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FINDING GOOD ICKY BUG – WHEN ONE OF YOUR GENRES IS UNDER-REPRESENTED IN THE BOOKSTORE

May 25, 2016

Though the title talks icky bug (my word for horror for those of you new to my site), this applies to all of you that have a penchant for any genre or sub-genre out of the mainstream.

Bookstores, just by virtue of their business model, have to make money. They’re out to sell books and tend to put books out there that sell big. The problem is that they also pander to the big five publishers and their whims. Even if the odd genre or sub-genre might sell better than a pet interest that sells little, if the big five don’t favor it, the bookstores won’t stock it. Period.

Speaking only from my own interests, I know that icky bug…okay, horror to most of you…is the bastard child of the publishing industry.

NICHE MARKET

Horror is a niche market. It doesn’t sell as big as say…fantasy, westerns, romance or whatever. However, there are fans. Lots of them.

What are the publisher’s answers to that?

I cringe when I repeat this but I’ve heard it over and over again. “If you aren’t Stephen King, forget about it.”

Well, screw you!

So much for a niche market.

BUILT IN BIAS

Face it folks, if you write horror, you automatically have a strike against you. You’re obviously not Stephen King, so what next?

Most publishers either won’t even talk to you, or if they do, they want writing so above the “best of the best,” you don’t have a chance in hell of getting published.

CAUSE AND EFFECT

Because of the built in bias of the industry, many frustrated horror authors have taken it upon themselves to self-publish. Sometimes with disastrous – sometimes outstanding results, but with little to no promotion or distribution. Those disastrous tomes have resulted in a lot of crap out there. On the other hand, there are plenty of cool and outstanding stories just waiting to be found.

That’s the key. Waiting to be found!

WHERE’S ALL THE GREAT ICKY BUG?

Folks, there’s plenty of icky bug I wouldn’t waste my money on. Sub genres like splatter gore and serial killer, torture porn and the like are not my thing. However, good old b-movie monster horror, what I fully embrace as icky bug is what I’m talking about. It’s out there. It’s stuff you’ll never see in a bookstore. The big five turn their noses up at that stuff. It’s “not worthy,” apparently.

Sure, a lot of them are self-published. A lot of these books are great stories but in need of decent editors. A lot of them could use better artwork. Yet there are still plenty of independent publishers cranking this stuff out. They’re there, all you have to do is look for them.

I recently made a significant (well, to me anyway) order from Amazon. After all, that big “store” is, right now, the only place I’ll ever find these b-movie monster stories.

I hit the jackpot. I’ll never ever find books like this at Barnes & Noble or any other brick and mortar store. As much as I like to shop and support the local chain and independent bookstores, I want to support authors who write what I like also. Sure, I like other genres, but I need my icky bug fix.

I purchased a mix of self-published as well as very professional works. I’m having a great time.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you have a genre or sub-genre the big five ignore? Do you have books the stores just don’t or won’t carry? Of course, you can maybe special order them through the store, or just break down and make an order through Amazon. In my case, some of these books, especially the self-pubbed ones, weren’t always available as special order through Barnes & Noble. Now, I haven’t tried special ordering through the independent stores yet. That could be a next step one day.

Happy writing!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2016 5:53 pm

    I was never one to like the slasher books/movies either. It’s the icky bug and the unknown that gets to me. That also includes the supernatural and dinosaurs. I can still remember my reaction to the T-Rex eating the lawyer in the book Jurassic Park. It was both exhilaration and horror. I WAS THERE!! I even had to lay the book down for a minute to reorganize my brain. We need more icky bug books in today’s world. Our brains need the self-stimulation that comes from books which somehow isn’t fulfilled by simply watching a movie.

    Some movies do have their impact though. The suspense and creepiness of watching the old classic flick, Night of the Demon, still stays with me even in my adult life. I’m always drawn back to relive the horror of that demon, to be watched in the dark. Also, the effect is so much better in black and white than color. The old monochrome gives the movie a more sinister and evil effect.

    Live on icky bug!

    • June 3, 2016 1:31 pm

      Bonnie!

      Thanks for the comments! Yeah, I have lots of fond memories of classic icky bug from the past. My nightmare memory was the Angry Red Planet when Les Tremayne (sp?) was eaten by this blob thing and you can see him floating inside the thing and hear a crunching sound. That freaked me out for a long time!

      I grew up on the classics like that one, The Blob, Them!, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Creature From 20,000 Fathoms… the list goes on. The books actually came later when you used to find them in bookstores before the big five dominated the marketplace.

      So it goes…

      Fred

      • June 3, 2016 1:33 pm

        Bonnie,

        Thanks so much for the kind words!

        Yeah, Lovecraft was available back in the day when I was still finding what I liked and didn’t like to read and even back then, I couldn’t get into his writing. The icky bug part I could but even back then, I couldn’t get past a few paragraphs before I put it down. Back then I didn’t know why.

        For those writers that could get through it, they were rewarded with good icky bug which spawned generations of great stuff I COULD read!

        So it goes.

        Fred

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