I’m very excited to welcome Tracy Cooper-Posey to VRB as our featured Guest Blog today and to help celebrate the release of the second book in the Blood Knot series, Blood Stone! As a huge fan of Tracy’s I’m always happy to have her here and I know many of you always look forward to her guest blogs and of course getting a peak at her latest books! Tracy has written a great blog post for us and is also offering a lucky winner a copy of her book Bannockburn Binding. So without further ado, here’s Tracy!
Who Says Vampire Romance Books are Dying?
Today’s the day! Woohoo!
Blood Stone is released today. And it’s a double whammy, because Blood Knot, the first book in the series (which is also called the Blood Stone series), drops to $0.00 for the next three days, so you get twice the fun for your $2.99.
I don’t know about you, but I keep hearing these rumblings about vampire stories and vampire romances dying out.
Back when I was still thought getting a New York book deal was a good idea, and was submitting manuscripts to agents and the odd editor, I was getting feedback even then telling me they were overstocked on vampire novels, or that they weren’t acquiring vampire novels anymore – pass.
I had one of the biggest agents in New York, and this is a name that everyone mentions in the top three of all agents…he and I were doing the opening steps of the author/agent courtship ritual, which meant I was at least two steps beyond the auto-bounce letter most authors get. I’d got a personalized letter from him praising my credentials and writing, and requesting anything other than a vampire romance from me, as soon as I could manage it. The relationship failed to kindle after I submitted my new idea to him. I guess it was too new as no one else out there had done anything like it.
In hindsight, I was so lucky I wasn’t sewn up into that relationship, because three months later, I indie-published Blood Knot, the book he rejected in favour of something other than a vampire romance.
But that was the tail-end of 2009, and I published Blood Knot in March, 2010. That means that even as long ago as 2009 New York publishers and agents have been talking about the vampire romance market as being glutted, or even dying, wilting, or disappearing.
Except that numbers don’t lie. Let me tell you a little story.
It’s the New York editors and agents who decided about fifteen years ago that the historical romance market was dead as a doornail, too, and stopped releasing historical romances. Dozens, if not hundreds, of historical romance authors were either out of business or suddenly had to develop new genres and find entire new readerships in those genres, or starve.
Five years after that, epublishers came along, and they had no problems publishing historical romances, and they sold just fine.
Julia Templeton and I released two historical novels in 1993 under the pen name Anastasia Black. Those two books sold steadily and well for nine years, and I would even say they sold marvellously well in their paper edition, once it was released. I am also making allowances and adjusting for the lack of acceptance for ebooks in 1993, the lack of distribution into brick and mortar stores for epublisher paperback editions, etc. If the paper editions of epublisher books had the same distribution as New York paperbacks, I suspect that Julie and I would be looking at very similar sales figures as the New York authors.
There are other historical romance novels out there that do as well, if not better, than ours.
I get constant email from readers begging me to write more historical romances.
There’s Facebook fan pages, Yahoo Groups, blogs and sites devoted purely to historical romances.
How can the historical romance market be declared dead, or even moribund? Whenever a New York publisher does release the odd historical romance it gets snapped up with cries of joy, and bounces up into the best seller list almost instantly. And I have even more proof – in a minute.
You can see why I was sceptical when I started hearing that the vampire romance market was dying. I wanted proof.
One of the major advantages of indie publishing is instant sales feedback. I can watch my sales figures change from minute to minute. The average legacy author can only judge the effect of her marketing and the decisions she has made about which genre to write and how well her book is doing when she gets her monthly, or quarterly or sometimes six monthly royalty statement. This delay in cause-and-effect is so large it is useless in providing any real feedback on the effectiveness of anything she had done, because she doesn’t know which element has had the effect on her sales, or even if she has had any personal effect on the sales at all.
I am 100% responsible for every copy I sell, so I can track the sale of every copy and be reasonably certain what I have done to help the reader decide to buy the book, or not. So when I was told that vampire romance novels were dying, I self-published.
And watched my sales soar.
I happened to publish a non-vampire romantic suspense novel within a month of Blood Knot. And since then, I’ve published seven other titles. Blood Stone brings the count up to nine indie titles. Blood Knot is my personal #1 best seller. All my vampire romances outsell everything else, by a factor of five to one.
What expert said vampire romances were dying?
Here’s even more comfort that your favourite romance read isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. As a blog owner and advertiser I have access to Google Adwords and their very handy keywords search tool, so I did a bit of research and that was very interesting indeed.
I wanted to find out what sort of interest there was in vampires. The more vampires and the term “vampires” were searched for, the higher the interest, and therefore, the longer vampires and vampire fiction would be around, yes?
Want to guess how many times “vampires” are searched for each month?
Thirty point four million times.
I’ll put that into figures.
More than 30,400,000 times a month.
