Monday, December 19, 2016

Down & Out Books - Q&A

Eric Campbell, Editor and Publisher of Down & Out Books, is here to tell us all about what being a publisher is all about. Down & Out publishes authors including J.L. Abramo, Gary Phillips, Linda Sands and Eric Beetner. They have also published the last three Bouchercon anthologies, including this year's compilation, Blood on the Bayou.

Can you tell us a little about Down & Out Books, what you publish and why you started it?

I was an early investor in Tyrus Books, and when the company was sold I still had a burning desire to be involved in the publishing business. Rather than join another established publisher, I decided I wanted to see if I could do something on my own. Crime fiction has always been my preferred choice when I read for pleasure, so it made sense to structure Down & Out Books around that genre. But I decided early on not to limit myself specifically to mysteries and thrillers, so left the door open for literary fiction, which we also publish.

What is the most fun about publishing and editing books?

I enjoy nearly every aspect of the publishing business, from drawing up contracts to the nuts and bolts of putting a book together. But what probably gives me the most satisfaction is working with an author (debut or established) and making their dream of a published book a reality. It’s very special experience for me and I know it is for the author as well.

When people see a book published by Down & Out Books, what can they expect?

I tend to think of reading as a journey, with many choices on which direction to take along the way. I’d like to believe that readers who experience our books are on one of the lesser visited paths, taking them someplace they’ve never been before, a place with familiar elements that they can relate to but otherwise new. That’s what I look for in books I read and that’s what I hope readers see in our books.

What is the best thing that has happened to you at Down & Out Books?

Probably seeing our authors recognized by their peers for their work. In 2016 alone, J.L. Abramo won a Shamus Award for Circling the Runway, Art Taylor accepted an Anthony Award for editing the Bouchercon anthology Murder Under the Oaks, Jack Getze won a David Award for Big Shoes, Linda Sands was honored as a Georgia Author of the Year for her crime novel 3 Women Walk into a Bar, and more. I am so proud of their efforts and am grateful they allowed me to participate in their achievements as their publisher.

What’s coming up from Down & Out Books?

2017 will be our busiest year yet. We have a long slate of titles that are on the calendar to be published next year, and I couldn’t be more excited by this line-up. There is a combination of debut authors, established authors publishing their first books with us, and members of the Down & Out Books family of authors releasing new series titles, stand-alones, and collections. It’s going to be an amazing year for us and our readers.


  1. Great interview, great publisher. I'm so pleased to have been associated with them!

  2. So happy to be part of BLOOD ON THE BAYOU!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Deborah. I really enjoyed the opportunity.

  4. I loved both Bouchercon anthologies. Also, I could not agree more Eric, about reading being a journey!!

  5. Eric, it's great watching you pursue your vision for Down & Out. What a great crew you have on that journey with you.

    1. Appreciate that, Rob. Glad to have you along for the ride!

  6. Deborah Lacy -- you sure know how to pick the rising publisher of the pack of words reaching more and more minds with each press run. Authors at Down & Out Books become family this good-hearted and large-minded man brings together . . . the better quality for readers, readers everywhere. To explore and ask for more.

    ~ suspense author | intrigue promoter Kate Pilarcik
    and 1940's detective and secret OSS agent (shhh), Nelle Callahan

  7. If you interviewed the D&O authors, every single one would say what a great guy Eric is to work with. He is a writer's editor and publisher. A fan of the genre and -- personally -- a caring father, friend and man.

  8. I signed with D&OB because of their reputation. Big things ahead for them.

  9. Love it! And totally agree, Jack!

  10. Eric Campbell and D&O gave Jake Diamond a new lease on life...and the opportunity to earn a Shamus Award...a great publishing house with an exceptionally hospitable master...