Vampire-shaggers redux

JF Lewis's Staked - cover art A chap called J F Lewis is guest-posting at Scalzi’s Whatever today. He claims he’s written a totally new take on the modern vampire novel, but looking at the cover art supplied (which isn’t merely cheesy as all hell but also looks like a bad eighties hair-metal album cover) reminds me why I instinctively recoil from the thought of going near this genre as a reader, new take or not.

This is why book marketing is such a fascinating subject. Yes, I’m aware that many readers would have a similar reaction to the covers of books (and albums) I love dearly. No, I’m not being elitist. This is just another example of why genre fiction is like rock music.

4 thoughts on “Vampire-shaggers redux”

  1. If you want a proper reinvention of Vampires then I think the only person to really move them on in recent times has been Peter Watts with his idea of Vampires being a race of non-sentient predators who are just really really good at pretending to be human.

    The thing about the vampire shaggers is that, as a genre, they are UTTERLY worthless. They take the worst bits of contemporary fantasy and then they port it across directly into the romance genre. This is why it’s getting its own section in book shops in a way that other sub-genres don’t. They want to appeal to both sets of fans and rather than getting romance fans to come to our section of the book shop (which they wouldn’t do) or get us to go to the romance section (which most of us wouldn’t do) they need someplace in the middle.

    As much as I hate trad fantasy, I think I hate supernatural romance more.

  2. You’re not actually blaming the cover art on Mr. Lewis, are you? You are aware how very little input first-time authors have on their covers, right?

  3. Thoroughly aware of that, Mr Scalzi – but much respect to you for defending Mr Lewis in this instance.. Like I say, this is what makes book marketing such an interesting subject – as a marketer of a first novel, do you try to pitch it as widely as possible and maybe net some new readers with an innovative cover, or do you aim for the easy established bracket by rolling out the clich

  4. I had the same experience, in that I saw the cover art first and assumed this was yet another supernatural romance vampire-shagging novel I would have no interest in, then I read the interview and it sounds much more interesting. Unfortunately it’s clearly a better marketing decision to have this cover and go for the supernatural romance market even if it does put off a minority of the people who might otherwise be interested. See also, panel at Eastercon on book covers, plug plug…

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