The Return of Shane Staley of Darkfuse, Delirium Books, and now IndieMuse

UPDATE: This post will be updated with new information as I uncover it. You can find all new info at the bottom of the post.

The purpose of this post is to warn authors, reviewers, and readers in general of the return of a man who has a well-documented history of scamming customers and authors.

You can read my original post that describes the timeline of events concerning my experience with Darkfuse here:

Been a long time since I posted here but I feel it’s still the best place to collect public data, so here we are. Today we’re talking about the return of douchebag extraordinaire, Shane Staley. I will link to the video piece I did on his resurfacing act, but I also have new information and proof I need to post. So first, this is his Facebook post about his return.

Screenshot captured from Facebook from a public post.

I have no idea who would ever wanna work with this guy after he drove Delirium Books AND Darkfuse into the ground, but here we are. I was first alerted to Shane’s return by an anonymous source through DMs on Twitter. Then Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror, co-owner of the Night Worms subscription box) forwarded to me this email.

Email to Sadie Hartmann, co-owner of Night Worms. Used with permission.

I couldn’t believe the audacity of this man. Not only has he returned, but he’s acting like he didn’t steal thousands of dollars from customers and deny numerous authors, myself included, their earned royalties. He’s not even trying to hide. His picture and name are splattered all over IndieMuse and his personal website, Staley and Associates. You can find those links below:


Staley and Associates:

All of this spurred me into creating a video documenting his return that should serve as a warning to my audience and anyone who might come in contact with Shane Staley. You can watch the video here.

REVIEWERS AND AUTHORS BEWARE! | Shane Staley | IndieMuse | Darkfuse

Finally, and most importantly (for me, anyway), this asshole had the audacity to post the book he never paid me royalties for on his new website as a “Latest Book Project”. FAIRY LIGHTS is no longer available, and hasn’t been available since August 2017, when Darkfuse went bankrupt, so “Latest Book Projects” my fuckin ass. And just in case he removes it, here’s a screenshot for posterity.

Image taken from the homepage of This image is currently public.

Brian Keene will be posting about this tomorrow, and Sadie Hartmann has already emailed her crew, I believe, but this post needs to be shared far and wide. Do not allow this man to screw over even more people.

Thank you,


UPDATE 10/15/2020, 4:18pm CST: I was sent this email from an anonymous source. This is the text of an email Shane Staley is sending out to authors he screwed out of their royalties.

Here’s the whole message verbatim, if Brian Keene hasn’t seen it, which he probably has. Also, don’t die. Love you – An Update To DarkFuse Authors I hope you’re doing well and I wanted to touch base with you as a former author of mine. After DarkFuse was forced to close its doors, I’ve spent the last 2 years on hiatus as a publisher, which has allowed me to withdraw myself for clarity purposes. The bankruptcy hit me hard, as I lost an entire property and home, which went back to settling debts. These debts have all been settled, though I realize some authors didn’t get reimbursed for missed royalties in 2017 as they didn’t pursue claims with the bankruptcy court, which I still feel horribly about. For transparency sake: DarkFuse owed just under $6,000 in total royalties to 150 combined authors (on average, $40 to each author) and only 1 partial missed royalty period in which we returned rights to every author immediately after making the decision the company could no longer continue. In regards to my publishing history, besides that single blip on a 20+ year map, I was what many authors considered the best in the business when it came to timely payments and advances. I paid through my companies a total into the millions of dollars, all to independent authors. And I know authors can attest to this, as I’ve dealt with many of you over a long period of time. The end of DarkFuse was unfortunate, but, in hindsight, I feel really good about what it accomplished and learned from its failure: I was trying to force the market to grow through investing too much with little returns in many areas. These past two years have allowed me to disconnect from the business and get back to loving the genre and books again. Instead of being frustrated with business dealings and the industry, I’ve now been able to really embrace my history as an award-winning publisher with Delirium Books and DarkFuse and really wrap my head around the many writing careers I was fortunate to be a small part of in launching. I’ve finally decided to invest time again back in the industry we share, to continue what I started: helping to launch promising careers. I’m launching IndieMuse on 1/31/21. This, however, will NOT be a return back to publishing books and eBooks. With my knowledge and experience in the genre and publishing at the independent level, and really still having a great passion to promote talented authors such as yourself, I’ve decided to create a site that promotes the works of selected independent authors from multiple genres. This is NOT an author-has-to-pay-for-promotion site. It’s free promotion for authors we select. Our revenue stream will be generated from ad revenue (affiliation with Amazon) and ad sales, though this is something we’ll likely expand to other areas such as time goes on. I’ve begun reaching out to “hire” staff for the 2021 year. This will include book reviewers, talent curators, and content writers. The hiring is basically an internship (trial) for possible staff positions to begin in 2022. Independent authors can submit their profiles now:…. This will introduce you to our curation staff for possible future promotions of your work. Everything at IndieMuse goes through a curation process before it gets to me, but if you’re an author I’ve published before, obviously I think highly of your work and you’ll make it through the process just fine!

Winking face

In other words, you’ll get promoted here. Also, if you know book reviewers…they can inquire about having their reviews syndicated by reaching out to us at: Furthermore, during this hiatus, I’ve been fortunate enough to launch a very successful tennis academy, which is now a prime source of income for me. As it’s a junior academy, it’s still mostly in operations only during the summers (June-July) which allows me for a great deal of time to invest back into online publishing endeavors via IndieMuse. Also, my complete professional publishing portfolio is being put online, which will (or already does) feature our work together! You can check it out at: So I wanted to touch base and give you an update of potential news that may interest you. Hopefully, we can work together with this new endeavor to help promote your work. If not, I understand that as well. Take care! http://myindiemuse.com

UPDATE: 10/15/2020, 4:23pm CST: Adding this bit of information from a former customer of Shane’s.

This is a public post.

UPDATE 4/16/2020, 8:30am CST

Statement from Brian Keene: