Genius Book Publishing has always had one foot in the horror genre, displaying our deep appreciation of dark and disturbing fiction and nonfiction. Not all horror is dark, however, and many works of fiction and nonfiction are disturbing without being horror. We here at Genius Books want to go into the hidden places of your mind and bring your concealed emotions, both dark and light, to the surface. We feel that a mystery, thriller, memoir, or academic work can do that just as well as zombies, vampires, werewolves, and serial killers.
Genius Book Publishing may have its roots in the horror genre, but we are looking to broaden our horizons and expand into new genres. While we're still going to publish true crime and horror, we also have our eyes out for speculative and/or cross-genre mysteries and private detective fiction (think Steven Saylor, Jim Butcher, and Steven Brust), science fiction including space opera and space adventure (more Lois McMaster Bujold than Hero's Journey), and other exciting, funny, well-written books. Our catalog is small at the moment, but we have big plans, and we hope you can be a part of them.
One of the most important characteristics of a publisher is their editorial philosophy. It affects the way they edit, the design of the books and covers, and really dictates which stories they publish and which they pass on. Whether you are a writer or a reader, the editorial philosophy here at Genius Book Publishing will affect your opinion and your experience of the books you find here.
A famous author once said that they write the books that they want to read, but no one else is writing. I agree with that view, but there’s no way I could write as many books as I want to read but that no one has published. So I look to other authors to find those stories and publish them. Sounds simple, right?
At the core of my editorial philosophy is the concept of fun. I want to publish books that I find to be fun. Not “bouncy house, ha ha” fun, but exciting, exhilarating, challenging, adventurous, and compelling. I’m not looking for a roller coaster per se, but something that grabs my emotions by the lapels and won’t let go until the very last word.
Next, I like books that make me work for the ending. I don’t want to be handed explanations and expositions. I want to parse and cajole and interpret my way through the plot to see if I can get to the end before the book does. As an author, there are infinite ways to do that in a story, and there are infinite ways to completely miss the opportunity to do that. I tend to gravitate towards the books that get that part of storytelling right.
I also look for books that are “authentic.” You could say that what I look for is internal consistency, but it goes beyond that. I like books that follow a set of logical rules, whether those rules are invented by the author, by society, or by Mother Nature. Do I need the author to explain those rules to me? Not at all. Much of my favorite fiction explains as little as possible, and lets my mind fill in the rest. When authors need to explain to be understood, it comes across like a poorly told joke with a punchline that needs a user’s manual. At the end of the story, I want to be able to say, “Yeah, that made sense,” without feeling like I will need to pass a quiz.
Finally, I want to publish books that are satisfying. The metaphor I often use is an airplane flight. If the landing is good, even a bumpy flight can be viewed as pleasant. The endings don’t have to land light as a feather. I’m not that picky. But if the wheels touch down hard enough to jar out my fillings, it’s probably a bad landing.
I hope when you read our books, you find that I have kept my promise to bring you fun, complex, authentic books with satisfying endings. I want you to feel that the journey we took you on was worth it.
And if you are an author bringing me the next great novel, I assure you a manuscript that hits all these points will be viewed favorably.