Immortality of Vampire Fiction vs. The Industry

frustratedWARNING: I'm venting a little here today.

The Nelson Literary Agency posted some advice/information in their newsletter about the difference between a “good” manuscript and a “salable” manuscript. You can write a great story, good grammar, character development is tight and storyline is solid. But if the editors don't want it, they won't buy it. I quote the following, but I'm going to put my own adaptation in brackets because I've been told the same thing about my manuscripts (both vampire and steampunk/dystopian):

“For example, dystopian [vampire] stories are hot right now in the young-adult [adult/erotic] genre. As a result, for the past twelve months, editors have been inundated by dystopian [vampire] projects. They are tired of them, even though these titles are still releasing and some are doing quite well. Readers are still enjoying dystopian [vampire] novels, but editors don't want to buy them anymore. So right now, no matter how well written your dystopian YA [vampire novel] might be or how cool the premise, if an agent is taking a look at it, she is probably thinking she can't sell it and will pass on offering representation. That's the bald truth. The timing just plain sucks, and as an agent, selling projects is all about perfect timing: landing the right project, on the right editor's desk, at exactly the right moment.” (my emphasis on the underline)

More than anything else, I think this is a prime example and reason as to why self-publishing is so successful. Yes, you get the crap out there…I totally understand that. But the Big Six (as the big publishers are known as) publish crap, too.

What frustrates me the most is the editors KNOW there is an audience for these books – such as in the aforementioned Dystopian YA and my genre of topic, vampires – and yet because they're tired of reading them, they don't want to see them anymore. This is a business, people! Not your time to have a leisurely read! Print what the readers want!

OMGOne agent told me the reason why editors won't even look at such manuscripts (e.g., vampire, dystopian, steampunk, etc.) is because they're tired of getting a bunch of crap manuscript with the same stories. My response – and I can say this because I'm an editor – OMG get over it! That's your job as an editor. READING MANUSCRIPTS. If you don't like reading crap manuscripts, get another freakin' job. The sad truth is there is a TON of crap out there; it comes with the territory.

I belong to a group called I Love Vampire Novels and they have been my biggest supporters of my self-published novels – my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles. Their FB page boasts over 100,000 LIKES. And I'm sure there are a lot more vampire lovers out there than just 100,000. This group and others like them, J.R. Ward, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon are all proof people love vampire stories and they sell well.

But the editors are tired of them. :\

No problem! We'll just self-publish and make 70% off our book sales and the Big Six can continue whining about how their industry is failing. Enjoy the trip down!

Thanks for letting me vent! If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with me! Do you feel just as passionate about this topic? Does it really matter to you? Do you have your own experience about the industry you'd like to share? How about from a reader's perspective? Am I completely whacked in my reasoning?

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

 

How to Protect Yourself from Vampires

I Met A Real Vampire

Because I've become an amateur expert on the subject of vampires, people have asked over the years one profound question: Do you believe vampires really exist? The short answer is…YES!

Anne Rice‘s books inspired me to delve deeper into vampire fiction. I've written vampire poetry, studied the subject rather extensively, read countless books on the subject–fiction and non-fiction–and have finally released my debut novel…a vampire romance set in the early 1500s of Scotland: MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. So, I definitely wanted to believe in vampires, but never knew one…until this incident.

I was in the military at the time and in my twenties, going to technical school to learn a new skill, so I was in a strange and unfamiliar environment. While sitting in the day room reading, an attractive man came in. Even now, I cannot recall his face. I just remember thinking he was a handsome man and was flattered he sat at the table with me, starting up a conversation.

Forced to put my book down and interact, I became engaged in an interesting chat…but I noticed it was all about me. Normally, I don't mind talking about myself, but he kept asking questions about who I was, where I came from, where I'd been, etc., so I became suspicious and limited my answers, not wishing to divulge overly-personal tidbits.

I noticed my energy waning. I crossed my legs.

Continue reading

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST Romance Trading Cards are Available!!

Front

Back - Broderick

Back - Davina

OMG I'm so jazzed at how my Romance Trading Cards turned out! WOOT!!! To see a close-up, just click on the images.

For those of you who are not familiar with Romance Trading Cards…they are the latest craze in the Romance Novel industry. Readers are going nuts for them!! They're trading cards just like any other – people collect them, trade them, get them autographed and everything. For more information, I encourage you to visit the Romance Trading Card web site. Continue reading

Making Money With My Writing

My latest heroine is Amanda Hocking. You may or may not have heard of her, so for those who are unfamiliar with her name and what the hype is all about, I'll give you a very brief description: She's making thousands of dollars (close to being a millionaire, if not already) self-publishing her YA (Young Adult) vampire romance novels through Amazon.com for the Kindle. She started last April 2010 with her blog (click on her picture here to visit said blog) and since then she has sold about 900,000 copies of her books (<–In this link, she addresses this fact and others, such as how much she is charging, etc.). She'll tell you all the details on her blog, but in short, she's charging anywhere from $0.99-2.99 per eBook (more for the paperback versions). Do the math, she's making a lot of money.

If you want to know more about her, her point of view and what she's doing, I highly recommend visiting her blog.

