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Samhain Closure

A quick post re Samhain Publishing’s imminent closure and what that means for my books.

Samhain have announced that they will be shutting down, with their website going dark at the end of February. For me, the affected titles are the entire Charm of Magpies series including Jackdaw and Rag and Bone, and the standalone titles Think of England, Non Stop Till Tokyo, and The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal. That’s…quite a lot of my books.

***If you bought books directly from the Samhain site, DOWNLOAD THEM.*** Get everything to your library. There should be time enough that the site won’t fall over from demand, unlike the disgracefully rushed ARe closure, but if you’re having problems, take screenshots.

Books will start going off third party vendors (Amazon, Kobo etc) at the beginning of March (again, if you have Samhain titles stored in the cloud, download now).

Print titles will be available for a while longer as stock is sold through, but if you really want a print copy of anything Samhain, consider buying it now.

March is when they’ll start officially giving authors their rights back. My books may not be available for a period while this chunters through. I haven’t decided on what I do next, but assuming I self pub, it will take a while to reformat, tidy up, and get new covers done, and if I move to another publisher it will take considerably longer. On the other hand, there will probably be cool new cover art. That’s always fun.

A bit of good news is that return of rights mean I will at last be able to do audio books. This is something readers have been asking for, and hopefully I can get that in motion soon.

More news once I work out what to do; fist bump to all the authors affected as well as the excellent professionals who worked with Samhain–designers, editors, in house staff. This is a sad ending, but I had a very happy relationship with Samhain for a long time, starting when they offered to publish The Magpie Lord and changed my life. I’ll always be grateful for that.

A more cheerful post about EXCITING NEW SERIES follows!

20 replies
  1. Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Funny how, compared to ARe, this doesn’t seem like such a dicky move now. Still, sorry to hear that, you must be scrambling right now,
    I can’t help but think that this also means lots of good possibilities, and I hope things seem like that from your side, too, and not just audio. I mean, a big part of what a publisher does have already been done here – the books are written, and you only have to do some technical work on them (you don’t have to re-edit them, right?) and they are well-known and don’t require a lot of work on publicity even in case of possible sequels, like a certain book 2 everybody has been hoping for. And if you self-pub, that’s more money and power over your own creations to you.
    Anyway, wishing you to earn a lot off these titles in the future, K.J.!

  2. Kirstin
    Kirstin says:

    Thanks for the information. I hope that you will soon announce the release date for Think of England 2 😀 Have a great weekend.

  3. Fred Learn
    Fred Learn says:

    Have you considered putting your books with another publisher, as compared to self-publishing? Lethe might be a good fit for your kinds of stories…

    • KJ Charles
      KJ Charles says:

      I honestly can’t see any advantage in going with another publisher unless I intended to write more in a series, and maybe not then. If I self pub my agent can exploit rights for me, and I will get a much bigger slice of sale price of books, plus I can control pricing and covers.

  4. JaneB
    JaneB says:

    Sorry to hear this – and best wishes for dealing with it (which I’m sure you’ll do brilliantly).

    You worried me, with your suggestion that my Amazon purchases might vanish from their cloud storage. I contacted Amazon, who assure me this won’t happen. Hope they’re right. I’ve downloaded as you advise, but I know that titles are lost from the device if I ever need to reset my iPad; also, presumably, when it and my Kindle eventually die.

    • Anastasia
      Anastasia says:

      You can install Kindle for PC on your desktop computer or notebook and download everything to your harddrive. In fact, I strongly recommend it. There’s no such thing as too much backups.

      • JaneB
        JaneB says:

        Thanks, Anastasia. I’ve now done this – in the hope I’d be able to somehow transfer them to my iPad or Kindle in case of need – it’s not practical to read them on my iMac.

  5. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    Tired of trying to figure this out! I’ll just buy them all again when they’re available, especially Think of England and the Charm of Magpie series. I tend to trust Amazon though, I’ve never bought anywhere else.

  6. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    I’m sorry this has added to whatever daily turmoil you have and am sending good thoughts and calm your way!

    Looking forward to audio books, especially for the Magpie Lord series (which I’ve re-read numerous times!) and hope the person selected is British.

    Best of luck to you and the others authors and hope this turns out to be a great opportunity for all of you.

  7. Colleen
    Colleen says:

    I’m curious: when you or another company redesign your covers, would you be able to license the same stock photo models? Do you own (or hold the license to) the rights for the magpie logo? I’m a graphic artist in another field of publishing and I’m just interested in how that works.

    • KJ Charles
      KJ Charles says:

      I’d have to buy the photos anew if still available. The design is Samhain’s including that magpie, which is why I had my own done. I’m going to be able to buy Samhain covers if I want, but am probably going to do completely new ones for the Magpies at least, still thinking about that…

  8. Nicoleandmaggie
    Nicoleandmaggie says:

    Oh no! I was hoping to get the rest for myself for my birthday (in march) and then they disappeared!

    If only I’d started the magpie lord before the gentlemen books I would have them all since as soon as I finish one I have a hard time not buying another. I am very glad to hear you’re getting your rights back and look forward to the remaining ebooks. In the meantime I will try really hard to be patient!

    Also: squee! Your books are really something special, like heyer level special.

    • KJ Charles
      KJ Charles says:

      Thanks you! I am a gigantic Heyer fan so that totally made my day. /basks/

      We are still waiting for Samhain to revert the rights. New Magpie covers are in progress and I am VERY EXCITED.

  9. Emily
    Emily says:

    Darn it! I’ve been using your books as rewards to get me through a crushing series of deadlines, and I went to buy my latest reward (Think of England) and it was gone! And so’s the reward after that (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal). How will I survive??? (Sobbing into my keyboard.) Thank God I have my old rewards to read, which is pretty much everything else you’ve written. Crossing my fingers that you rerelease Think of England and Simon Feximal soon. Love your books. Don’t stop writing!

  10. Kyanite
    Kyanite says:

    With Samhain gone, I can’t seem to find a copy of A Case of Spirits anywhere. I know it comes with the new edition of A Case of Possession, but I’ve already got the old version…


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