Changes To The E-Book Buying Landscape

Samhain is consolidating with the online bookstore My Bookstore and More to bring readers more coupons, pre-ordering for upcoming releases and a better book buying experience. We talked to Samhain CEO Christina M. Brashear about the upcoming changes. 

The popular online publisher, Samhain, primarily publishes books in e-book format. The company has been rapidly expanding since it launched 2005. Now they are evolving in a new direction by consolidating their publishing house with the online bookstore that currently distributes Samhain’s e-books, My Bookstore and More. In the past, Samhain has sold their books online via the MBaM bookstore. The online bookstore has been a destination for readers searching for e-books published by a wide range of publishing houses both large and small. But soon MBaM will sell Samhain e-books exclusively. RT caught up with Samhain’s Publisher, Christina M. Brashear, to find out about the changes and what they will mean for readers.

Brashear shares that the publisher and the bookstore already have the same owners. However, the online bookstore is currently “languishing”, so consolidating MBaM is a sensible business decision. “Rather than keep up with two separate websites, run two payrolls and have two benefits packages, it just seems more efficient and effective to have Samhain buy-out MBaM and assume the webstore.”

Readers can expect a new look and exclusively Samhain sales. Brashear assured us, “For the most part, the MBaM layout will remain consistent, with just the branding changing, but we are working on some enhancements that are and aren’t currently offered on the Samhain site.” In addition to the new ability to buy e-books directly from the Samhain site, the publisher is eagerly anticipating the site's new Series page as well as an update to the Samhain’s Coming Soon page, which will give readers the option to pre-order upcoming titles. And, if you are already a MBaM customer you don't have to worry about your previously purchased e-books disappearing, the bookshelf feature will continue to insure that those titles will always be available to you.

The benefits of this consolidation will be passed right along to e-book readers in several ways. Brashear expects that Samhain’s refined e-book purchasing options will find favor with the “hardcore” format fans, who Brashear believes “prefer to buy direct from the publisher and not be sent to a third party site.” Furthermore, by distributing books through MBaM's selling software, Brashear is looking forward to being able to do more direct marketing. Reader can expect to see more streamlined coupons and gift certificates “that don’t confuse the readers with another company’s name.” Additionally, after the new site’s construction is finished, Brashear looks forward to some other changes to Samhain that the site cannot currently support due to space issues. “We’ll be incorporating links to other sites as well, so those who use Samhain for research can link to Amazon or BN etc. ... The customer is our main focus and we want to make it as easy as possible to buy our authors’ titles.”

For the moment Samhain is staying quiet about the new designs. But the company is aiming to have the project completed by November 1st, 2010. The date marks the publisher's fifth anniversary and Brashear suggests that readers get ready for a "big rollout and the online party that will ensue."