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Well, I've gone and joined the Leisure Horror book club...

Thing(amabrarian)s That Go Bump in the Night

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Oct 9, 2008, 10:34pm Top

I sure wish that publishing house had picked a better name for their horror division.

Anyway, Leisure publishes two mass market paperbacks a month and I've noticed for the past two months I bought both books (Brides of the Impaler, Covenant, Water Witch and Found You) and am planning on buying both of the books for November (Beware and The Pines). I noticed that some of the other members were able to get their books before I did. Turned out they were part of the Leisure book club.

So I finally bit the bullet and joined their club.

What I'm wanting to know is: Now what? For board readers who are members, when do the books arrive? How do I handle returns? Are they in good shape usually?

Oct 24, 2008, 9:57pm Top

I've been a member of the Leisure horror club for about three years. The books have always arrived in excellent condition as they are packed tightly in a wraparound box (you'll see what I mean when you receive your first ones). However, I have suspended my membership for a while as I'm not interested in the November books, nor many of the upcoming books in the next few months. I've already read the original Leisure publication of The Pines and I don't like Laymon, so no need to spend $10.50 this month. I will pick up Wrath's book in December, but that will be it for a few months.

I've never had to return one, but I've inquired before and they say you can mark it "Return to Sender" or "Refused" and it will be sent back. I think you have 10 days to examine them and you can return one or both. I don't know if they pay for return shipping, but I doubt it. I imagine they credit you $5.25 for one or $10.50 for both.

I normally received mine anywhere from the 16th of the prior month to the 28th. I've never received them in the month they are listed for publication.

Customer service is always very cordial and have quickly answered any questions I've had.

One note, don't be surprised if the book club cost goes up soon. The $10.50 has been set for a while, when the books were $6.99 each (and maybe less, I don't remember). Originally, only the biggest selling authors books went to $7.99 (Laymon, Keene, for example), but now all of them are $7.99. Maybe they won't raise the price, but with shipping costs continually going up and the cost to print going up, I wouldn't be surprised if a higher monthly book club cost happens soon.

Oct 25, 2008, 1:24pm Top


Thanks for answering my post. I'm expecting the first books any day now.

Hey, how do you see the upcoming books? I've gone to their website, but it only shows a month in advance.

Edited: Oct 25, 2008, 8:45pm Top


I got the list from a horror messageboard. Here's what is on tap through August:

JAKE'S WAKE by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow
BLACK CATHEDRAL by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims

CASTAWAYS by Brian Keene
SOULTAKER by Bryan Smith

MARCH 2009
DARK MOUNTAIN by Richard Laymon
CRIMSON by Gord Rollo

APRIL 2009
GOLEM by Edward Lee
BESTIAL by Ray Garton

MAY 2009
DEATH MASK by Graham Masterton
SACRIFICE by John Everson

JUNE 2009
COVER by Jack Ketchum
PRESSURE by Jeff Strand

JULY 2009
THE SHORE by Robert Dunbar

URBAN GOTHIC by Brian Keene
FAR DARK FIELDS by Gary A. Braunbeck

Oct 26, 2008, 7:35pm Top

Wow, so I'll be buying both books in February, March and July and at least one book in April, May, July and August. Glad I joined I guess.

Hey, do you know what happened to Simon Clarke? He hasn't had a book out from Leisure for a while now. He was always wildly inconsistent in quality, but when he was good, he was really good.

I guess I could just go search that out myself...

Edited: Nov 5, 2008, 8:51pm Top

I'll probably keep my membership frozen until April. The only book in the first three months that interests me is Crimson, so I'll pick that up elsewhere online. I really enjoy Keene, but I read the short story that was expanded into Castaways. That short story, from Fear of Gravity, is the only one in the collection that I didn't like, so no need to read an expanded version. From April through August, both books in each month interest me.

Clark's contract with Dorchester may have run out. The authors might get a book deal for a certain number of books to be published. Then, based on sales and other factors such as returned, unsold books, their contracts may or may not be renewed. Some authors ended up with contracts for bigger publishers and moved on (like Tim Lebbon). I agree on Clark's quality. A few of his, such as Blood Crazy and Stranger were great post-apocalyptic/end of the world novels.

Keene seems to be their biggest seller now and has two books a year. Laymon must be a big seller as well since there seems to be two of his released per year, many of which didn't see US publication before his death. Every other author seems to have, at most, one release per year.

Oct 27, 2008, 2:00pm Top

Ha! Stranger was one of his terrible books for me. It didn't seem planned out too well. Like he made it up as he went along so that things didn't feel like they fit together very well. Also, his locations didn't seem realistic at all.

Stephen King would write about something as unlikely as a city on an island in the middle of a lake, but he would give enough hum-drum details to make it believable. Clarke didn't do that with Stranger.

I didn't know Michael Laimo was dropped. He'd had a sequel announced for Deep in the Darkness. Do you know if Leisure will be publishing it?

I need to try Brian Keene again. As much good stuff as I've heard about him, I hated The Rising (though I've continued to pick up his books due to the positive word of mouth).

Edited: Nov 5, 2008, 8:52pm Top

In This Skin was the one Clark novel that I've read which I didn't like. Stranger wasn't perfect, and not as well written as Blood Crazy, but I found it to be a worthwhile read. However, I can see why it wouldn't appeal to some.

On the Dorchester boards and other places, Laimo mentioned that sales were down on previous books and he needed some good sales numbers, otherwise Fires Rising would be his last with Leisure. Somewhere later he posted that he and Leisure would no longer be working together. I don't know if they didn't offer another contract, or offered a lowball contract, or something else. He did say that the sequel to Deep in the Darkness has been written and I think he was looking (and might have found, I don't remember) a future publisher.

Ghost Walk is the only Keene that I thought was so-so. I liked The Rising for many reasons, one being that it was different from other zombie stories with intelligent zombies. I was one of the few who thought he should have left the story open-ended and not written the sequel, but the fans and Dorchester wanted the sequel. The sequel wasn't bad, but it was just was an action-loaded book. If you want to try something different by Keene, pick up Terminal. It's not horror, but there are some supernatural-type elements in it. He's creating his own universe called The Labyrinth throughout his various books. I think he's writing the books directly involving Labyrinth now and it's projected to be a 7+ book series.

Nov 5, 2008, 10:23pm Top

Okay, I hadn't gotten my books yet (I suspect my moron in-laws lost them as they were watching my mail while I was on vacation) so I called Leisure yesterday. I got a replacement box today. I have to say I appreciate their customer service. Very friendly and helpful.

Jan 26, 2009, 3:40pm Top

I've been a member of Leisure for about 6 months now. Love the selection.

Edited: Jan 27, 2009, 8:58am Top

I didn't really want either of the January books (Jake's Wake and Black Cathedral) but never got around to mailing them back.

Anybody ever have to reutrn their books?

Jan 28, 2009, 1:52pm Top

I have been a member for just about over a year now. I have never returned a book, and I don't think that I will either. Just seems like too much work and costly having to ship them back from Canada again.

I will read them all...eventually.

Jan 28, 2009, 8:35pm Top

I feel so bad! I was wondering why they never sent me February's books. I was looking forward to 'em. I didn't know that they wouldn't automatically charge the books to my credit card monthly if I joined by phone. I finally opened January's books (the ones I was considering returning) and found a bill for $22.00!

I have to say that their customer service is terrific. I had to order February's books separately from the normal club stuff and got 'em for $8.00 total (with shipping!).


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