And that’s just “vampires”. There is a long, long, long list of sub-terms and related terms that includes the word “vampires” in it. “Vampire romance” is searched for over 33,000 times a month. Here’s a list:
Vampire 30,400,000 time a month
Vampire Romance 33,100 times a month
Vampire Books 165,000 times a month
Vampire Diaries 13,600,000 times a month
Vampire Series 301,000 times a month
This is incredibly good news for vampire fiction lovers. If readers are looking for vampire fiction in these numbers, then the demand for vampire fiction isn’t about to dry up anytime soon. There’s room in the sandbox for more and more novels and authors and readers can feast their fill.
Just in case you’re wondering, I did run comparison figures.
Here’s the full array, including Vampires, in search rank order:
Historical Romance……49,500 times a month
Vampire Romance……33,100 times a month
Paranormal Romance……33,100 times a month
Urban Fantasy……22,200 times a month
Romance Suspense……5,400 times a month
Contemporary Romance……8,100 times a month
Urban Fantasy Romance……1,000 time a month
MM Romance……260 times a month
MMF Romance……170 times a month
The evolution of indie publishing has taught authors that they have more control then they thought.
These figures should tell readers – you — that you have more power and influence over the market than you have been led to believe. Historical Romance – the “dead” market — is right at the top of the list. Vampire romances, that the legacy publishers are starting to try to tell everyone is dying, is right up there with it.
Isn’t that great news?
Blood Stone is my 44th title and my ninth indie book.
Nial orders Calum Garrett to get close to Hollywood producer Kate Lindenstream. Garrett reluctantly complies for he has held himself apart from humans for centuries. Kate doesn’t fall into Garrett’s arms, either. She already has someone for that. Roman Xerus — whom Kate knows as Adrian — and Garrett go way back to the sixteenth century Scottish highlands, but they parted bitterly two hundred years ago.
With Roman’s support, Kate battles Garrett in wills and business as he methodically forces himself into her life. However, on the closed-in movie set in the Californian desert, Garrett’s calm, orderly world crumbles for Garrett is drawn to Kate. He has begins to experience real, human feelings.
Kate doesn’t cooperate in the chess game Nial orchestrates, despite being unaware of the strategies swirling around her film set. Demanding and expecting only the best for her movie, Kate’s agenda forces Roman and Garrett to work together to protect her and keep the humans around her ignorant of the Pro Libertatus, the anonymous and all-powerful vampire group who nearly killed Nial, Sebastian and Winter, and shield Kate from the excesses of the League for Humanity. But could Roman really be with the Pro Libertatus?
There’s hidden intentions everywhere, and centuries of repressed feelings, along with at least two different groups that mean them harm. Then there’s the rumours that Kate has found the mythical Blood Stone, the key to unlocking vampire history and lifting their curse. Who is Kate, really? Because once Garrett begins to notice, things about Kate don’t quite add up, either…
An Excerpt From: BLOOD STONE
Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2012
All Rights Reserved.
He stepped up into the trailer.
It was quiet inside. Kate was the only one in there, and she was on the phone, listening intently. She was sitting behind a perfectly normal desk littered with files, and a big laptop computer with its screen propped open. A cordless phone was jammed against her ear and her fingers were pressed against her other temple.
When she saw him, she waved him in, her frown not budging.
Roman moved another pace in and waited, the hairs on the back of his neck rising. Something was indeed wrong.
The trailer was unlike any normal trailer, on the inside. No big surprise there. It had been virtually gutted, except that, at the back of the trailer, through a door, Roman spotted what looked like a perfectly normal bed. Kate’s home away from home when she was filming on location. Hence, the water line. There was probably a bathroom back there, too.
The rest of the trailer had been turned into a business office, with two desks. One large one that Kate was sitting behind and a smaller one with a full sized desktop computer and printer set up. For the assistant, he assumed. The desks were cherry wood and glowed with care.
Along the walls were cabinets and shelves, cupboards and other built-in furniture that housed normal office equipment. It was an efficient, tidy arrangement. Economical, too. This way, Kate avoided the horrendous office space rentals that every other executive in L.A. got stuck with.
There were two very comfortable chairs in front of Kate’s desk and she waved at Roman again, this time with more force, insisting he sit in one.
Roman shrugged and sat. It put him directly in front of her. Her eyes met his and her brows lifted by the tiniest fraction before her gaze flickered away, drawn back by the speaker on the phone. The crease between her brows deepened.
He wasn’t the problem, then. It was the jerk on the phone.
A tiny trickle of relief touched him and he was able to study Kate with a neutral gaze, absorbing once more her natural features.
She wore makeup well, and knew how to use it, for she had started out as a model at a very early age, then moved into films as a B-grade actress, before landing one unforgettable role in a major production. That had been her entry into directing and production. That had given her the connections she needed. She had used all the money she had raised, plus all the influence she could leverage to fund her first low budget movie, and nothing had stopped her since.
