2013: A Year in Review
2013 was a stellar year for us. We went from being a complete nonentity in 2012, with just 20 posts and 30,000 views, to a blossoming outlet for fans of horror fiction in 2013. To say our numbers climbed significantly is selling the big picture a bit short on shading. We pulled a quarter of a million views in 2013, tacked on an additional 700 posts, built our writing crew up immensely and successfully kicked off the Facebook page, thanks – virtually single handedly – to the prolific James Keen. Despite all of the stress that comes with struggling to get a new business off the ground, I’m remarkably happy with how things played out for us last year. Knowing that our growth continues to barrel forward is reassuring, to say the least.
Below you’ll find a list of some of our greatest pieces and accomplishments of 2013, along with some much deserved praise for a few key players in the HNR realm.
The Dark Sight of Art
Last year we formed a partnership with artist Danny Melby (keep an eye out for our official announcement – which has yet to be made on a grand scale). Danny’s been whipping up amazing graphics for years, earning a stellar reputation in the mixed martial arts community thanks to a strong work ethic and some insane imagery. Danny’s work can be seen on television regularly, as he’s crafted graphic designs and sponsored some high caliber athletes competing for some major fight promotions. But Danny isn’t the kind of guy to stop once things start looking up. Nope, this guy works his ass off, and he’s entered the world of the macabre with an open mind and a desire to give back to genre fans in a major way.
Danny made a splash with his vintage-meets-contemporary artwork for our inaugural e-release, One Hellacious Halloween Volume 1, and followed that up with some wicked graphics for the site itself, and an absolutely mind blowing cover for our Christmas themed release, When Red Snow Melts.
2014 sees a heftier work load for the man, as he’s busy plugging away on a cover for our first poetry release as well as a series of brand new, exclusive limited edition film and novel posters. We’ve got a beautiful piece for Stephen King’s, The Shining on the cusp of reveal, and a gnarly, gnarly reimagining of the original Black Christmas cover following shortly thereafter.
Trust me when I tell you that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Together, we’re working to bring the masses something special, and Danny’s talents are going to be on display in a major, major way in 2014!
Entering the Publishing World
This year, after a struggle with funds to get our first print anthology off the ground (we still haven’t released the book, but it is coming soon, thanks to the big swing in momentum we’ve experienced), we were able to put together two highly entertaining collections.
One Hellacious Halloween Volume 1 (order it here) featured a slew of tremendous talent. The anthology features over 30 flash fiction stories from the likes of Terry M. West, Ian McCain, J.T. Seate and V.E. Hunter.
While sales weren’t mind boggling, they did exist. We sold a respectable number of this book, and continue to do so, even with the holiday season having passed us by a few months ago.
We followed One Hellacious Halloween Volume 1 up with our first Christmas themed collection, When Red Snow Melts (order it here). As I’d hoped, the collection boasts a marked improvement in quality, two guest pieces from the amazing Joe R. Lansdale, riveting work from Terry M. West, Richard Farren Barber, JC Hemphill, Robin Dover, Glenn Rolfe and more. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that sales are going great. We’re pulling money down to dump back into this machine, and that’s a comforting fact. It’s imperative that we grow, and successful releases like this are going to allow us to continue doing just that.
Be prepared for our catalog to grow significantly in 2014. We’ve already got a series of books tapped for release.
Branching Out and Covering Film
Horror novels will of course remain the primary focus of HorrorNovelReviews.com, for obvious reasons. However, film is always hot, and horror films, now more than ever, are really sizzling. This year we stepped up to enter the realm of celluloid coverage. We’ve taken to releasing the occasional film review (in a few cases, advance reviews) as well as some amazing editorial works.
Movie mania here at HNR will only grow in 2014, as we’ve already sealed up a few deals with some quality distributors that will enable us to continue giving you the scoop on the latest features, before the rest of the world gets a chance to check them out.
Author Appreciation Days
Wayne came up with a really cool idea to host author appreciation days this year, and I’m grateful to the man for the spur of the moment strike of genius. It was an awesome concept that’s paid off in a big way. We hosted a series of appreciation days in 2013 (Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale and Jack Ketchum all earned honors), and every last one of them proved to be profoundly successful. In fact, Joe Lansdale and Jack Ketchum stepped up to be directly involved, which was an immense honor.
Will we bring you more events of this nature in 2014? You bet we will! Clive Barker, Jonathan Maberry – I’m looking at you!
While technically we won’t be sponsoring our first event until March, the deal was sealed months ago, while 2013 was still alive and kicking. We’re tapped to make an appearance and lend some helping hands at the 2014 Twisted Terror Convention in Sacramento, California on March 29-30. We’ll be selling loads of merchandise, including tee-shirts, posters and yes, of course, books!
This event will mark the first major public appearance of the HNR brand, and I’ll be working to bring a few of our dedicated authors out to sign some books, take some pics and shoot the shit with California fans!
The Top 10 Articles of 2013
Here’s a look at the 10 most viewed articles to be featured on HNR last year.
1 The 10 Scariest Novels of All Time
2 The Top 10 Horror Novels of 2013
3 The Top Ten “New” Horror Authors
4 The Top Ten Modern Gothic Novels
5 The Top Ten Gothic Novels from the 1800s
6 The 10 Scariest Movies of All Time
7 Dean Koontz “Deeply Odd” Review
8 Horror’s 13 Greatest Villains in Novels
9 The 10 Most Overrated Horror Novels of All Time
10 Top 10 Reasons Horror Fans Love the 80s
1,000+ Facebook followers
1,000+ direct site subscribers
And finally, let me just wrap with a big THANK YOU! to those who really put in some amazing work this year. Vitina Molgaard, James Keen, Drake Morgan, Wayne C. Rogers, Paula Limbaugh, William Massa, Tim Meyer, Tyler Reedy and the most colorful personality aboard this ship: Anthony Rapino. You guys have been instrumental in our evolution. There are plenty of others out there who helped make 2013 a success year for HNR, but I’m tired, and I don’t want to name everyone. You guys all rock, and I appreciate what you’ve done for us! I’m done typing now…
Looking forward to another year at Horror Novel Reviews…I am proud to be a part of all this and of the things that have been achieved this last year. Kudos and much thanks to all of the others who have been working here with the rest of us….Here is a big yah hoo for the coming things this year. And a big thank you to you Matt ,who opened up this opportunity for me to be growing and doing what I love to do….reading and being real about it….just me….Vitina
Congrats on a great ’13, so far it looks as if that’s your lucky number. I’m sure ’14 will be even better for you. I’ve enjoyed your site almost since the beginning, please keep up the great work!
I think 2014 is the year that dreams finally start becoming a BIG reality.
Awesome year! Let’s go even BIGGER in 2014! Huge thanks to all of you involved. You guys are really making something special here. Glad to be a small part of that!
WOW 2014 is where it’s AT!!
Congratulations on a year well lived! May 2014 chill many more bones!