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

UPDATED: Samhain to close My Bookstore and More

One digital book byte before bedtime. My Bookstore and More, the bookstore portion of Samhain, will be closing toward the end of the year. Readers will still be able to purchase Samhain books from the Samhain site but MBaM will no longer be offering other publishers’ books. I’ve asked what will happen to readers previous purchases and will update as soon as I have news. A quick look at Ellora’s Cave shows that it, too, stopped selling other publishers’ books on their shopping site.

I’m not sure what future implications this has. Samhain had expended some amount of money to launch a new webfront and back end shopping cart just a few months ago. It may be smarter to sell only its own authors’ works at its connected store, pushing its own brand of stories. It may also mean that if selling third party works isn’t profitable for relatively big name publishers like Samhain and Ellora’s Cave that it might not be profitable for small independent booksellers.

Independent booksellers are supposed to be saved by Google Editions which will allow them to sell digital content hosted by Google Editions. The reseller will get a single digit profit, I believe. But if major centers of reader traffic like Samhain and EC, both companies which generate a few million in revenue each year, don’t find it profitable, will these small digital bookseller resale zones be profitable?

UPDATE: From C Brashear, owner and CEO of Samhain:

MBaM is being purchased by Samhain. The URL will be rerouted to  samhainpublishing.com and Samhain will assume the store’s shopping cart software. It will be reskinned to reflect Samhain’s branding. The customers of MBaM will continue to enjoy their Bookshelf and have access to all prior purchases at anytime they want. After the switch, new purchases will only be for Samhain titles, but those books from other publishers bought under MBaM name will still be available to the purchaser for downloading.

As to why, poor MBaM has been the neglected child while Samhain gets all the attention. Rather than let it limp along, Samhain is buying it and repurposing the software. Less administrative work, not running two payrolls and benefits packages, maintaining two sites as well as many other duplicated efforts are the main reasons behind my decision, not to mention I just don’t want to design and build our own ereader–yet. ;) We just aren’t being as effective or efficient splitting our attention between the two companies. I’d been chewing on the idea for the last year and finally stopped dithering and announced it to the staff a couple months ago and to the authors last month. The feedback has been very positive.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

14 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention Samhain to close My Bookstore and More | Dear Author -- Topsy.com
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 20:15:48

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jane L, Robin L., Robin L., Sandy James, Sandy James and others. Sandy James said: RT @jane_l: my ebk news is that Samhain is closing MyBookstoreandMore http://bit.ly/c2FS4I I ponder what that means for indie digi books … [...]

  2. Mezza
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 01:15:14

    I wouldn’t have known about many niche/small e-publishers without hearing of them on blogs like this. So if they can’t be represented on the bigger e-bookstores then I think they have a real profile problem. Having said that I have purchased non-Samhain books from MBAM and have found that the ethos/editing sometimes doesn’t match the quality of Samhain’s books, so I can also understand this from a brand perspective. They would like all books on the site that is their core point of sales to not only be theirs so the profit is theirs but to contribute to their reputation.

    ReplyReply

  3. ms bookjunkie
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 03:06:40

    What, if anything, does this mean to my ebookshelf at MB&M? I mean, I have maybe two books on it that aren’t by Samhain (which might explain why they won’t be selling other publishers’ books anymore: people just aren’t buying) but how will this affect me other than those non-Samhain books disappearing?

    Will MB&M stay up as a just-Samhain store? Will the name change? The linkage? What?

    I’m going to be haunting this post for updates. (I. Fucking. Hate. Change!)

    ReplyReply

  4. Angie
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 04:42:41

    Does this mean they’re completely redoing how they sell their books? If so, I can only cheer. I tried buying four (Samhain) books from MBAM once, and it wouldn’t let me. I could buy two of them, but not all four. Refreshing the page, closing and restarting my browser, and completing the purchase of two books before going back for the other two — nothing worked. It simply wouldn’t let me have those two other books no matter what I tried. I bought the third from FW eventually, but the fourth book was a Samhain exclusive. My letter of complaint got me, essentially, “Gee, sorry. Try again some time.”