So, on to my post. Why is she my latest heroine? Because… Continue reading

Writing Updates

Eternal Conquest - by Arial BurnzEternal Conquest – Revisions Finished

Taking a break from the horrible situation happening in Egypt and from my Twitter and Facebook pages, I'm happy to say that my major revisions for ETERNAL CONQUEST are finished! These were the revisions I needed to make AFTER I was offered the contract from The Wild Rose Press in their Black Rose line. I met my deadline and had the changes into my editor before the end of December 2010. However, my editor had an unfortunate accident with her computer, and though she thankfully recovered, she is a little behind schedule. Which means she won't be able to get to ETERNAL CONQUEST until the end of this month. That's okay! I have lots of other books to write! Continue reading

Novel Updates for MIDNIGHT CONQUEST (ETERNAL CONQUEST)

Whew! Been busy and haven't had time to do much of anything but working. So much for writing, huh? As promised, here's an update to what's going on with my book – MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. Continue reading

Romantic Times Book Lover’s Convention

Hey, Gang!

Sorry no recent updates! Been busy getting ready for the upcoming Romantic Times Book Lover's Convention! Even though I'm very much looking forward to the event, I don't think the excitement of it has hit me just yet. I'm running around like a crazy woman getting all my promotional materials and give-aways made and ready for the event. More on that in just a moment. Continue reading

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST Merchandise!!

vampire02smCan you believe it!?! You can now buy Midnight Conquest merchandise at our CafePress.com store…among a few other things! I'll have more items up in the store and with the way things are growing, we'll end up opening a separate CafePress.com store instead of just being a section in the Enchanted Woodz store. Check them out and express your vampy self!!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST – Book Cover & Trailer!

OMG I'm so excited!!! I've create my own book cover AND a trailer for my new book (under review by The Wild Rose Press). Check it out!!!

This is just a mock-up of the book cover. Visit my web site for a more detailed view of the picture: www.ArialBurnz.com.

THEN after I finished doing my book cover, I create my very own book trailer!! To view the trailer, you van visit my web site at www.ArialBurnz.com and click on the Bonded By Blood link in the left-hand nav OR you can click here to access the page directly. However, when you're done, it will advance to the BBB main page, but out of context of the web site. Just close the window when it's finished.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

Submitted!!

Whew! Done with my run-through of the rewrites for my vampire romance. Yay!

When I mention I'm writing a vampire romance, almost EVERYONE these days says, “Oh, like Twilight (by Stephanie Meyer)!” They get so excited, and yet for some reason the reference kinda erks me. Not that Ms. Meyer doesn't deserve the kudos…I like the books just as much as anyone else. However, I started writing MIDNIGHT CONQUEST a LOOOOOONG time before Twilight came out, so I feel like people are lumping me into the “You're writing it because of Twilight” category. I'm sure Ms. Sherrilyn Kenyon might feel worse than I do if someone makes the same reference to her as she has more than a DOZEN vampire romances on the shelves as we speak (and I've read almost every one of them).

Just for the record, I've bulleted points in the history of “Bonded By Blood – Book 1 – Midnight Conquest” to see what one journey looks like (I hear I'm not the only one who's been through this). 😉

  • 1991 – Started working on the book idea – back when it was Bonded By Blood and a single title
  • 1992 – Sat down and wrote the book in 3 months – 365 manuscript pages
  • 1992 – Had a New York agent interested in it and she made suggestions for revisions
  • 1994 – Went through 1st divorce and put book in the drawer
  • 1996 – I took 2 weeks off of work and finished the rewrites
  • 1996 – Resubmitted manuscript to agent, she didn't like what I did with it, but gave me 4 pages of feedback. GREAT (good sign as she was interested in my writing, but not the story and asked for other stuff), but I got discouraged.
  • 1998 – Married husband #2, who frowned upon my writing (I didn't know it at the time we married, but there you have it)
  • Didn't write romance for almost 10 years >.< BUT did work on the ideas in my head and started developing other book ideas
  • 2005 – Went through divorce #2 and pulled Bonded By Blood back out of the drawer, re-read the critique. WOW! Was that a crappy book! No wonder she didn't like it! LOL
  • 2006 – Started reworking the story and renamed it MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. I also blended the other book ideas into one series…with a possibility of continuing, depending upon the interest. Series now called BONDED BY BLOOD.
  • 2007 – Put writing aside while I worked on Enchanted Woodz
  • 2008 – Finished writing Midnight Conquest and got the interest of The Wild Rose Press. They made suggestions for revisions (deja vous – 1992)
  • 2009 – Finished revisions and resubmitted manuscript…17 years later! Ouch!

Well, everything happens for a reason, they say. Even though I didn't write hardly any fiction after 1998, I did write a lot of technical manuals, web site and print marketing materials, corporate communications, diaries, letters, articles, some copyright, etc. With that being said, I've never stopped being a writer, in spite of what my ex-husband tried to squash in me. I am now with my romance novel hero who is the most encouraging and supportive person I have in my life, next to my mother. Because of my continuing efforts in writing, I was able to hone my craft, continue reading what I love to write and I feel it's made Midnight Conquest a better book.

I'll keep you posted on what happens when the publisher gets back to me. Will I get a contract?  DUH DUH DUH!!!!!

TO BE CONTINUED!!

How about you? Can you give a timeline of your first big contract and what you went through? Tell me what you've been pouring your blood, sweat and tears into! Post a quick sentece here, but provide a link to your blog where I'd like you to post your full time-line. Looking forward to reading them!!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