Not too long ago while browsing one of the horror groups I belong to, a query came up asking about where someone might find websites that review horror novels. I imagine the writer of that post was a self-pubber trying to hawk her book without being obnoxious about it. She was doing something smart too: asking her peers for their experience; that knuckled-down, hard-won, bloody-teeth wisdom of what to do when google fails to deliver.
The poster listed the top three google search results, and I found that a little disheartening. There are thousands of sites out there that review horror, dark, and speculative fiction — the difficulty is that they’re sometimes hard to find. For example, I stumbled onto this Goodreads thread a while back. The original poster asked, “Does anyone know any good horror-related book blogs?”
Insert a hundred and five replies at the time of this posting, and growing.
This is one of those things that requires peeking under the bed, it seems:
How do you find people to review your work and boost your book sales?
If you’re an self-published author with a new release and you want to put your book in front of a large audience to gain exposure, to make your presence known, or to announce the existence of the thing cheaply and efficiently, reviews and blog-based promotion is definitely an avenue worth exploring, but yes: if you want volume, you’re going to have to work for it. This is a numbers game that follows in the vein of: more exposure gets you more sales. Ever wondered why people keep telling you to build your mailing list as part of your author platform? That’s why: it’s a numbers game — at first. Later is becomes the Game of Testing when your metrics demonstrate that they are in fact, shit, because maybe your button colour doesn’t appeal to your demographic, or your calls to action suck. #murketing That’s another discussion for another time.
Book Tour Sites
There are sites that you can pay to distribute the “ask” to their email lists: their emails lists consisting of thousands of book bloggers who are invited to review your work for free in exchange for an honest review, if your book interests them when they receive the request. I belong to a mailing list run by Bewitching Book Tours, and usually when a horror title comes up amidst the paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I look into it. There are no pure horror Blog Tours sites (at the time of this posting,) however, which would address the niche’s needs. (Yes, I’ve considered it already. My answer is: not at this time, sorry. If I didn’t have a full time day job and the writing side hustle, this would be a thing so fast you’d need to catch those spinning heads Exorcist-style in slo-mo.)
But what if I don’t want to fork out the skrilla?
If you don’t want to pay, then DIY: you research the review venues, and you query them for a review, and you keep your requests organized, and do your follow-ups, etc.
It’s not impossible, it’s just a bit more work. (Read: they don’t call it a “hustle for nothing.” Work.)
I’ve been poking around a bit to see if there are some top-tier sites that might offer book reviews for horror novels and young adult horror too. This is a fledgling list of a few sites that I follow myself (because I trust them), as well as a few that I came across while digging around online to see what else was out there (because I like beefy lists.)
Are you a book blogger?
If you have a website of your own that you run where you review books, you’re a book blogger, a bookstagrammer, or you offer some other sort of promotion for authors writing dark fiction, feel free to submit a link at the bottom of this post, let me know in the comments, or drop me a line. I’d be thrilled to point people in your direction.
Sites that Review Horror Fiction and Horror Novels for free
List Updated: May 30, 2016.
Terms to Search for:
If you’re still coming up dry in your searches, try the following search terms when you’re googling. You’d be surprised what comes up that might be beneficial:
- Sites that review horror fiction
- Sites that review horror novels
- Sites that review ya horror
- Sites that review horror books
- Sites that review horror stories
- Horror book blogs
- Horror book bloggers
- Dark fiction book bloggers
- Dark fiction book blogs
- Debsites that review speculative fiction
- etc. etc. ad nauseum
Good luck, and for the readers out there — enjoy. 🙂