Hello peeps. I want to start this blog post by extending heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the douchebaggery of Shane Staley. I only had one book with him. To those of you who had loads of books with him, I cannot imagine how much time and money you’re losing with the bankruptcy of Darkfuse. I can imagine, however, that you are far more upset than I am. I also know that there are still people out there defending him. That’s on you, buttercup. There is way too much evidence to backup everything I say in this post. If I didn’t have proof, I wouldn’t put it out there. He’s screwed a lot of people, both this time, and the last time he pulled this shit.
Shane Staley, former owner/operator of Darkfuse and Darkfuse Magazine sent out an email this morning. You can read that pile of shit HERE. Many people took offense at this letter, and I’ll go over why. But first, I’d like to share my story of dealing with this fucking liar.
My first interaction with Darkfuse was with their Twitter games. I forget what they’re called now, but Shane requested people write the most disgusting thing they could think of in a tweet and submit it to him. I played along. That won me a subscription to the magazine. I then submitted a story, and it was accepted, I was paid within hours of acceptance, and then given a link to submit longer works. I had a novella sitting around, so I threw it at the wall to see if it would stick. Shane accepted it, gave me a detailed payment/publishing schedule, which I agreed to, then I signed the contract.
In that initial email, I was told the book would be released as a serial on the website in November, with a hardcover release in December, and then an ebook release in March. I was suppose to receive my advance before the publication of the hardcover, so in my mind, that was to be before the end of December. When I didn’t receive payment by the first week of December (I was hoping for extra Christmas money), I emailed Shane and he said that he “might be able to pay early.” I didn’t question the “early” part. Maybe the book wasn’t going to be published until after Christmas. Fair deal.
Then January came and still no word of my advance. I will make this long story short by saying Shane Staley did not respond well, nor professionally, to my inquiries of payment. He said, “Since this is such a problem for you, I will go ahead and pay you.” A month late, mind you, and only because I was seemingly bothering him. The novella didn’t even come out until March, and from what I hear, I’m glad I fought to be paid my advance, or else I might never have seen a penny for my book. Remember, it was up on the website since November. Had I not argued Shane down in January, I’d likely have a theft of services on my hands.
So, if you’ve read the letter he sent out, you will see that the money issues began before January reporting. That’s the first lie. I can only assume he paid me my advance out of his own pocket. Which goes against everything he’s been saying for the past few years about how profitable his company was. That’s the second lie. I’m not sure if the posts are still up, but Shane published several articles called “Son of a Niche” which promoted a false narrative. In these blog posts, he bragged about how respected in the community he was, and how he was a businessman to be revered, and that the publishing world should bow down before him. I like people who talk like that. Confidence is an attractive quality, and I wanted to be a part of this “movement” he was talking about. But let me be clear. I like braggarts as long as they can back it up. Shane Staley is a bloviating liar.
“But E.! But E.! He only recently started having problems!”
Ahem. No. No he didn’t only recently start having problems. Anyone remember Delirium Books? I didn’t even know about this myself until after I signed my contract with Darkfuse. I still don’t know all the details, but I’ve since spoken with numerous authors and readers who were royally fucked by Shane Staley and his first foray into the publishing business. I also received some hate mail after signing with Darkfuse because I’d signed with them, one person even going as far as saying, “I thought you were better than this.”
Even in his farewell letter, Shane brags and lies and screws people over. Notice that authors who hung around will be paid by November, but those of us who asked for a reversion of rights, because the ship was most-obviously sinking, have to deal with the courts. Having a positive history of paying authors only when times are good does not make you a good businessman. Especially not when you’ve been coming out of pocket to keep things running. That’s the exact opposite of a good businessman. It means you profited at one point but couldn’t manage the company when sales were down. You even admit to this in the goddamn letter. You blame authors for your own failures and inadequacies. You blame consumers for liking cheap products. You blame everyone but yourself. You fucked up. You. No one else. This was your ship, and just like the first boat you captained, you sank the motherfucker.
I love that little part about how all companies fail. What a load of horseshit. There are companies around today that began in the 1800s. Those companies were run by great businessmen. Men and women who were the exact opposite of Shane Staley.
To Shane Staley, personally, should he ever read this, I will do everything in my power to warn people about you, should you resurface like you did after Delirium Books. You may now return to your tennis lessons, asshole.
Oh, and go fuck yourself. smooches