I've been reading reviews ever since I was kid, primarily film reviews, and writing my own reviews for nearly a decade now, initially as a freelance writer and, later, for my own entertainment. Back in 2010, I began writing reviews of comic book trade collections and graphic novels for Graphic Novel Reporter, before I decided to switch over to writing primarily for own blog and the occasional audiobook review for the Audiobook Reviewer website.
I've always been a fan of reviews and there are a few reviewers I follow religiously, like horror film critic Scott Weinberg, book reviewer Char at Char's Horror Corner, and Sadie Hartmann, aka Mother Horror, who writes for Scream Magazine and Cemetery Dance, to name but a few. Growing up, I was always sure to watch Siskel and Ebert At the Movies, and every Friday morning I was the first one in our house to tear the newspaper apart to get to the Entertainment column for the new movie review columns. I've always loved reading, writing, and movies, and if I could distill all three into one single job I'd have my dream career. Unfortunately, making a living as a critic isn't so easy nowadays, and I've had to forego a professional platform in favor of my own.
However, after reading a bit of Weinberg's independently published compilation of his horror film reviews in MODERN HORRORS: An A to Z of Horror Movie Reviews, I decided to try my own hand at it, but with the focus being exclusively on horror books.
The Horror Book Review Digest is intended to be a quarterly compilation collecting the book reviews I've published here and elsewhere. The bulk of the reviews are centered on recently released and upcoming titles from Big 5 publishers, small presses, and independent authors and publishers, as well as the occasional older title or classic work in the horror genre. Much of this first volume of The Horror Book Review Digest is devoted to 2018 releases, including upcoming titles from Flame Tree Press and Fangoria Presents, two new imprints launching in September.
At only $2.99, purchasing The Horror Book Review Digest is a cheap way for you to show your support for the work I do at this site and for my publishing efforts in general. It's a handy, easily-accessible guide for the latest horror reads, with reviews organized in alphabetical order by author. And yes, each of these reviews are readily available on this site and external sites for free.
Is this a good idea? Frankly, I don't know. I don't know if there's a market for this type of material to begin with, or if people feel my reviews are sufficiently well-written enough to pay me for my time and effort. The Horror Book Review Digest is, first and foremost, an experiment. Maybe it'll succeed, maybe it'll fail. I don't know.
Back in July I ran a Twitter poll that netted some very limited responses, but the results indicated there was a measure of support for this initiative. I also posted a question asking if there was any interest on Facebook, and also as an Instagram story, and again the feedback to both was largely positive. Positive enough, anyway, to convince me it was worth a shot. Now it's time to put those minor bits of market research to the test.
I'm hoping and planning to release a few more volumes like this over the course of 2019 but it all depends on how well this initial book sells, if there's any enthusiasm for this kind of release, and what kind of response I get now that The Horror Book Review Digest is out in the wild. You can buy it right now at the following retailers (iBooks link coming soon!).