new writers and established ones, Brashear said, is the allure that Samhain can, unlike the major New York houses, “take more risks on avant-garde content. And content that [New York editors] might deem to be out of synch with the buying public.”
Lori Perkins, an agent who deals with a lot of romance writers, has sent many clients to Schmidt. (Schmidt said that of the roughly 300 submissions she gets per month, 90% are rejected.) With plans to ramp up its audio offerings—Ravenous currently has an annual output of 300 digital titles and 40 audio titles—Schmidt is also “experimenting” with print on demand, but is looking more at partnerships for print offerings. To that end, she’s talking to New York houses about print licensing deals, with one already in place with Alyson Books.
Mundania Press LLC, in Cincinnati, Ohio, houses a number of imprints that publish romance, sci-fi, mystery and YA, among other genres, and has some 600 authors on its list, many of whom, said president and publisher Daniel J. Reitz, were onetime print bestsellers. “We have several authors who were once on the Times bestseller list and dropped off and/or fell out of print,” Reitz said, citing names like Robert Adams, the late sci-fi writer whose 18-book Horseclans series was a bestseller when it was released in the late ’70s through the mid ’80s. Other authors simply don’t get traction from the New York houses. Reitz said the e-book business has “picked up exponentially in the last couple of years,” and predicted it will grow faster once the prices for e-readers start dropping. “I think we need a $99 e-book reader before e-books really become mainstream,” noted Schmidt.
Reitz said that his house’s e-books sell, on average, 100 to 200 copies in their first month. There are exceptions, however. Marie Rochelle, one of Mundania’s biggest sellers, who specializes in interracial romances, moved 4,000 to 5,000 copies in her first month in the e-book format and several thousand print copies.