Reputable horror publishers are few and far between these days. Which makes it all the more sad that this weekend, Darkfuse Publishing announced they were declaring bankruptcy. The managing editor, Shane Staley, posted on the company’s website explaining the situation and how things would work going forward. Things have moved quickly since then, with the website down to only the letter from Staley and most of their backlog has already been taken down from Amazon.
Darkfuse began under the name of Delirium Books in 1999. They published softcover books and novella’s but became known for doing limited edition hardcovers. In 2003 they published Brian Keene’s The Rising, which received a Bram Stoker award for Best First Novel. In 2005 they won a Bram Stoker award themselves, for Excellence in Specialty Press Publishing, as well as the award for Small Press of the Year from Shocklines.com.
They continued to publish Brian Keene’s other works, in addition to books by Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Greg F. Gifune, and William Meikle.
There remains drama, however, with some authors reporting having had issues with receiving royalties reaching back months, or even longer.
Over the past couple years, the number of specialty horror publishers has dwindled, with Samhain Publishing first shuttering it’s horror imprint, and then closing down entirely back in February. Many authors are left to either self-publish or try their luck with the few smaller companies that remain, such as Crystal Lake Publishing, or hope to get picked up by one of the major publishers.
Still we wish the best for Shane Staley going forward, as well as to all of Darkfuse’s authors. Here’s hoping any disputes can be settled quickly and the writers can find new, good homes for their works. Many of these authors have proven to have the goods when it comes to writing horror, and it would be a shame for their works to sit on shelves or in hard drives and unable to get to the readers that clamor for quality scares.
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