Is Horror a dirty word in the publishing industry?

A writer friend of mine once mentioned that even if they wrote horror, they would market it to potential agents and publishers as a thriller or mystery. Horror, it seems, is a dirty word in the publishing industry.

I don’t have any stats to back this up. I looked, and the stats are either dated, or the sample size is too small. So, I don’t know how true this is. I know horror is a niche market. Either you like horror, or you don’t. No one, for the most part, is in the middle. The only authors I know who write mainstream horror is Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. Both awesome and they have both more than earned their place in the mainstream market. People continually give them a chance because they are a household name, and in my experience, they never let the reader down. But what do you do if you’re not one of them? Change genres?

I love writing. It is a great escape. It’s like a movie of my own making playing out in my head, with the characters surprising the heck out of me as they manoeuvre through my grey matter landscape.

See, I don’t plan my books. I write, letting the characters flesh out a little idea I had. Then I refine it, and refine it, and refine it. I can only write horror. I couldn’t change genres even if I wanted to. And thinking about it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again; horror is one genre in which the reader can experience the entire gamut of human emotion. It’s all there, and there is usually an awesome villain or villains in the mix. Who doesn’t like villains and the heroes who take them down?

I have to say though, when I read comments about the gore in my books, I’m kind of surprised. I shouldn’t be. It’s right there in front of me, but with what I read and watch, I think I’m not that gory, really. But I must be wrong. Right?

If you love horror, and don’t mind a little gore, let’s show the publishing industry that horror is a marketable, profitable genre, shall we? Read horror. Watch horror. Support horror. Talk about horror.

What are your thoughts on horror? What, in your opinion, is the most popular genre?

John Hunt is the best-selling horror author of DOLL HOUSE, THE TRACKER, and OFF THE GRID. His newest book, MURDER RUN, is now available on Amazon.

Horror stories and fun. All right here.

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