Niche Literary Magazines are Dying. Crowdfunding is Saving them.

Eighty percent of U.S. books are produced by the Big Five publishers, but with each passing year — and with a stable small number of annual releases — independent presses are earning more of the literary conversation, gaining frequent articles and reviews in the New York Times, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and more.”

- The Atlantic.

In 2017, according to, the most profitable book sales genres were:

· Romance & Erotica: A staggering $1.4 billion.

· Crime & Mystery: $728.2 million.

· Religious & Inspirational: $720 million.

· Science Fiction & Fantasy: $590.2 million.

· Horror: $79.6 million. Yes, that includes the works of prolific authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

For authors who aren’t discovered by one of the Big Five publishers, finding a home for their writing isn’t always easy. This holds especially true for authors writing in niche genres like weird/strange fiction and horror. Wait…horror is a niche genre, you say? Yes, at least in the written form it is. $79.6 million (or 2%) is a drop in the bucket compared to the other genre sales figures listed above.

Horror in film is a different story. In fact, it’s one of the most profitable movie genres out there (just read this article). Take the independent film Paranormal Activity, for example. It was produced with an $11,000 budget and grossed a massive $193 million at the box office (a 17,545% return!).

And it’s not alone.

With the recent renaissance in horror/strange fiction in television and film, movies like Get OutBird BoxA Quiet Place, and It, and television series like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, and the upcoming Twilight Zone, you would think publishers would be rushing to find the next wave of horror/strange fiction authors, right?

Not really, and it’s not for a lack of material — there’s plenty of great writing out there — but major publishers aren’t exactly flocking to it. And why would they? The profit’s just not there.

Read the rest on Medium.

Caleb Stephens