She had long ago ceased trading on her looks, and Roman suspected that sometimes she even forgot she was considered a stunning blonde beauty. And she was all that.
He’d known who she was and what she looked like before he’d met her, but he hadn’t been prepared for the impact of her appearance in person. She was shorter and more fragile than he had expected, although she was still tall for a woman. But her eyes were as stunning in person as they were on the screen and in photos. No one had to touch them up. They had impact. More so now she was a power player in the industry, because she didn’t bother too often with feminine charm. She stared directly, with no quarter given, and her gaze with like a laser, direct and deadly. The jolt of her stare had been forceful, that first night.
But it was the way her mind worked that intrigued him the most. Roman hadn’t been braced for that one at all. She thought cleanly and clearly and with no quarter given for fools and those who were in the wrong. It was refreshing, especially coming from a Hollywood player and a woman.
Kate was winding up her call at last. It wasn’t a happy conclusion, for her frown hadn’t shift. “So, get back to me if anything changes,” she said at last, and paused. “Thank you.” She switched the phone off, dropped it on the desk, pressed her fingers to her temples and looked at him. “I missed our meeting, didn’t I?”
“I get the feeling you didn’t blow me off for anything minor.”
“Is that why you came here? To see if I had stood you up?” Her frowned deepened. “I would have told you, if that was the case. Some excuse. I wouldn’t have left you just sitting there.”
“I know. That’s why I came here.”
Kate stopped rubbing her temples and looked at him properly. “You’re checking up on me?”
Roman picked his words carefully. “I figured something major had happened if you forgot to even phone. I thought I’d see if you needed…help.”
Kate gave a laugh. It was probably supposed to be a dry one, but it twisted and there was a panicky sound to the end of it, and she pressed her lips together, her fingers over them for a moment. “Help?” she repeated. “I’d take help from Lucifer himself if I knew how to contact him, and if I thought he could possibly help. But I don’t think even he could get me out of this, Adrian.” She pressed her lips tightly together again and took a deep breath.
“What’s happened?” Roman asked.
Kate sighed. “What hasn’t happened? But I could sum it up in two words.”
She sat back. “How did you…?”
“I passed his lawyer fellow as I was coming in.”
“MacDonald.” Her mouth curled down in disgust.
“What has Garrett done?” Roman asked curiously.
Kate stood up. “I need coffee. I’ve been up since…early. Want one?”
He shook his head. “I’ve had too many already today, thanks.”
“It’s French Roast,” she coaxed, moving over to the sideboard where a mini espresso machine sat gleaming.
“Maybe the smell will talk me into it,” Roman lied. “You go ahead. And tell me what Garrett did.”
She held up the coffee scoop. “One. There is nothing directly connecting Garrett to any of this. He’s as devious as original sin, the fucking bastard. But he’s made sure I know it’s him every time, because that MacDonald character has delivered the coup de grace each time. The first time I wanted to skewer him with his own ancestral broadsword. The second time, I was ready to strangle him with my own bare hands. Now, it’s just fucking humiliating.”
BLOOD STONE is the second book in the Blood Stone series
BLOOD STONE is the sequel to BLOOD KNOT.
It is a Plus-sized Novel.
WARNING: This book contains two hot, sexy alpha heroes, frequent, explicit and frank sex scenes and sexual language.
It includes heart-stopping sexual scenes between the aforementioned sexy heroes, menage scenes, anal sex and the use of sex toys. Don’t proceed beyond this point if hot love scenes offend you.
No vampires were harmed in the making of this novel.
Blood Stone is the second book in my best selling vampire romance series. It will be on sale on September 14, if not a bit before then.
The good news? The first book in the series, Blood Knot, is my #1 best seller, was the Winner of the Coffee Time Reviewer’s Recommended Award, was listed as one of Goodread’s “Most Drool-worthy Covers“, nominated for Erotic Vampire Book of the Year by The Romance Reviews, and received a CAPA Nomination for Best Paranormal Book of the Year by The Romance Studio, December, 2011, among many glowing and rave reviews. If you’re curious about Blood Knot, you can read more here: http://bit.ly/g9pSw5.
The really good news? On the 14th, when Blood Stone is released, Blood Knot drops down to $0.00 for three days of free downloading at Amazon.
And bookmark Blood Stone on my website, so you can jump to the Amazon link the day it goes live: http://bit.ly/TrCuWv
Tracy Cooper-Posey writes romantic suspense, hot erotic paranormal and urban fantasy romances. She has published over 40 novels since 1999, been nominated for 5 CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.
She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated three times for Book Of The Year. She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at Grant MacEwan University.
She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys sewing, history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.
You can find her site at http://www.TracyCooperPosey.com.