Today we’re going to take a look at the Dorchester/Leisure Horror Book Club.
About Dorchester and the Leisure Horror Line
On the About Us page, it says: “Dorchester Publishing, home of Leisure Books and Love Spell, is an independent publisher specializing in mass-market paperback fiction” including horror.
International Horror Guild Special Award winner and editor Don D’Auria is credited with transforming a horror line that was creeping towards oblivion into the strong quality line that it is today. You can read an interview with him here. Dark Scribe published a more recent interview here
About the Book Club
When you join the Dorchester/Leisure Horror Book Club, you get the first two books for free — you only pay for the cost of shipping. There after you get a pair of book each month to review for ten days. Then you pay the invoice or return the unwanted books.
The books are 35-40% off of the retail price. Even with shipping, you’re paying less for the books than if you picked them up at a bookstore. There is no minimum number of books you need to buy. You can cancel anytime you wish.
As a book club member you qualify for special discounts. For every 5 books you buy from the book catalog (not including your monthly book club book purchases), you get an extra book free. Occasionally they have a clearance sale where you can buy books for as little as a dollar. These offers arrive in the box with your books.
How to Join
The Horror Book Club is one of several paperback book clubs that Dorchester offers. When you go to the book club page, you’ll find the Horror Book Club listed half way down the page. Click the mouse on the box in front of the book club’s name and then scroll down to the bottom and click the Sign Me Up! button.
On the next page you fill in your name and address and other information. You also need to fill in a credit card information to pay for the postage and handling of your first two free books. After that you’ll get an invoice with each shipment. Click on the Join Now button at the bottom of the page and that’s it! You’ve signed up.
The Customer Service
The customer service is excellent and I’ve had a couple of occasions to test it.
The first time was when I received the Thriller Book Club introductory order by mistake. I went to their customer service page on the website, explained what had happened and the next day I was told the correct introductory horror package had been shipped to me and to please keep the thriller books as their gift. Very nice.
About half a year ago our finances changed and my wife called to make payment of a book shipment I’d forgotten about. They were very nice to my wife, pleasant and even suggested an automatic withdrawal from our account instead of invoicing (which I tended to lose). She set it up right over the phone and we’ve been happy with it ever since.
The Book Selection
The horror novels published by Leisure runs the gamut from the extreme horror to psychological horror to humorous horror to a subtle horror and everything in between. It seems the only constant is that its well written.
Leisure Horror line publishes several different types of books. They publish:
- Original, never before published horror novels
- Reprints of small press horror novels, often award nominated or award winners, which tend to be difficult to get.
- Revised and expanded stories that were published in a shorter format
- Reprints of old classics — such as reprinting out-of-print and hard-to-get titles by Richard Laymon.
Original: It is difficult to be certain which novels are original — coming up, The Resurrectionist by Wrath James White, Feeding Ground by Sarah Pinborough and The 13th by John Everson are original.
Reprints of Small Press Novels: Urban Gothic by Brian Keene, Pressure by Jeff Strand and Golem by Edward Lee all saw print in beautiful but expensive hardcover or trade paperback format from the leading horror small presses.
Revised and Expanded Stories: Of the books coming out in 2009, the only expanded and revised novel that I know of is Far Dark Fields by Gary A. Braunbeck. Other books Gary has published with Leisure that I know were revised and expanded include In Silent Graves and Mr. Hands.
Reprints of Old Classics: Currently that would be the late, honored Richard Laymon. Most of his horror novels are being reprinted over the course of a few years. This includes Dark Mountain and Flesh by Richard Laymon.
In all the time I’ve been a member of the Dorchester/Leisure Horror Book Club, I’ve received no collection of short stories and only one anthology — a tribute anthology comprised of three novellas. A very few books held novellas with a back up story behind it — Mr. Hands by Gary A. Braunbeck had the award winning “Kiss of the Mudman” novella as a back up. The Attraction by Douglas Clegg had “The Necromancer” by him as well. In both cases, the front story and the backup story were sought by me and I eas ecstatic to find out my book had an extra value story.
I highly recommend The Dorchester/Leisure Horror Book Club. It gives you two books a month for one great low price and many titles I’ve gotten were books that I desperately wanted but couldn’t afford or couldn’t find because they were out-of-print. They’re also good at introducing me to new authors, writers I’d never heard of before, such as Gord Rollo, W. D. Gagliani, Nate Kenyon and Robert Dunbar.
If I could only afford one book club, this is the one I’d go with.
The Horror Book Clubs Series:
Part 1 — An Introduction to Horror Book Clubs
Part 2 — The Leisure Horror Book Club
Part 3 — The Delirium Books Horror Paperback Book Club
Part 4 — The 2008 Cemetery Dance Book Club
Part 5 — The Stephen King/Doubleday Book Club