Horror novels don’t generally sell very well, much to the dismay of new writers. However, there are ways around this dose of bad news. No, it’s doesn’t involve changing your name to Stephen King, Jr. Instead, think rationally. Like a marketer. Yes, it’s strange advice to give a fiction writer thriving on demented and twisted thoughts. Yet, it’ll be invaluable to your success. Consider the following:
Fresh Idea #1: Market your book with other genres. Perhaps your horror novel is equally suitable for the crime fiction section of your local bookstore. Publishers (and readers) are more likely to pick up a novel being promoted as a fictional crime story with ‘dark thriller’ elements in it. The phrase ‘dark thriller’ sounds less teenager-oriented than ‘horror novel’, and will attract a wider audience. It’s a win-win solution.
Fresh Idea #2: Are you writing for the reader, or for your ego? Are your elements of suspense outdated or current? Look objectively at your work. A good writing style doesn’t always mean correct grammar. Are your pages filled with obscure words that will only distract from the action? Then simplify. Your ego may bawk, but will your ego pay the bills? I think not. And speaking of paying the bills, don’t bore your readers with a mundane account of your lead character writing out the monthly checks. If the scene is absolutely necessary, then jazz it up and keep it short. Remember, a well-written novel keeps its readers in awe of the characters’ lives, not the author’s life.
The bottom line is it pays to think outside a narrow genre niche. Now go publish that novel. See you at the bookstore.