Samhain Publishing to Close on 28 February 2017

Romance publisher Samhain Publishing has just told its customers that it is shutting down at the end of the month.

Greetings, Samhain Readers.

It’s with a heavy heart that we announce Samhain Publishing will be closing at the end of February. Due to the declining sales we’ve been experiencing with this changing market we’ve come to the sad conclusion it’s time to call it a day.

The last of our new titles launch February 21st; I hope you will check them out and support them as you have so many other Samhain titles through the years.”

Our site will go dark at the end of the day, February 28th. Please take a few moments and visit, buy what you might have been planning on getting someday in the future, but download and back up your bookshelf because you won’t have access to it after February 28th.

Thank you for all your support through the eleven years we’ve been open. It’s been a pleasure to bring to market new voices in publishing and new works from familiar authors. From start to finish, we’ve always kept what the reader wants in mind and hope you enjoyed what we had to offer.

If you bought ebooks from them, you will have just over two weeks to download your purchases and strip the DRM.

That is really not enough time for a long-time customer to download their entire library, but at least it is better than the 3-day warning that All Romance eBooks gave to its customers before shutting down in late December.

image by Ben Husmann

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. FYI: Samhain has been a DRM-free publisher. As noted in the Smart Bitches Trashy Books post about the matter, here:

    1. Nate Hoffelder9 February, 2017

      Whoops! Thanks for catching that!

  2. Syn9 February, 2017

    Why are all these indie publishers closing? Is it because more authors are skipping them and publishing directly now?

    1. Maria (BearMountainBooks)10 February, 2017

      Sales are no longer there. When Amazon changed its algos a couple of years ago to favor the larger publishers, it changed the game for smaller publishers (and indies). Amazon has the most visibility and they control that visibility (more lately with advertising dollars). Few people buy direct from the publishers (or indies)–at least not enough to make up the bulk of sales. That is one of the reasons Baen, who used to sell ONLY from their site, is now on Amazon. Amazon has the eyeballs and sales.

  3. MakeKay9 February, 2017

    Why would I have to strip the DRM before they close? If I have it downloaded to my PC, can’t I strip the DRM at my leisure?

    1. Nate Hoffelder9 February, 2017

      That was a spinal reflex on my part.

    2. Olivier10 February, 2017

      No. Try it in Calibre once. In order to strip the DRM you need a connection to the DRM authorizing server: the de-DRM-ing plugin works by letting the legit software do it and mounting a kind of MIM attack on it. Thus if you wait until that server is gone you’ve missed your chance.

    3. Olivier10 February, 2017

      Of course it depends on the server. If — as I surmise — Samhain does not run its own tech but uses, say, Adobe DRM, then yes you have time (since Adobe is not going away), otherwise not. But the time to figure this out is now.

      1. As I said to Nate further up the thread, in this particular case, DRM isn’t actually an issue at all. Samhain is a DRM-free publisher. So all customers of the site need to do is log in and make sure their previous purchases are downloaded.

  4. […] we were asked to keep this confidential, but as it’s already out in the public here on The Digital Reader I think that part of it is […]

  5. Smart Debut Author10 February, 2017

    It’s not surprising Romance traditional publishers are dying first; they were the first to lose the majority of their market to indie publishing.

    It’s not that Romance authors are bypassing traditional publishers to self-publish; no one cares about that. The publishers aren’t experiencing any shortage of manuscripts, given the endless supply of ill-informed and/or desperate traditional publishing aspirants.

    They are experiencing a shortage of sales.

    That’s somewhat obviously because Romance *readers* are buying mostly indie books now.

    The latest AuthorEarnings report showed that something like 55% of all Romance book purchases *of any format* in the US–including all print sales–are now indie.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 February, 2017

      Yes, isn’t this the same thing that was happening to Harlequin? Its income as falling in the years before it was sold.

  6. Smart Debut Author10 February, 2017

    Exactly what happened to Harlequin.
    And AllRomance.
    And Ellora’s Cave.

    In the comments over on Shatzkin’s latest blog post, Steve Zacharius of Kensington (which publishes a lot of Romance) was still trying to convince everyone that most Romance sales are print books, when even Nielsen would tell you that’s far from true, even for just traditionally published books.

    It was funny watching Steve trying to spin it, until Mike got annoyed and kicked me off his site. Again.

  7. […] publishing news, the end of Samhain publishers, and the discussion of author earnings after one prize-winning literary author had to return to the […]


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