    Wow, that’s someone who’s eager to have my money. :/

    I’ve never tried to buy directly from them again after that. If they’re going with some other system from now on, I’ll try giving them my money again. Just about anything would be an improvement from my POV.

    Angie

    ReplyReply

  5. Scraps
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 06:47:01

    OH. MY. GOD. I’ve purchased like 120 books from MBAM since I got my Nook in February. OH. MY. GOD. As ms ms bookjunkie says, I’ll be haunting this post for updates as well.

    Looking at my bookshelf I’ve only purchased a few books that have not been published by Samhain (I *heart* Loose ID too) so ….

    Yeah, I’m realativly new to digital books but I’ve quickly seen the wild differences in quality. Samhain excels at both content and quality. Their cover art is stunning and I’ve never been disappointed. I’m so glad to hear they will continue to sell their books.

    It’s nice to get all your books from one place but as long as I can get DRM free ebooks I’ll go ahead and buy them from my favorite publisher’s site.

    ReplyReply

  6. ardeatine
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 07:08:26

    On a slightly related note, does this mean that Linden Bay Romance, which has been closed since they bought it out, is also doomed?

    ReplyReply

  7. Theresa Meyers
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 07:11:41

    Do you think it could have anything to do with the new agency model of selling that’s happening, where digital booksellers (like Amazon) are being given a percentage of every sale, vs. being a wholesaler for the publishers? Just curious.

    ReplyReply

  8. KL
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 10:06:51

    @ardeatine: As I understand it, Linden Bay was to be retooled into a Samhain imprint.

    ReplyReply

  9. Lindsey Faber
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 10:46:23

    Yes, we’re very excited to have acquired My Bookstore & More and to be integrating it into Samhain. We expect the transition to be nearly seamless for MBAM customers – the new look of the site and the removal of other publishers’ books for purchase should be the only noticeable changes.

    All MBAM customer account information will carry over and ALL customers’ purchased titles will remain on their digital bookshelves, including other publishers’ books, with the ongoing option to redownload in any of the available formats. Samhain books will continue to be released DRM-free from the store at our usual competitive prices.

    As we announced to our authors and staff some weeks back, this is just another phase of Samhain’s growth and one of several exciting changes we have planned as we reach our five-year anniversary. We’re always happy to address customer questions and feedback if contacted – [email protected] is our general address.

    Lindsey Faber, Managing Editor
    Samhain Publishing

    ReplyReply

  10. ms bookjunkie
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 14:00:49

    Whew! Thanks for the update! All is right in the world again…

    ReplyReply

  11. Samhain Publishing Integrating MBAM | The Naughty Bits
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 15:22:02

    [...] From: Dear Author ~ Samhain To Close My Bookstore and More [...]

  12. Roxie
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 15:41:35

    @Angie: That happened to me a number of times; usually when a book was discounted. I believe that the problem with the shopping cart software was fixed when they updated MBAM; I haven’t had any problems since.

    ReplyReply

  13. Reacherfan
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 20:40:55

    Thanks for the info! The vast majority of my purchases have been Samhain books, but it’s a relief to know the change will be relatively transparent to the customer. Of all the online ebooks small pubs, the vast majority of my purchases are with MBaM/Samhain. Personally, I think it’s one site where you get good value for your money.

    And for any Samhain managers – you should know your print books are highly prized in book swapping circles because so many land on ‘keeper shelves’. I often buy a print book copy of a favorite ebook for my own Keeper shelf, and I know a number of swappers on PBS do likewise.

    ReplyReply

  14. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Friday the Thirteenth Lucky Linkity
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 06:49:11

    [...] My Bookstore and More is being purchased by and absorbed into Samhain. [...]

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

%d bloggers like this: