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Samhain and Kensington Announce New Partnership

Samhain Publishing

Samhain and Kensington has announced (will announce) a deal today at BEA which will mark increased exposure for Samhain and Kensington’s move into the steamier side of romance. Kensington and Samhain are jointly creating a Samhain imprint, like Brava or Zebra or Aphrodisia is an imprint.

Kensington will be publishing a Samhain imprint of one to two books a month. The books will be both trade paperbacks and mass markets. Samhain will be responsible for the acquiring and editing of the books and Kensington will print, market and distribute the books.

The Samhain books will have traditional print runs and will be marketed to buyers just like the other imprints of Kensington. This will be the first time that an epublisher will make its way into venues like Wal-Mart, Target and grocery stores. Christina M. Brashear, Owner and CEO of Samhain, is unquestionably excited about this partnership and believes it will help to bring new readers to Samhain as well as new readers to Kensington. She will be working closely with Senior Editor, Kate Duffy, to work out print release dates.

I think it provides some validation about the quality of epublishing. Congratulations to Samhain. I expect a flood of proposals to be swamping their digital doorstep.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jackie
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 04:28:57

    This is very cool. It sounds like a terrific venture.

  2. Alison Kent
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 04:57:07

    Are these going to be mm releases? Because K’s trade releases don’t hit Wal-Mart now, and Wal-Mart has already quit carrying a lot of mid-list mm books from other publishers.

  3. Angie
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:09:11

    They have the potential to be either mm or trade, Alison.

  4. Danielle
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:13:18

    Wow, I can’t believe it, I think that’s great. Although I’ve never seen any “spicy” books sold at Walmart, Target or Kmart.

    Can I ask what is “mid-list” books

  5. Jaynie R
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:21:00

    That’s interesting Alison. I wonder how they’re going to get around that. I presume they wouldn’t have announced Wal-Mart etc as a market if they hadn’t done a deal.

    Still, not a bad job really – especially being entrusted with the acquiring and editing.

  6. Alison Kent
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:25:02

    Oh, I agree that it’s great! I was just curious with all the buzz going around about Wal-Mart (and Target) dropping books and not carrying the steamier imprints, how it was going to work! (Wal-Mart has even refused to carry some Blazes in the past because their titles were too evocative!)

  7. Karen Scott
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:30:49

    Does this mean, they’ve gone one better than EC? *G*

    I bet Crissy Bashear is happy as a pig in shit, and trying very hard not crow about it. I’d say that was one in the eye for EC.

    Diplomatic responses to the above notwithstanding, Samhain’s success does seem to illustrate how pertinent a role Bashear must have had at EC.

    Just sayin’.

    See Jane, you are soo The NY Times, whilst I would be more at home within the realms of Her Majesty’s Gutter Press.

  8. Jaynie R
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:34:36

    Wow, not carry Blazes? That’s taking it a bit far. I asked Angie on her blog what the genre was going to be and if it would be erotic. Maybe she’ll answer that here too. Sounds like Walmart has a stick up their asses.

    …and Karen, being the gutter press just means we get to swear a lot and report on the latest UFOs *snerk*

  9. Alison Kent
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:39:00

    Jaynie – It was the first year only, I believe, when they refused to carry a book that had the word “erotic” in the title. There might have been a second, but I’ve slept since then. ;)

  10. Angie
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:46:51

    Although I've never seen any “spicy� books sold at Walmart, Target or Kmart.

    to clarify, we’re a general publisher, we publisher all genres of romance, not just erotic romance. Our contract with Kensington isn’t erotic romance specific, so it won’t be only those that get printed through them.

  11. Angie
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 05:50:55

    I presume they wouldn't have announced Wal-Mart etc as a market if they hadn't done a deal.

    I think that’s Jane’s interpretation of the announcement, not our announcement, though the potential for the larger markets is certainly there if Wal-mart, as Alison said, opens itself up to more authors again. But in reality, even without the Kensington deal, our deal with IPS we’d just signed also gave us that opportunity, because the IPS team does market to Wal-mart/Target, etc.

    I asked Angie on her blog what the genre was going to be and if it would be erotic. Maybe she'll answer that here too.

    Mostly romance, erotic and non-erotic, though the potential for genres with romantic elements is there if we think they'll do exceptionally well.

  12. DianneCastell
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 06:02:03

    Crissy so gets the publishing market and is a fab person! She just publihsed our cookbook that bennefits the troops in Iraq. :-) The Write Ingredients.
    I agree that it will be interesting to see how she and Kens gets the books in WalM. Probably have to think of another word for erotica and spicy and really watch the covers. They go a whole lot by covers.

  13. Charlene Teglia
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 06:50:19

    Should’ve known the Ja(y)nes would post the story first! It’s an exciting development.

