Yesterday I received a most upsetting email. It was from my editor Don D’Auria, explaining that he had been let go from Samhain Publishing.
Samhain’s community of horror authors were in shock for the rest of the day, reeling from a complex mix of emotions that had one thing in common – they all sucked. What would happen to Don, we wondered, and what did this mean for Samhain’s horror line? And for our books?
For those who don’t know, Don D’Auria is a big name in horror publishing. After Leisure books folded, Samhain hired him to create their horror line. Don obliged, bringing a stable of wonderful authors along with him. The man’s eye for talent is so well known and respected that even the likes of Jack Ketchum have said that if you’re published by Don, it’s a guarantee that other editors will like your work as well.
But that’s not the reason we’re so loyal to Don. The plain truth is that he’s a good, gentle, straightforward man in an industry that is often cutthroat and cruel. I couldn’t ask for a better first publishing experience than the one Don and Samhain gave me. He was always in my corner, patiently answering my questions and walking me through the process. His encouragement helped me believe in myself and my writing again.
So yes, I’m angry about what happened to Don. I’m also sad and concerned, both for him and for all the awesome writers he acquired.
However, I realize I don’t know the whole story. I don’t know why Samhain made this decision, but I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them. They’re trying to sell books, and for whatever reason, they decided this was the best course of action to take. I may not agree with them, but I’m not a publisher. As upset as I am, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and seeing what happens. What else can I do? I know Don will land on his feet – he’s too talented not to.
Just when I thought things were bad as they could get, I saw that one of Don’s authors was calling for people to boycott Samhain on social media. Not only will this hurt Samhain authors – the very writers whose careers Don helped build – it will also hurt the great people who work there. Samhain isn’t some huge, faceless corporation. When you write for them, you’re on a first-name basis with all the people who work so hard to promote, package, edit, format, and distribute your books. And I can honestly say that everyone at Samhain has been awesome to me. This isn’t a black-and-white issue, where one side is good and the other evil–it’s more complex than that.
I may be biased, but I think the best way to show support for the work of Don D’Auria is to support his authors, who are already hurting. It’s bad enough we’ve lost our editor. What good will killing our sales do?
You can check out Samhain books here. Thanks so much for reading. <3 If anyone else has gone through this, or even if you haven’t, words of advice and encouragement are greatly appreciated.
The purpose of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.
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