If you like writing horror stories you have probably wondered if you can make money from it. Is there enough interest in horror stories? Do they sell?
Horror stories do sell, and well. According to industry estimates, around 80 million horror books are sold every year globally. That makes it the fourth largest genre when considering the number of books sold.
There are quite a few reasons why horror storybooks sell so well.
- Rich history
The horror genre has a pretty rich history. As a reader, you can choose between various subgenres, modern, old horror, and even new horror. The rich history is one of the reasons horror stories sell so well.
While certain genres are crowded with the same type of stories repeatedly, it has something new to offer almost every year.
The rich history provides the reader with almost instantaneous options when it comes to consuming content in the horror genre.
- The relationship between horror movies and fiction
People who aren’t avid fans often think that the horror genre means cheap movies.
For decades now, when it comes to marketing the horror genre, most money is spent buying cheap horror films. However, that doesn’t mean it is limited to movies.
Once you dig deeper into the horror genre, you will realize that the books available are much higher than the movies. Not only that, the quality of stories and content in those books is much better than in the movies.
Once a prospective avid horror reader discovers that there is no turning back. It is another reason why the horror genre sells so well.
Horror books do not capture the attention of the mainstream media as much as other genres. However, that doesn’t mean they are not marketable.
Niche publications, websites, and YouTube channels are devoted to the horror genre. They will also lap up any new horror book coming out and cover it. Not only that, but such genre mediums are also popular among the niche audience.
You can use such mediums to help you reach the right audience.
Professional horror authors often use them to their fullest potential. As a new author, you can use these channels to market your books which will help you sell them pretty well to a niche audience.
The point is, that horror as a genre is highly marketable if you use the right medium.
- Loyal audience
When you’re going with a more popular genre like romance, you might need to market pretty hard to make readers buy your book. That is because they have numerous options in the genre.
The horror genre is different. While it might be smaller, it has a much more loyal audience. The audience is always craving good content in the horror genre.
Such a loyal audience ensures that if you write well, your book is bound to sell. Couple that with the genre-specific marketing we highlighted above, and it is easy to understand why horror indeed sells well.
- Wide genre
When you dig deeper into the horror genre, you will find that a multitude of subgenres are available.
For example, a horror story can be based on ghosts, zombies, or some other alien creatures. It can also be written in various styles such as gothic, modern, hard-boiled or gritty realism to name a few.
All these are subgenres. When you try to find books based on the subgenres, you will realize that each has hundreds of books with good-quality stories.
Read about Underused Horror Tropes here
How Horror Sells
Now that you know that horror sells, it is time to find out how it sells. We will share with you multiple ways horror books are sold, and you can efficiently utilize any of these mediums to sell your own horror book.
- Traditional publishing
Traditional publishing is the most common medium through which you can sell your horror book. The total number of books sold annually is primarily sold through this channel.
Contacting a traditional publisher, especially as a beginner or a new horror author, may not be an easy task. That is why you can contact an agent instead of directly contacting the publishers.
Agents often have a working relationship with the publishers; therefore, it is easy to approach the publishers through the agents.
Not only that, but agents can also provide you with feedback on your horror book to make it better. That way, even if your horror story is not ready for publishing right now, they will provide you with valuable feedback through which you can modify your book and present it in front of the publisher.
That will certainly increase your chances of convincing a publisher to publish your book.
If you think that your writing is of good quality, but you aren’t ready to write your own book, then you can also think of ghostwriting.
You can approach other writers in the horror niche and ghostwrite a book for them.
Sure enough, you might not get fame, but you will be able to make some money from your writing.
It might not be ideal for established writers but if you’re just starting in the horror niche, ghostwriting for someone else is the easiest solution.
- Online marketplaces
Various online marketplaces are always looking out for horror books and horror stories. While not all of them might accept books or stories at all times, it is a good idea to keep checking their official websites to know when they are accepting submissions. You can also try and sell your story or book to them.
Some such marketplaces include:
You can google for more such sites and online marketplaces as well. Usually, they pay anywhere from 3 cents per word to 8 cents per word. A lot also depends on the quality and the length of the story.
If you have a horror story and need some quick money, you can certainly check out these online marketplaces. Also, selling a story to them can boost your career since most of them allow you to include it in your resume. That will open up more doors for you in the future.
Many authors prefer to publish their books rather than sell their stories. If you are one of them, self-publishing is a good solution. There are numerous advantages of self-publishing:
• Self-publishing is a quick process. You won’t have to convince publishers or handle the financing part.
• Self-publishing can be done online through websites like Amazon. That way, you will not have to visit anyone’s office.
• Sites like Amazon publish a book whenever there is an order. That is why; you will not have to deal with inventory or high capital expenditure either.
You can submit your script or your book and design a cover. That’s it!
Your listing will be ready. After that, you just need to focus on promoting your book. Whenever there is an order, Amazon will publish the book and send it to the customer.
Many beginner horror authors opt for this method to get their books printed.
Read How to Write a Horror Series here
Another option you have is to create an e-book out of your horror story. Once you create an e-book, you can use any of the tools to sell it online. That way, you won’t have to worry about physically publishing it.
Not only that, you can easily market your e-book on various online mediums to a global audience. Such mediums include:
• Social media
• Email newsletters
• Horror forums
• And so on
Since the delivery of such a book is almost instantaneous, you won’t have to worry about shipping and handling. Once you get a few positive reviews for the same, the sales will pick up.
The only problem is that you need to invest a lot of time in marketing when going with this option.
A great horror story can be sold in many forms. If you’re not fixated on publishing a book, you can also think about converting it into a podcast.
If you have some video editing skills, you can also create horror videos with the basic animated footage in the background and your story in the audio and upload them on YouTube.
Your ad revenue will also increase as you gather more subscribers on YouTube. Later, you can promote your email newsletter or podcast and make money from the same.
Thus, if you’re flexible in how you sell horror stories, this is also a good option.
Horror sells pretty well and there are multiple ways in which you can sell it. There is no need to just sit on the horror story you created. You can make a living from your creativity and imagination. Use the tips above to sell your horror story and make some money.