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What precisely a horror author does depends on the author in question. Some authors of this type spend a lot of time doing research and writing, while others spend more time promoting books that have already been written. What all horror authors do, of course, is write horror books. The precise process each uses to write these books, along with any duties to a publisher or agent he or she might have, all depends on the specific author in question. In addition to the basic writing, editing, and publicizing of horror books, many horror authors also work as consultants and teachers in order to round out their income.
Most of the time, what a horror author does is write horror books. This is particularly true for authors who are already successful, as the need to work a day job is greatly reduced. Writing a horror book can involve a number of different processes, but it typically involves research, planning, and actually writing the book. Some authors spend large amounts of time on this process, while others work quickly and efficiently, producing many books a year.
Editing is also a major part of any horror author's job. Not only must a horror author be capable of seeing flaws in his or her work, but he or she must also be able to remedy any flaws spotted by an editor. This sometimes means compromising on an artistic vision in a way that might aggravate some authors. In general, editing a horror book is an interpersonal exercise that takes up much of an author's time.
Promoting a horror book can also be a major part of what a horror author does. Book tours, signings, and interviews can all be part of promotions, but other, hidden parts might include having photo shoots, approving merchandise, or even maintaining a website. Most horror authors find that being proactive about promotion is an important part of the writing business.
In addition to tasks directly relating to writing, a horror author often also has additional duties that can provide breaks from writing. Some choose to work as consultants on horror shows or to diversify the mediums in which they write. Others choose to teach, and many horror authors work as professors at universities because of the appealing academic schedule. In some cases, authors may make a supplemental income by teaching writing to hopeful authors and appearing at conferences for the benefit of fans. The degree to which an author must supplement the time he or she focuses on books depends on personality, success, and the author's ability to write for long periods of time.