Crystal Lake Publishing

is creating Dark Fiction and Horror stories/books and support for authors!

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Limited to 30 patrons (as a reward to those who have followed us from the start), $1 patrons will receive all updates and behind-the-scenes access, except for the fiction and non-fiction posts/stories that are exclusive to the $5 and higher tiers.

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$3 patrons will have access to all our exclusive updates and behind the scenes info, as well as access to the featured author posts.

Please take note that $3 patrons do not have access to our monthly Shallow Waters flash fiction stories, the Still Water Bay episodes, or our author-centered posts. Only $5 and higher tiers have access to those posts.

Authors on the go!

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This tier is strongly geared toward authors, but includes all our fiction posts, as well. 

$5 patrons will receive full behind the scenes access, as well as brand new interviews, guest posts, weekly motivation and exercises, as well as access to the featured author posts. This is our way of keeping our Writers on Writing series alive.  You'll also receive a weekly (every Monday) practical challenge / prompt to help you improve your craft, imagination, or output. Since this tier also receives fiction posts, you'll have access to our Still Water Bay episodes, our Shallow Waters flash fiction stories, and sneak peeks inside upcoming releases.

At times we'll send out questionnaires to help us better understand what you’re going through and what your needs are. Supporters will also receive all our On Writing books as they are published. 

Authors on this tier will also be able to send in their submissions a month before any of our submission windows open. Whether it's for a novel, collection, or anthology. 

You can also recommend which questions to ask our authors in upcoming interviews.



About Crystal Lake Publishing

Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths
(recipient of the HWA's Specialty Press Award)

Although this is a Patreon project to support the growth of one of the world’s leading independent publishers of Dark Fiction and Horror books, it's more about sharing behind the scenes content and creating a community--a community where authors and readers can find exclusive content and become part of the Crystal Lake adventure. We pledge to offer patrons as much content as we can possibly create or assemble, to entertain, guide, motivate, and support. As more goals are unlocked we will do even more to entertain readers with the best in fiction, while supporting and mentoring the careers of every author we come across. Welcome to Crystal Lake Publishing.

"Crystal Lake are good people doing fine work. Always worth watching for their latest.”Jack Ketchum

This is also the home of Still Water Bay, our very own Dark Fiction series.

Crystal Lake Publishing is a multi-time Bram Stoker-award winning press (and HWA Specialty Press Award recipient), as well as a multiple Publisher of the Year Award recipient from This Is Horror. We’ve been representing Dark Fiction and its creators since 2012, and have worked with the likes of Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, John Connolly, Jack Ketchum, Stephen King, George A. Romero, Wes Craven, Tony Todd, Kristi DeMeester, Joe R. Lansdale, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Graham Masterton, Chuck Palahniuk, Kevin Lucia, Mercedes M. Yardley, Tim Waggoner, Christopher Golden, Elizabeth Massie, Adam Nevill, Lucy A. Snyder, William Meikle, Lisa Morton, Ellen Datlow, Paul Tremblay, Charlaine Harris, Jonathan Maberry, Edward Lee, Kevin J. Anderson, Ramsey Campbell, William F. Nolan, Marv Wolfman, Amber Benson, Mort Castle, Tom Holland, Jess Landry, Craig Engler, Bev Vincent, Josh Malerman, Stephen Graham Jones, and hundreds more.

"One look at Crystal Lake's track record (as well as the stellar titles in their forthcoming lineup) and you know they're the real deal. CLP are here to stay and for the ultimate horror fan, that's a reason to rejoice!" - Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY, KIN, and SOUR CANDY

Our most recent release:

Why we need you:
Let’s be honest, running a successful small press that averages twenty top quality books a year takes a lot of money. And it's becoming more and more difficult these days with so many small presses closing their doors. We want to look well into the future and ensure that Crystal Lake Publishing remains financially strong, while also releasing at least one book every month. We want to be here for generations to come, for our readers and authors. 
Every bit helps, since this will give us the steady monthly income we need to expand our borders. It used to be that small presses could take a chance on a young author, but these days it's becoming more and more of a risk. With Patreon, we'll be able to still take risks and focus on art. I don't know about you, but I'd like to continue looking for young talent, shaping and then publishing that talent. We'll also be able to venture into innovative types of marketing, always trying new and creative techniques without risking our existence.

With your help, Crystal Lake Publishing will be around for a very long time.

"Crystal Lake Publishing have been a real pleasure to work with - professional, prompt, and with a true passion for the genre."Tim Lebbon, author of The Silence and The Rage War

What’s in it for you?

In return for your monthly patronage, you will receive amazing rewards and discounts from Crystal Lake Publishing. Rewards catered for readers and authors. This includes our monthly Shallow Waters flash fiction challenge, the Still Water Bay episodes, author interviews, guest author posts, live chats, and a lot of behind the scenes content and sneak peeks. Our $3 and up patrons also receive monthly promo codes to use in the Crystal Lake store.

Awards include free eBooks via email, paperbacks delivered to your door, author support, and brand new fiction - all depending on the tier you choose. Our Patreon wall will be filled with updates and behind-the-scenes info. You can interact with us, take a look at early artwork drafts for upcoming Crystal Lake titles, and take sneak peeks at upcoming books (story, poem, interior artwork, or chapter). You can even message us. About anything. We really want to get to know you. You will also see exclusive content such as interviews and guest blogs (a way to keep our Writers on Writing series alive). Further rewards include recommending which questions to ask our authors in upcoming interviews, as well as (for you authors out there) a 30 day early bird submission window for future open submission windows or special writing projects just for our Patrons. Sometimes we'll even need your input on our projects. And we'll keep adding more and more rewards. There are even tiers where you receive every single release going forward.

