Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: ebook weekly: samhain publishing, ltd review

Samhain has been in business for almost a year (if I’m reading their “about us” section correctly). They publish ebooks and print books ranging from short stories to plus novels ($2.50-$6.50 ebook prices). Samhain has two yahoo groups, Samhain News (announcements) and Samhain Cafà© (chat). They state that their policy is to sell ebooks for less than print books (yeah, rah!) and when I looked up buying a print book, the cart stated that there is no shipping charge for books sold in the US. At least some of Samhain’s titles are also sold at Fictionwise.

The website is laid out with links for the Home Page, newest releases, coming soon, submissions, publication calender, about us, about ebooks, employment, and contact sections across every page. The About Ebooks section has links to download free Adobe, Microsoft Lit, and Mobipocket readers. Submissions are encouraged and information can be found by clicking the link found at the top of all pages. The author link will take you to individual author pages which have links to each author’s own webpage.

The Book Store (My Bookstore, and More) lists specials, bestsellers, books purchased by other readers who bought the one you’re about to buy, gift vouchers, newest products by the author of the book you’re about to buy and a way to be notified of updates to the book you’re about to buy. You can set up an account for future purchases. If you forget your password, a new one will be emailed to you. You can change your password at any time.

The lengths of the novels are explained as follows:

  • Word Count-Short Stories: $2.50 12,000 to 18,000 words
  • Novellas: $3.50 18,001 to 35,000 words
  • Category: $4.50 35,001 to 60,000 words
  • Novel: $5.50 60,001 to 100,000 words
  • Plus Novel: $6.50 over 100,000 words

Clicking on a book cover will bring up that title and show you: a link to the author page, the ISBN number, length, price, genre, and publication date. The cover artist is listed. Notations about degree of sexuality, violence, language and in one case, sex toys, are listed.

  • Navigation-By author, genre (seems like there are some sections that are either planned or which have no entries yet), romance sublisting or books in print. The only sensuality ratings I could see is one romance sublisting of Red Hots.
  • Excerpts-Page long
  • Reviews-Some books have short reviews. The bookcart lists a way to write a review.
  • Series-Books are listed as being an a series but the whole series doesn’t appear to be listed.
  • Wishlist-Available through the bookcart.
  • Bookshelf-Available through the bookcart.
  • Payments-Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover. Once you’ve set up an account, you don’t have to reenter your information for each purchase.
    Downloads-Immediate. As soon as a purchase is made, you are given a download link. Back up your book immediately as you only have a limited number of downloads good for only 10 days.
  • Confirmation-Immediate by email. There is no dl link in the email.
  • Formats-Adobe, ebookwise, Microsoft Lit, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocketbook (chosen when book is added to cart)
  • Irks-When I bought a book for this review, I’m not sure if I just picked a busy time or what but the cart function took FOREVER to load and switch from page to page. Once you purchase a book, you have 10 downloads but they are only available for ten days.

Jane’s note: Samhain is one of my favorite ebook publishers but I am puzzled at each visit by the fact that it sells more than books. Maybe someone from Samhain can explain that for us.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

9 Comments

  1. Karen Scott
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 07:12:11

    I too love Samhain, but is it me, or do their pages take an awfully long time to load?

  2. May
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 07:42:52

    You guys aren’t the only ones.

    Which is why I still haven’t picked up the books I’ve been eyeing–I’ve been having internet issues to boot. Sigh.

  3. Jayne
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 09:08:59

    Karen and May, I didn’t think that the pages at Samhain took long but that cart (My Books and More)….shesus….I could have gotten a good start on reading WAR AND PEACE while waiting for those pages to load. To be fair, I did make my purchase around noon on Friday and perhaps that is the busiest time of the week for them but still if I had to deal with that often, I would get upset.

    On a postive note, the dl was very quick and without incident this time unlike the first purchase I made from them in April.

  4. Jayne
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 09:10:25

    Yeah Jane, what is it with the other things sold through My Books and More? I guess those are the “More.” Very weird. Let’s all see if someone at Samhain can explain it all.

  5. Angie
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 09:47:14

    Samhain and My Bookstore and More are two seperate businesses, thus, why MBaM sells more than just books. It’s the “more” part, like you said. Samhain is the publisher, and we don’t sell books, we just publish them :)

    My Bookstore and More, while affiliated with Samhain (obviously) is a seperate entity and now carries, and will continue to carry, other books besides those from Samhain Publishing. Did that clear it up or make it even more confusing?

  6. Keishon
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 10:37:03

    I do have a problem with the loading of the cart when checking out. It takes forever to load the page which is frustrating. Otherwise, I do enjoy Samhain publishing books very much. I did know that the two businesses were separate because on the page it says/shows other merchant/clients.

    Just sayin.

  7. Charlene
    Aug 06, 2006 @ 21:35:55

    Speed on the shopping cart and download might be affected by time of day and what day you’re shopping. I shopped for and downloaded four books this weekend and found the whole process very fast.

  8. Jayne
    Aug 07, 2006 @ 06:32:51

    That’s good to know Charlene. I just need to start buying my books from them at 7am when I wake up. ;)

  9. Crissy
    Aug 25, 2006 @ 18:18:40

    Hi All,

    I just wanted to drop in and say that we’ve made a move and fixed the issue of how long it takes the site to load. I hope y’all will stop by this week and check out our celebratory back online sale and see how much better the site moves.

    I really appreciate feedback, the constructive as well as the positive, so please let me know if you have trouble with anything. We’re planning more improvements in the coming months and would love input to add to the wish list.

    Thanks for the review of Samhain and MBaM! We appreciate your taking the time to look us over and write about us.

    Yours truly,

    Crissy

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