Blumhouse Is Launching A Book Imprint

The people behind PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS are getting textual. 

The night before Halloween I was invited to the Blumhouse Productions offices, located in a surprisingly downmarket section of Los Angeles (but right next to the best bagels in the city, so maybe that's why they chose it). It was a mystery event, and the assembled reporters buzzed with theories on what warranted the secrecy. We considered reboots, remakes and partnerships with other production companies (Blumhouse getting their hands on Friday the 13th was a very popular guess).

It turns out none of us were even remotely close to the truth. After a tour of the office space - which is so spookily lit that I kept expecting the event to turn into one of Blumhouse's patented haunted house experiences - we assembled in the Blumhouse screening room. I was really enjoying the energy of Jason Blum, the man behind the company that not only brings us Insidious and the Paranormal Activity movies but also stuff like Normal Heart and Oscar contender Whiplash, and I was excited to see what he had up his sleeve. I was surprised by what was there:

Books.

Blumhouse is branching out into print. They make movies, they have TV shows lined up and they do haunted houses (which they operate at an annual loss, Blum told me. He wants to figure out a way where he doesn't have to pay to have people get scared in his haunts, but they're not there yet) and now they're going into books. Blumhouse Books is an imprint set up at Random House, and their first book is called The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City. It's a collection of 20 short stories written by Blumhouse friends and family, including Eli Roth and Ethan Hawke. C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson were on hand to do a reading from their contribution. Blum says they have 19 stories lined up for the 20 story collection.

That missing story? You've probably guessed it by now: it could be yours. Blumhouse is running a contest to have one lucky person get their story placed in the collection. It has to be based in a city - Blum feels horror is too often rural or suburban - and there's some other rigamarole. You can find out all of it here

I mentioned that I liked Blum's energy. I also liked that he's losing money on his haunts but still doing them anyway. And what made me really go Team Jason Blum (if not Team Blumhouse Movies exactly) is the fact that this short story collection isn't some kind of massive synergy thing. Blum doesn't own the rights to the stories. The authors do. He doesn't have a first look deal with these stories - some of which he says would make great movies. He just really wants to publish cool horror short stories. This isn't a business-minded corporate decision. He would like to make money on it, sure, but this isn't about finding the next Blumhouse franchise. It's about publishing fun horror. 

That's awesome. The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City will be out in hardcover, paperback and ebook all at once in June of 2015. 

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