This week, Samhain Publishing celebrates 10 years with 30% off all ebook titles and a ton of giveaways.
I thought I’d celebrate too, by posting my respects to editor extraordinaire Don D’Auria.
Don was still at Leisure books when I sent my first novel The Lamplighters to him on a wing and a prayer. He was interested in seeing the full manuscript and then…disaster. Leisure books imploded and the shockwave impacted on the genre far and wide. From the ashes, Don went on to build a new horror line at Samhain. I was delighted when he offered me a contract with Samhain for The Lamplighters. The following year was a whirlwind, culminating in the book being nominated as a Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for First Novel.
Don was supportive throughout the whole process, and it’s no wonder that I went on to publish four more books with him. I finally got to meet Don in person this year at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta. We sat outside the hotel building and talked ideas, music, Italian giallo classics and publishing industry snobbery about print-on-demand technology. Later we got together with several other Samhain Horror authors and had a few drinks/laughs at the Bram Stoker Awards banquet.
To work with an editor who loves horror as much as I do? That’s not a job, that’s a bloody privilege.
Very roughly translated, with a pinch of poetic license, Don’s name can mean ‘The Priest of Fear’.
I think that sounds about right.
Don is absolute gold and I love working with him. A tremendously nice man and he’s the best horror editor in the business.
I agree wholeheartedly Sean – hail and well met Sir!
Don is the best in the business. Great tribute, Frazer 🙂
You’re spot on Catherine, he is – cheers!
Love this. :Love Don. Thanks for sharing, Frazer.
Thanks Glenn – and as ever all my best wishes to you, especially during this awful time.
“Samhain Horror Changes
As many of you know, Don D’Auria has departed Samhain Publishing, and we wish him great success in his career. His departure was one of several difficult choices we’ve made recently regarding overhead and editorial support, as we adjust to the evolving marketplace.
While we remain dedicated to making a success of our Horror line and to supporting our Horror authors, due to the slow build of a paying audience we must work more diligently to engage readers. A social media presence is an absolute must because marketing has become about a conversation, and not just about blasting people with ads. Throughout our other lines, Samhain’s editorial staff is not only well-versed in curating content and helping it shine through their polishing efforts, but they are social-media savvy and understand how to promote their authors’ works. We look forward to bringing this kind of support to our Horror line as well.
In addition to preparing existing contracted books for publication and reviewing submissions, we have the following efforts underway:
Samhain will once again be sponsoring the HWA / Stoker Awards as we have for these past four years.
We have begun planning for the perennially successful HorrorHound Cincy.
We have submitted numerous works for the annual Bram Stoker awards, and look forward with great excitement to those results.
We will be submitting works for the Shirley Jackson awards within the next two weeks.
Our promotional efforts are changing as well. You spoke, we listened and then confirmed your suggestions and ideas through our own testing. Over the past six to twelve months we’ve been monitoring the advertisements we’ve bought and have come to the conclusion that banner ads simply aren’t selling books. As we pull back from traditional advertising, however, we’ve begun focusing our marketing dollars on the channels that have proven to work. We’ve already seen improvement.
In addition, we’ve begun developing a second Horror newsletter where the authors can contribute and engage, more so than the standard new releases e-blast which is announcement only. Content equates to discoverability. Discovery leads to engagement. Engagement brings about conversions—which for authors, means book sales.
We’re proud of our many horror authors and look forward to continuing to bring great stories to readers, as we’ve done for the past 6 years since launching the line. All authors with existing contracted books will be reassigned to new editors, based on where you are in the publishing process. Look to receive an email on this subject later this week.
In closing, we’re very sad to have to see Don move on, but we’re dedicated to Samhain Horror and to making it a success. As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions, ideas and comments, and we sincerely appreciate your work and the stories that you have to share.
Christina Brashear | Samhain Publishing”
Thanks for posting this Ramsey – i had to read Cris’s email twice when it arrived. I find it so sad that social media savvy is being given precedence over the actual function of an executive editor. This century just loses me sometimes, it really does.
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