Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Night Shade Books is Being Bought

Editor Jeremy Lassen is reporting via Twitter that Night Shade Books is being bought by a larger publisher.  Authors with Night Shade are being contacted.  Lassen's words were "being bought" not "being sold", which I think is an interesting distinction.  No word of the sale is one the Night Shade homepage as yet.

I'm sure more details will emerge over the next few days/weeks/months.  I only hope the authors currently with Night Shade come through the process relatively unscathed.  I say "relatively" because this has got to be a nerve wracking experience.  Hopefully no one's books will be orphaned by the new owners.  Somehow I'm not gonna hold my breath.  Regardless, Adventures Fantastic wishes all the Night Shade authors the best when the dust settles.

I'll update as more details become available.

UPDATE:   Jeff VanderMeer has posted on his Facebook page a partial copy of a letter he has received about the sale.  It doesn't look particularly promising.  A transcript of what he posted is below; errors are on the part of author of the letter.  VanderMeer says in the comments that he's been advised not to sign, as have several other authors he doesn't name.


April 1, 2013

Howard Morhain Litery Agency, Inc.

Dear Jeff & Ann Vandermeer,
Provided that a sufficient number of Night Shade authors agree to certain changes to their contracts with Night Shade, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. and Start Publishing, LLC have agreed to acquire all Night Shade Books assets. To be clear, this is an acquisition of assets, not a purchase of the company as a whole. The revenue received from the sale would go towards paying off the debts of the company. If you sign below, and a sufficient number of other Night Shade authors and other creditors also agree to these terms, you will receive full payment to bring all royalties and overdue advances current.

Your payment would be in the amount of $0.00.

By signing this letter, you agree that:


I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not entirely sure about this, but it sounds like the publisher is sacrificing the authors and their works on the altar of the publisher's debts.   I really hope I'm wrong.  If there's a Night Shade title you've been wanting, you might go ahead a get it now.  No telling how much longer they're going to be in print.  I should probably get caught on reading Eclipse Online this weekend.


  1. Damn. Well, hearing they had financial trouble, I guess this isn't a surprise.

    Hopefully they can maintain their imprint and quality within a larger publishing house.

    We'll see.

    1. I hope so, too, Paul, although it doesn't look promising.

  2. I've heard from an author who says this is a good deal. I'll not name that author since I've not been given permission to do so. This particular author informed me that their books will be pulled from shelves and pulped, and all audio and ebooks will be deleted if things move to bankruptcy. And they will be out a lot of money.

    I hope it doesn't go bankruptcy. Authors always lose in a situation like that since their rights are views as assets of the company. I've got a lot of Night Shade titles in electronic format. I'm going to be quite upset if they get deleted from my ereader.