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I'm an aspiring writer who wants, more than anything, to make a go at making this a full time career for me. I LOVE the horror genre, and have cut my teeth on books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, ect. It's what I love to read and what I love to write. I have been lurking on these boards long enough to know that you can't always write what you love and expect to make money (let alone a living). I was wondering if there were any horror authors or anyone familiar enough with the genre who could tell me about the current state of it.
 

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There's always a market for good horror. I've been full time for 13 years now and these last two have been my best financially so far, so get to it...
 

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horror is huge right now

on twitter, follow paul tremblay, stephen graham jones, grady hendrix - if you follow them & bunch of the people they follow you'd find a ton of new horror releases + you find out when they have zooms or new youtubes

adam cesare is another one to study, clown in a cornfield is from harper collins but pretty sure he started as an indie

i haven't seen riley sager on social media but read him too









 

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A market doesn't have to be romance-sized to make a living.
Smaller niche markets have hungry readers, too.

Horror has been great to me! JOIN US!!
 

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Well, I fantasied myself as a YA fantasy/thriller author and wrote stand-alones and a recent trilogy. I hunched my shoulders and entered the Reader's Favorite International Book Awards Contest, not expecting much of anything, except maybe a runner-up or something. Alas, I just got notice I took the YA horror bronze medal. Gak. I NEVER thought that I was a horror writer, but the reviewers and award committees see it that way. So I'm going with the flow. I think it is popular and has its own strong niche. I think the fans might be more rabid than some of the others, that's for sure. So shoot me now; I've just become a horror writer, and I don't mind it. King, Rice and Koontz are three of my favs too.
 

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Currently it's difficult to tell the difference between the horror genre and real life. Year 2020 by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice featuring the ghosts of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley and HP Lovecraft.
 

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Paranormal Kitty said:
Currently it's difficult to tell the difference between the horror genre and real life. Year 2020 by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice featuring the ghosts of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley and HP Lovecraft.
Ain't that the truth! I'm in the market for a secluded cave location, modern conveniences a plus, myself. It's scary out there. *shudders*
 

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Paranormal Kitty said:
Currently it's difficult to tell the difference between the horror genre and real life. Year 2020 by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice featuring the ghosts of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley and HP Lovecraft.
https://www.boston25news.com/news/local-horror-author-paul-tremblay-taps-into-pandemic-fears-new-novel/W4Y34U4DJNFN5KTQMEOVFW4A4U/

tremblay talks about releasing a pandemic novel during a pandemic, he wrote in 2018/19 but his publisher put it out in 2020

it was amazing how well he predicted all the little things down to grocery stores running out of food to hospitals running out of PPE
 

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Not a horror writer, but I read a bit and I'll jump in.

If you want to write horror, write horror, not something you are only writing because you think it's a selling category. It's very difficult to fool readers if you don't have the same passion for a genre they do.

Horror is a smaller genre than say, romance, but if you can write a compelling story and find your readers you can do well.  Smaller genres also offer the advantage of making discoverability easier.  Write a book you want to read.  :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice. Is there a group I could join or anything where I might be able to ask some more in depth questions?
 

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Atlas12 said:
Thanks for the advice. Is there a group I could join or anything where I might be able to ask some more in depth questions?
You're in it. Ask away.
 

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J. Tanner said:
You're in it. Ask away.
Good point. Lol. I was just wondering if it was easy to get visibility in the genre, what list I needed to target, how ad reliant it was, and how much longevity the titles seemed to have. That sort of thing. Thanks
 

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that doesn't seem like the kind of thing that's wise to share in a public forum

there are FB groups, john skipp has one altho i'm not sure if it's only for those who took one of his classes

follow authors you admire in the genre (not just old guys like King & Skipp but younger ones too), check out their media, you'll figure out where they hang

if you go indie, there are some pitfalls with making covers that get thru AMS but you can figure that out pretty easy

 

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Atlas12 said:
Good point. Lol. I was just wondering if it was easy to get visibility in the genre, what list I needed to target, how ad reliant it was, and how much longevity the titles seemed to have. That sort of thing. Thanks
The problem with those types of questions are that it's hard to generalize from "all horror books" to your specific book.

If you are a new author, visibility is going to be a problem in any but the tiniest genre. You're going to need a plan to get the attention you need. Unless you write an astounding first book and have a stellar release plan - a single release isn't going to have a lot of traction or longevity.

I recommend you take some time and do as much reading as possible back through this forum. Pay particular attention to new release threads and first release threads. There is a lot of information here and it will take some time to absorb. If you read enough, you'll start to see a lot of common (and very useful) advice. You'll also gain enough information to start asking informed questions about your own release.
 

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Atlas12 said:
I was just wondering if it was easy to get visibility in the genre, what list I needed to target, how ad reliant it was, and how much longevity the titles seemed to have.
It's not easy to get visibility in any genre.

You target the most appropriate and narrow categories available on Amazon that are appropriate for your specific book.

Most genres are ad-reliant these days, and that includes horror.

Amazon is built to churn books. This is part of the reason why writing a series is to your benefit. Later books help restore visibility to earlier books. Other retailers (going wide) tend to be more stable, but you still have to get the book in front of a lot of people to take advantage of the slower decline.
 

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J. Tanner said:
It's not easy to get visibility in any genre.

You target the most appropriate and narrow categories available on Amazon that are appropriate for your specific book.

Most genres are ad-reliant these days, and that includes horror.

Amazon is built to churn books. This is part of the reason why writing a series is to your benefit. Later books help restore visibility to earlier books. Other retailers (going wide) tend to be more stable, but you still have to get the book in front of a lot of people to take advantage of the slower decline.
All of this. ^^
You will need a launch plan (an outline of how you will get eyes on your book)
You will need to set up some AMS ads.
You will need a good cover/blurb
And you will need a good book.

But you need all that for any genre.

The real question is: Is this the genre that speaks to your heart? Are you a horror fan in real life? Will you be happy writing in this genre for the foreseeable future, so you can build a career and a back catalog in the genre?

If yes, go for it. You can't ever go wrong writing for "your" people.
 
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