This month Grady Hendrix's new title, How To Sell A Haunted House, is published. He is a best selling horror author whose books have a lot of crossover appeal to readers who don't necessarily seek out horror. Even if you have a holds list for the book, you can harness his popularity to draw attention to other titles on your shelves.
First, as always, put up signage promoting your holds list. Don't assume that everyone knows how easy it is and what the notification options are. If you have any of his titles as part of your eBook collection, add information about that as well. The purpose of a book display or online booklist is to promote your library's collection. Don't get hung up on specific titles; it's not a homework assignment. Unless you post pictures online, no one is going to grade you. Just search for subject headings and look for titles that are close enough. It's a great way to become more proficient with your searching.
Grady has a backlist which are the easiest titles to add to a book display or book list. Most libraries have copies of: Final Girl Support Group, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, We Sold Our Souls, Paperbacks From Hell, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Horrorstör. Remember to check your collection for large print copies and audiobooks.
Because different readers will approach the same title from different directions, there are always a variety of ways to use an individual title as the basis for a book display. A blog post or online list can include several of the themes in any one book. Haunted house is the most obvious start as it's part of the title and is also a significant plot point. There are also plenty of films about haunted houses.
Local haunted houses, ghost stories, and creepy buildings is a way to work non-fiction into your display/list. Add books from your local collection and more general books from non-fiction. For online resources, add links to reputable sites detailing local haunts and ghost tales. Every place has some local ghost stories. You can bring in a local historian to assist with a program about local haunts if you want to tie a program to the release. Remember horror is not just for October.
Some Florida examples of local haunts?
Campus Haunts: The spookiest spots at UF - hosted on the University of Florida's website, this is an article about ghosts and haunted places on the University of Florida's Gainesville campus.
Creepiest places in Florida guaranteed to haunt your dreams - A Jacksonville TV station's roadmap for a haunted tour around the Sunshine State.
Best Florida ghost stories from Tampa's most haunted places - A Tampa news story about the most haunted places in Tampa, Florida.
I've set up displays with "Not So Happy Home Sweet Home" on a sign and included horror titles and suspense titles. The display focused on both haunted houses and dysfunctional families. A display like that would use another aspect of How To Sell A Haunted House - dysfunctional families and sibling relationships.
Finally we come to creepy dolls, puppets and clowns. Some people have strong feelings about these creepy subjects so be forewarned. This is a great direction to go if you want to include DVDs as there are horror films with that general subject. It's also a way to make a companion youth display. While younger readers are unlikely to pick up Grady's new book, there are plenty of juvenile fiction titles that include creepy dolls and puppets. Look for read alikes for the Goosebumps classic Night of the Living Dummy. Putting youth materials outside of the youth services department is a way to remind your patrons that you do have them in your collection. Also, many kids love spooky books.
More resources -
RA For All Horror: Haunted House Label - Becky Spratford's blog focusing on horror. These are posts with a haunted house label including book reviews and read alikes.
RA For All Horror - Bonus annotations: Ghosts and Haunted Houses - with the third edition of The Readers Advisory Guide to Horror, Becky added bonus content on her blog including book suggestions.
The Readers Advisory Guide to Horror, 3rd Edition - This series is vital for anyone who does readers' advisory, especially in genres that you don't personally read. There is a lot of great horror content including suggested titles in subgenres, podcasts, horror movies, TV shows, historical information, and key authors.
30 Haunted House Books That Will Give You The Creeps - Book Riot's 2019 list includes some classics, modern gems, and youth titles.
Goodreads' list of haunted house books is 1700+ titles long
Living Dangerously: 13 Haunted House Novels: This list from the NYPL is includes because it strays from just straight horror. It shows how you can mine your backlist and get those books circulating
The 20 best haunted house films of all time: This list from Entertainment Weekly should give you a good start if you want to add DVDs to your display or list.
Goodreads has a 6000 + list of books with dysfunctional families.
8 Mysteries and Thrillers About Dysfunctional Families: Book Riot's list includes some good examples from the most popular genre.
Home for the Holidays: Eat Together, Stay Together: The LineUp had Mother Horror, Sadie Hartmann, put together a list of family horror books.
5 Horror Books That Are All About Family: Tor Nightfire has a 2019 list of family horror.
Goodreads' list of Creepy Dolls books
String Pullers: 6 Books Featuring Creepy Dolls and Puppets: A Tor Nightfire list that again shows how broad you can go when featuring a theme in a horror novel.
Toy Story in Hell: 10 Books Featuring Creepy Dolls: Another Book Riot list that does include some youth materials.