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.