Since we’re always planning ahead, our future goals include artwork in every book, permanently opening for submissions, paying the runner-up in our Shallow Waters challenge, and publishing our very own magazine. We are passionate about creating amazing books for readers and informative non-fiction books for authors, and we even have bigger plans that go well beyond that.

"Crystal Lake Publishing is one of the best publishing companies I ever had the privilege of working with. They're tireless, organized, and their communication is superb. Every person I've worked with, from Joe Mynhardt to line editors to proof readers are friendly and exceptionally capable. This love and care shows up in their diverse literary catalog, which ranges from short stories and novels to nonfiction. Crystal Lake is making me a better author, and that translates directly to a better experience to readers."—Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Nameless: The Darkness Comes

Take note, we are not a Vanity Press. We’re not asking you to pay for things. These are rewards for your patronage only. Your contribution for aiding our growth. Paying to be a patron does not mean your work will be considered for publication. We only consider manuscripts submitted during open sub periods, via agents, or invites we send out. Remember, you are not just paying for reward perks, you are supporting authors and the genre you love.

"Crystal Lake Publishing is everything a small horror press of distinction should be: committed to quality and beauty, forward thinking, and, above all, committed to readers and horror fans of all stripes."—
Kevin Lucia, author of The Clifton Heights Saga

“Crystal Lake Publishing: the epitome of class and cutting edge quality.” – Michael Knost 

Patreon details:
Sign up with the "Become a Patron" button at the top of the page. Membership must be maintained for regular updates. If you join now, you will be required to pay immediately, and then again at the start of the following month, but you will immediately be able to see all our behind the scenes info and even previous posts based on your tier. Credit card or PayPal can be used to pay monthly membership fees. You can also move between different perks from month to month, or cancel whenever you're not satisfied. It's that easy. A new feature includes paying ahead for a full year in return for a 10% discount.

For questions, queries, and eBook orders, please email me (Joe Mynhardt) at [email protected].

“In a very short time, Crystal Lake has made quite a splash—establishing itself as a respected player in genre publishing. Ambitious concepts, eye-catching cover art, and a fine mix of veterans and newcomers on their list of authors ensure a high level of consistent quality.”Tom Monteleone, four time Bram Stoker Award-Winner

Who are we:
Founder, Owner, Editor, Publisher
[email protected]

Business Development Manager

Division Manager / Editor / Public Liaison


Marketing Agent

Marketing Agent

Editing Mentor



Interior formatting


Write On interviews

Editor, Poetry and Short Fiction Mentor

Since its founding in August 2012, Crystal Lake Publishing has quickly become one of the world’s leading publishers of Dark Fiction and Horror books in print, eBook, and audio formats.

While we strive to present only the highest quality fiction and entertainment, we also endeavour to support authors along their writing journey. We offer our time and experience in non-fiction projects, as well as author mentoring and services, at competitive prices.

With several Bram Stoker Award wins and many other wins and nominations, Crystal Lake Publishing puts integrity, honor, and respect at the forefront of our publishing operations.
We strive for each book and outreach program we spearhead to not only entertain and touch or comment on issues that affect our readers, but also to strengthen and support the Dark Fiction field and its authors.

Not only do we find and publish authors we believe are destined for greatness, but we strive to work with men and woman who endeavour to be decent human beings who care more for others than themselves, while still being hard working, driven, and passionate artists and storytellers.

Crystal Lake Publishing is and will always be a beacon of what passion and dedication, combined with overwhelming teamwork and respect, can accomplish. We endeavour to know each and every one of our readers, while building personal relationships with our authors, reviewers, bloggers, podcasters, bookstores, and libraries.

We will be as trustworthy, forthright, and transparent as any business can be, while also keeping most of the headaches away from our authors, since it’s our job to solve the problems so they can stay in a creative mind. Which of course also means paying our authors.

We do not just publish books, we present to you worlds within your world, doors within your mind, from talented authors who sacrifice so much for a moment of your time.

There are some amazing small presses out there, and through collaboration and open forums we will continue to support other presses in the goal of helping authors and showing the world what quality small presses are capable of accomplishing. No one wins when a small press goes down, so we will always be there to support hardworking, legitimate presses and their authors. We don’t see Crystal Lake as the best press out there, but we will always strive to be the best, strive to be the most interactive and grateful, and even blessed press around. No matter what happens over time, we will also take our mission very seriously while appreciating where we are and enjoying the journey.

What do we offer our authors that they can’t do for themselves through self-publishing?
We are big supporters of self-publishing (especially hybrid publishing), if done with care, patience, and planning. However, not every author has the time or inclination to do market research, advertise, and set up book launch strategies. Although a lot of authors are successful in doing it all, strong small presses will always be there for the authors who just want to do what they do best: write.
What we offer is experience, industry knowledge, contacts and trust built up over years. And due to our strong brand and trusting fanbase, every Crystal Lake Publishing book comes with weight of respect. In time our fans begin to trust our judgment and will try a new author purely based on our support of said author.
To date we’ve published around 100 books, and with each launch we strive to fine-tune our approach, learn from our mistakes, and increase our reach. We continue to assure our authors that we’re here for them and that we’ll carry the weight of the launch and dealing with third parties while they focus on their strengths—be it writing, interviews, blogs, signings, etc.
We also offer several mentoring packages to authors that include knowledge and skills they can use in both traditional and self-publishing endeavours.

We look forward to launching many new careers.

This is what we believe in. What we stand for. This will be our legacy.

Welcome to Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

189 of 200 patrons
Once we reach 200 patrons, we'll start doing monthly paperback giveaways in fun challenges. Free international postage.
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 1,509 exclusive posts
Audio releases
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 1,509 exclusive posts
Audio releases

Recent posts by Crystal Lake Publishing

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