News update

Out Today: Poe & I by Matthew Mercier

Out Today: Poe & I by Matthew Mercier

Jonah Peabody takes a job as caretaker and head docent for Poe Cottage, a historical house in The Bronx that once served as the last home for Edgar Allan Poe. The gig requires him to live on the premises so he can give tours on the weekend. The catch is that the caretaker's apartment is in the basement—Poe’s Basement. From there it only gets weirder. This is a tale of family ghosts, sickness,...

read more
Shadows & Ink Blog: Mastering Dialogue

Shadows & Ink Blog: Mastering Dialogue

Welcome back to Shadows & Ink, where we dive deep into the art and craft of writing. Today, we're exploring the intricate world of dialogue—how to create conversations that resonate with authenticity and captivate your readers. Let’s uncover techniques and exercises to help you master the art of dialogue in your writing. Understanding Dialogue's Role Dialogue is more than just characters...

read more

New Staff Member!

We're excited to announce that Jacque Day Pallone has joined the Crystal Lake team. Jacque will step in as Publisher's Assistant. Her appointment will free up some time for the creative team to launch Crystal Lake into brand new waters over the next few months.Jacque Day is co-editor of the Carnage House horror web ‘zine and a freelancer for Memento Mori Ink Magazine, a Crystal Lake...

read more

Out Today: Draw You In Vol.3 by Jasper Bark

Is the whole of history a convenient lie? That’s how it’s beginning to look to Linda, Richard and Agent McPherson as they hunt for Tales That Draw You In, cartoonist R. L. Carver’s legendary lost work. The key to finding it could lie in a memory Linda’s repressed, from when she was a captive of the serial killer Henry McLaughlin. The sinister cabal known as the Shadows in the Cave is also...

read more

Since its founding in 2012, Crystal Lake’s authors, books, artists, and editors have walked away with 79 prestigious awards and nominations from institutions like The Bram Stoker Awards (including the HWA’s Specialty Press award), Shirley Jackson Awards, This Is Horror, and Imadjinn Awards. That’s quality guaranteed. 


Featured Titles

“It’s always a pleasure working with Crystal Lake, an independent press whose professionalism mirrors the high quality of their work. If you’re looking for an independent press at the top of their game, then congratulations you’ve just found them—long live Crystal Lake.”
Michael David Wilson, This Is Horror

“Crystal Lake are good people doing fine work. Always worth watching for their latest.”
Jack Ketchum, The Girl Next Door and Off-Season


Crystal Lake’s

interactive community of readers and authors on Patreon

for exclusive behind the scene access

(the higher your tier the more monthly rewards you’ll receive)

+ Follow

Crystal Lake
on Amazon

to get access to the latest book release updates.

“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

Sign Up

for the Crystal Lake


Sign up today to never miss a moment of the Crystal Lake journey:

Cover reveals, interviews, special offers, free books, eBook sales, open submissions, opportunities for authors and so much more!

Don’t miss out!

“Crystal Lake have been a real pleasure to work with – professional, prompt, and with a true passion for the genre.”
Tim Lebbon, The Silence and The Rage War


Crystal Lake Entertainment

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 2023, Crystal Lake Publishing formed a part of Crystal Lake Entertainment, joining several other divisions, including Torrid Waters, Crystal Lake Comics, and many more.

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 (including the HWA’s Specialty Press Award), Crystal Lake 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 women 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 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 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 deal 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 Entertainment.

Who we are


Founder & CEO

Joe Mynhardt is a Bram Stoker Award-winning South African publisher, editor, and mentor. Joe founded Crystal Lake in August of 2012, which quickly grew into Crystal Lake Entertainment. Joe is now the CEO.

Jaco Nieuwoudt

Managing Director and Publisher

Jaco lives a quiet life in Bloemfontein, South Africa with his two bunnies. Jaco is an experienced retail regional manager and tech guru who loves books, television series, and people with a dark sense of humor.


Talent Relations

Naching T. Kassa is a wife, mother, and writer. She is Head of Talent Relations at Crystal Lake Publishing and a proud member of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association and several Sherlock Holmes scions.

James Aquilone

Crystal Lake Comics

James Aquilone is the owner of Monstrous Books, writer of the Dead Jack, Zombie Detective series, and editor of the anthologies Classic Monsters Unleashed, Shakespeare Unleashed, and the 50th anniversary Kolchak: The Night Stalker graphic novel. He’s won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel and two Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.

Anita Stewart

Media Manager

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, A.F. Stewart is an author of all things dark and stabby, trailing a long list of novels, novellas, and story collections, as well as poetry. In addition, she is an interviewer, having hosted the shows Between the Pages Book Chat and Words That Kill.

Kenneth W. Cain

Torrid Waters imprint / Publisher

An author of horror/dark fiction and freelance editor, Kenneth W. Cain is a member of the HWA and the SFWA. He has had over one hundred short stories published, as well as thirteen novels/novellas, and he has edited ten anthologies. You can find his full publishing history at

Jaime Powell


J.P. Powell is the Editor-in-Chief of Crystal Lake Publishing, as well as an established freelance editor. In 2022 she was named one of Reedsy’s top performing professionals. She is a lover of all things dark, including books, movies, and humor. 

Jacque Day Pallone

Jacque Day is co-editor of the Carnage House horror web ‘zine and a freelancer for Memento Mori Ink Magazine, a Crystal Lake Entertainment partner. She lives in her home state of Pennsylvania, USA, with her scientist husband, and edits the HWA Pennsylvania chapter newsletter. Jacque served as the longtime managing editor for the New Madrid journal of contemporary literature.

Lisa Vasquez

Lisa Lee is a full-time freelance editor, bibliophile, and book critic. She is the Managing Editor for Memento Mori Ink Magazine and runs the review site Bibliophilia Templum. Lisa Vasquez is partner and editor-in-chief for Memento Mori Ink Magazine with over 15 years of industry experience in publishing, writing, mentoring, and helping to build the indie, dark fiction community one page at a time.


Contact Us

Affiliate Disclaimer

We use affiliate links. When you click and purchase items by using these links, we will earn from qualifying purchases.

Supporting dark fiction authors and their creations since 2012
Web design and hosting by TSD Group