Seed (Son of a Niche! #1)

(The estimated reading time for this is 3 minutes)

About 10 years ago at the height of Delirium Books’ success, I was pretty damn popular in the horror literary genre, only because I was making a lot of people a lot of money. Collectors, in particular. Authors, too.

I’ve always been blunt, take no BS and am never afraid of pissing someone off. Back then, I couldn’t manage to piss someone off because when you’re making them money, people have thick skin and it’s applauded.

The recession hit, the market tanked (because everything is cyclical). As a rational business person, you adapt to the new marketplace or you perish. Pretty simple.

Delirium Books had to go. It made no sense, didn’t belong in the new marketplace. DarkFuse was born from it. Collectors were upset, some downright pissed. Authors were unsure, skittish. I wasn’t making them as much money anymore. Actually, it had nothing to do with me. It was the marketplace itself. But I was a symbol of that marketplace.

As I’ve stated: I’ve always been blunt, take no BS and am never afraid of pissing someone off. After the shift, it was easy to piss someone off, especially collectors, even authors. Not so fun when books aren’t selling out in 5 minutes and you’re not flipping them on eBay for 5 times the amount you paid.

We hit a boiling point. The changeover to DarkFuse was a mess (as all changeovers usually are). No one understood. They thought I was crazy for the shift in direction, that I’d fail, go under, falter fast.

I kept the vision, saw it through.

Made a lot of enemies back then.

And I’m thankful for every one of them.

Quietly, over the past 5 years DarkFuse has grown as a media company, powered by the new digital age, and quietly, I’ve managed to get back to a pinnacle in my career. A peak in sales and interest in the literature I produce.

DarkFuse has become a brand, even more so than Delirium Books ever was.

The last 8 months, I’ve retooled the company yet again, making a lot of changes to succeed in the shifting marketplace. In the changing nature of business. And with every change, people aren’t happy. And it’s always changing; it has to; that’s the way life is and how the markets go.

These changes are happening now and into this fall. I see the market changing to where collectors are going to be extremely happy once again building lost libraries (symbols of a forgotten time) and readers embracing digital will continue to reap the benefits of having a library of thousands of books to read right at their fingertips. Cheaply.

It’s actually the best of both worlds.

What comes next is going to be fun.

I’ve been quiet long enough now. Still the same person: I’m blunt, honest, take no BS and and am not afraid to piss someone off.

But one things people are quick to forget. There’s few as driven and passionate as I am. It’s why I remain difficult, blunt, honest and have no patience for BS.

And if you’re the one who was once pissed off by me, then it’s business, not personal. Look at the bigger picture (the one where you’re not in the center, which is the ultimate reality of it all). We are all pawns in the market.

Take note of this. And remember.

This is about to get real interesting.

Son of a Niche! will be published irregularly and focus on the business of horror literature.

My way.

© 2016 – 2017, DarkFuse & individual contributors. All rights reserved.

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Shane Staley is the founder and managing publisher of DarkFuse. He is a Bram Stoker Award winning editor and publisher. He is considered by many as one of the most influential editors and publishers of the modern era horror scene. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the legendary specialty press Delirium Books (1999-2012). Staley started his publishing career in 1995 with a ‘zine called The Darklands Project. Since then, he has published more than 300 books in his career and has been a part of launching some of the most important writing careers in the horror genre.

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