  14. Ciar Cullen
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:04:50

    Cool beans! We’re all excited :o) and proud.

  15. Jaci Burton
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:24:00

    Wonderful opportunity for a wonderful publisher. I’m proud to be associated with them. :-)

  16. Jane
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:27:29

    Re: the Wal-mart issue. I don’t believe that there is any deal inked for distribution of books at Wal-mart yet, but I believe that is a goal. Brashear was very cognizant of the need for the right labeling, cover, story to go to Wal-mart and other venues.

  17. Erin the Innocent
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:32:23

    Wow! That’s amazing news. Congratulations to Samhain!

  18. Teddy Pig
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:38:49

    Yep, Samhain keeps taking the high road with reasonably priced eBooks and a great web site with actual working paypal and now a new highly visible print deal.

    and what about the other “also ran”s? They make excuses.

  19. Alessia Brio
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:41:46

    Wow! Congratulations to Samhain!!! This bodes well for all of epublishing, too.

  20. Patrice Michelle
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:42:47

    It is a great accomplishment for Samhain. Congrats to Crissy, Angie and the whole Samhain team. I’m excited about the opportunites the imprint could open up.

  21. Lisa Amrine
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 07:47:31

    Jane – you stated the issue perfectly. WalMart is concerned about the book covers, labeling and their displays. As a family-oriented store, Erotic Romance titles would have a better shot at being carried if the covers were more subtle. Just because a book is a sexy read, it doesn’t take naked bodies to portray the content.

    Lisa Amrine
    Marketing Director, Samhain Publishing

  22. Diana Castilleja
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:11:26

    Absolutely awesome news!!! Congrats!

  23. Shelli Stevens
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:13:22

    I guess we don’t have to keep it a secret anymore? :) Congrats again, this is too cool!

  24. TeddyPig
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:29:18

    Now when is Samhain going to do the iTunes audio and eBook venture… the iPhone comes out June 29th.

  25. Ann Wesley Hardin
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:32:15

    Inking deals with the big guns is a great way for e-pubs to get the distribution they need. EC has their deal with Simon & Schuster and now Samhain and Kensington. Who’s next?

    Wonderful news for everyone!

  26. Mandy M. Roth
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:45:33

    CONGRATS Samhain! This is GREAT news!

  27. Ali
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:53:11

    Congrats to everyone at Samhain ;) This is wonderful news.

  28. bam
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 08:59:43

    this is wonderful. CONGRATS to Crissy, Angie, and the entire Samhain family!

  29. Jordanna Kay
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 09:35:08

    This is very exciting news. I’ve been so proud to be associated and published at Samhain since sending in my manuscript way back in January of 06. No one deserves this more. Congrats to Crissy and everyone on the staff! :-)

  30. Denise A. Agnew
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 09:40:20

    Congratulations to Samhain and Kensington. :) May this be the beginning of a great relationship.

    Denise A. Agnew

  31. Liz Kreger
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 09:51:14

    This is terrific news. Congratulations to Samhain and everyone associated with making this deal happen. Sounds like this endeavour will benefit both companies along with all of its authors … myself included, of course. LOL.

    Liz Kreger

  32. Natalie
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 10:06:40

    Congratulations! Excellent business move, and says a lot about the professionalism of those who run Samhain.

    I’m curious–what will be the criteria for determining which books go the Kensington imprint route? Is that too specific a question at this point? :)

  33. N.J. Walters
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 10:37:54

    Congratulations, Samhain! This is awesome news. :-)

  34. Missy Andrews
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 11:25:52

    This is a great thing between the ebooks and the print and hopefully it will show people that the ebooks are a great market for books. Good luck to Samhain and to Chrissy !!

  35. Donna MacMeans
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 12:02:14

    I think this is a true acknowledgement of Samhain’s ability to recognize a great book and edit it to an even higher level. Hats off to Chrissy and her excellent staff (including those fabulous covers!). This is way too cool!

  36. Robin
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 12:32:16

    This is great news for both Samhain AND Kensington, IMO. Won’t it be great when both e-publishers and print publishers have equal prestige in their own right?

  37. Arianna Hart
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 12:54:32

    On the subject of covers, although only one of my books is considered a Red Hot Read, all my covers have been tasteful, gorgeous, and actually relay what the story is about very well. I have to give props to the entire art department at Samhain, I love my covers!

    I don’t know who is going to get called by Kennsington, but it will be great for all of us!

  38. Grace Draven
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 13:11:56

    Just because a book is a sexy read, it doesn't take naked bodies to portray the content.

    **stands up and applauds Lisa Amrine.**

    Congratulations to both Samhain and Kensington.

  39. Jenna Bayley-Burke
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 14:05:27

    I’ve been wondering if it will work both ways…will mybookstoreandmore start carrying Kensington ebooks?

