It may seem that authors have a choice of “either/or” when submitting their books: either you submit to a print publisher or an e-pub. Samhain Publishing‘s Managing Editor Lindsey Faber explains why they offer both options, and what that means to an author.
With the sudden explosion of ebooks, everyone wants to be in the digital game and numerous publishers are working out how to carry their print success into the digital market. But Samhain Publishing, as a digital-first publisher, has always put digital, well, first.
The great thing about ebooks is they’re cheaper to produce, so you have less upfront investment, and faster to produce, so you can respond to trends faster. Plus the process of getting books into brick-and-mortar stores—working through sales teams, distributors, printers, and booksellers—can be painfully slow, so we can get the digital book out the door and making money all while gearing up for the book’s print release.
Print and digital can be very different—different models, different distribution, different trends, different audiences—but when it comes to marketing, we’re still facing the same question: How do we reach readers?
For Samhain, some of the answers are pretty basic, and apply equally to digital and print.
It may sound odd to consider this a marketing strategy, but readers don’t buy books they can’t find. Getting our book into every possible venue, available in every possible format ensures that readers stumble across our books no matter where they like to shop or how they like to read.
Our digital books are available in the most popular venues such Amazon Kindle and BN.com, independent venues including Fictionwise and All Romance eBooks, and numerous smaller online retailers that we reach through our digital distributor, Ingram CoreSource. Plus, our digital titles are available in all formats, DRM-free, to customers from any country in our store: http://store.samhainpublishing.com.
Our print books are distributed through Ingram Publisher Services and found in Barnes & Noble, Borders, and independent stores. Everyone’s all agog over the Kindle audience because it commands such a huge market share, but to us, no venue is too small—each sale means reaching a new reader and customer.
Digital readers are brand-conscious—the fly-by-night nature of some digital publishers made them a wary audience, so they developed loyalty to those publishers they could trust for a quality, consistent product, including Samhain. We continue to build on that brand in all our marketing efforts. Marketing Samhain benefits all our authors, because it makes readers more willing to take a chance on a Samhain book. This has carried over to our print program—the early success of authors such as Maya Banks and Lorelei James made booksellers more willing to try other Samhain authors.
Everyone likes to get something for nothing, and readers can be cautious about putting their money toward unknown authors. Samhain has had huge success with our ebook freebie program, which allows free, limited-time downloads of our books on Kindle and Nook. It gives readers a chance to discover new authors risk-free, and consistent spurs new sales for our authors. But free books aren’t an exclusively digital strategy either. We often give away print books at conferences and as part of promotions. We’ll be giving away 1500 books at our Publisher Signing at RWA next week.
Of course, there are a million different ways of marketing print and digital books, and Samhain’s approach is multifaceted. Rather than make this blog any longer than it already is, I’ll let you ask me what you want to know. I’ll be happy to take questions on any topic—print vs. ebooks, marketing, Samhain, or anything else.
Thanks for the opportunity to visit!
Do you read a combination of ebooks and traditional books, or are you strongly in favor of one over the other?
On Friday, June 24, Star Publishing editor Theresa Stevens returns with her monthly column on writing craft.
A lifetime love of reading and a master’s in literature taught Lindsey Faber that she enjoys nothing more than reading great books—and then analyzing the heck out of them. Now she puts these skills to use as Managing Editor for Samhain Publishing, helping talented authors achieve their vision and make their books even better. She’s thrilled to be a part of Samhain, where she’s able to combine her love of great stories with her passion for technology.
Lindsey resides in Cincinnati, but her laptop and a love of travel keep her on the go: to quiet corners of coffeehouses, industry conferences and—when she really needs to get away—Paris, France.
You can follow Lindsey on Twitter.
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