A Book Publisher “Experiments” With Print: Christina M. Brashear, owner of e-book publisher Samhain, on her unconventional business model.
Extra: What did you learn from working with Amazon and Sony to offer your e-books in the formats that their e-readers—the Kindle and the Reader, respectively—use?
Brashear: … All the e-books are picked up by Amazon from Mobipocket, so there is no additional work on our part. I love that. Mobi and Amazon are the easiest of all the processes we have in place right now. We’re in the process of working with Sony to get the titles into the store. It’s not as smooth of a process as Amazon, but Amazon had the benefit [of a process] being already in place. Sony is new—a new device using a new file format. We hope to get everything worked out soon.
Extra: What challenges has the company’s rapid growth presented?
Brashear: … We’ve been on a hiring binge in the corporate offices—trying to address the problems of spreading the workload so the staff doesn’t burn out and collapse into a pile of quivering flesh on the floor. It’s a challenge to keep up with the old duties while incorporating the new, and not let anything slip through the cracks.
Leasing office space is the biggest change due to growth. It does not matter what your top or bottom line is, when someone in the business arena realizes you work from home, you are instantly discounted as not being a legitimate, real business. I miss working from home, but in all honesty, I couldn’t see hiring admin staff and having them in my home. We have a great location. We’re on the 15th floor of the tallest building in Macon, and we look out over this beautiful, quaint city.
Extra: What are the advantages of owning My Bookstore and More?
Brashear: With Samhain as a wholesale-only company, we don’t have to worry about frog-marching people back to the Samhain site to make the most money. I can list many various sites from which people can buy the e-books. We do this now for print, but we plan to [do this as well] with e-books in the next incarnation of the site.
My Bookstore and More was developed as a sister company to Samhain, so that Samhain could focus on the publishing of books and working with authors. Having [the site] as a totally separate entity from Samhain allows us to sell more than just the Samhain titles. We can sell any publisher’s titles by any author, though we have yet to really expand that side of things. That’s coming this summer, once we launch the new, more robust site. We manually add books [that our] authors tell us are available by them through other publishers. But we will be developing an interface with Ingram, so we can automatically update our available products with the latest books available.