  40. raine
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 14:25:11

    I think this absolutely rocks.
    Not just for those chosen to be distributed by Kensington, but for drawing attention to the other e-books at Samhain and, hopefully, elsewhere too.

    Go Crissy!! :-)

  41. Rosemary Laurey
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 14:32:50

    Wonderful news, for both Crissy and Kensington!!!

  42. Laura Baumbach
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 15:16:03

    Congratulations! Wonderful news. I hope Samhain’s M/M erotic romances make it into the mix!

  43. Judith Rochelle
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 15:29:38

    Very kewl! Both excellent houjses with excellent CEOs and editors. I see a positive explosion here.

  44. Carolan Ivey
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 15:42:36

    Oh, thank goodness it’s been announced. I’ve been about to explode with wanting to tell my friends and family the news! [grin]

  45. Lucinda Betts
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 16:05:02

    My Kensington Aphrodisia books, which are erotic romance, are carried by Walmart online, just not in the stores. Knowing Walmart’s prudish reputation,I was shocked when I first saw NIGHT SPELL on their e-rack, but now they have my March release as well.

    I think that when you include the cost of shipping, my books are cheaper there than anywhere else, including the used section at Amazon. Target doesn’t carry my books.

  46. Melani Blazer
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 16:44:22

    One of my books through Samhain Publishing, Trophy Girl, is already available throught (although it lists Ingram Pub Services as the publisher) It even has a disclaimer about explicit sex and graphic language.

    So it appears Walmart’s….shall I say, prudish decision on what books to carry is much more relaxed when it comes to their dot com stock.

    I think this joint imprint is awesome for Samhain and Kensington and is testimony to the hard work all those at Samhain have put into making their company a success. It’s very excited for the authors too!

  47. Monica Burns
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 17:11:44

    Signing with Samhain last December was a fantastic moment for me because I kept hearing how fabulous they were. They weren’t lying!! Crissy, Angie, Lisa, Marty and the entire staff at Samhain totally rock with their organizational skills, professional skills and industry business savvy.

    Samhain is clearly a force to be reckoned with given Crissy’s at the helm. Congratulations Samhain on this exceptional achievement in such a short time span.

  48. Marie
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 18:58:45

    Congratulations to both Kensington and Samhain for having the vision to join forces and be leaders in the world of publishing. Crissy has a clear vision of what she wants for Samhain Publishing and has gathered exceptional people around her to realize her vision. It appears to be a win win situation for everyone involved, especially the authors with Samhain.

    I'm just thrilled to be along for the ride!!

  49. Ally Blue
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 19:16:27

    Awesome! Samhain is such a wonderful company, both from a reader and an author standpoint, and I am SO proud to be one of their authors :D

    Crossing my fingers for some of the m/m to make it in the mix…

  50. Lesley Speller
    Jun 04, 2007 @ 21:41:22

    Congratulations! This is just amazing news!

    As far as Walmart goes with their “prudishness,” I think recently things have become a little more relaxed. Since their founder passed away and a new generation is leading the way, things have been steadily changing. I mean how can they not have erotic romances when they sell massage oil packs of three and multi-colored, flavored condoms!

    Congrats again!

  51. cathryn fox
    Jun 05, 2007 @ 08:14:43

    This is fabulous news,
    Congratulations to Samhain and Kensington!

  52. Kari Thomas
    Jun 05, 2007 @ 15:27:02

    WOW—this is incredibly inspiring news! I just signed with Samhain and was ALREADY proud to be an author with this great company. Now I get to brag MORE about Samhain and its wonderful people! Hmmm…I think I’ll start spreading the news now!
    Kari Thomas
    author of TEMPTATION UNLEASHED to be re-released with Samhain. (YAY!)

  53. Gabriella Hewitt
    Jun 05, 2007 @ 18:04:26

    Congratulations to Samhain! I signed with them in November and continue to be impressed and excited by their forward vision and savvy business skills.

    They really are such a great crew to work with and I expect big things from both of us down the road. :-)

  54. Eve Vaughn
    Jun 05, 2007 @ 18:06:58

    This is not surprising. Since I’ve been with them, they’ve been nothing but professional. Kudos to Chrissy and the entire Samhain staff and author stable for making this happen.

  55. Babe
    Jun 06, 2007 @ 07:15:08

    Sounds like congratulations are in order. Well done!

  56. Marie-Nicole Ryan
    Jun 06, 2007 @ 19:27:30

    This deal is just one more example of just how great a company Samhain Publishing is when you take into account Cris’ forward-thinking, along with the fantastic editorial staff. I’m so glad I signed my first contract with them in October and three more since then.


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    Jan 04, 2008 @ 17:27:12

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