Remember when I said the second instalment of “Upcoming Books” had “given me an idea which I’ll share with you later” (Hogg 2013c)? I’m ready to share it now.
Since writing that blog post, I’ve combed through Amazon and Books in Print’s Global Edition for non-fiction vampire books published this year. I compiled my findings into an Amazon list: “Vampire Non-Fiction: 2013, Vol. 1.” You’ll find it in the sidebar of this blog under the “Listmania!” heading, along with two different lists—both mentioned in previous entries (Hogg 2013a; 2013c).
Yeah, “Vol. 1.” It turns out you can only add 40 entries to Amazon “Listmania!” lists. I discovered that while writing this blog post. That said, the current tally’s 41. It hasn’t stopped me from creating the second volume, as I’m sure I’ll come across others I’ve overlooked.
So, what’s the point of “Vampire Non-Fiction: 2013”? Well, I’ve learned a few things from my trawlings through Amazon, y’arr. Firstly, many non-fiction vampire books get published over the year. Many intriguing titles—yet most are obscure. Even to me (that’s why “Overlooked Books” exists [Hogg 2013b]). Second, there’s little in the way of a centralised record for these things. A bibliography. Take the “Non-Fiction” page of The Vampire Library (2013). It’s pretty good—well, decent—but many items featured on it are more than a decade old. That’s fine, but what about the new stuff? Like I said, there’s a lot out there.
That’s where “Vampire Non-Fiction: 2013” comes in. It’s a cross between an annual; Amazon “Wish List”; catalogue; bibliography; my “Overlooked Books,” “Upcoming Books” and “Vampire Library” segments—and just in time for Christmas, too!
I also intend to create one for 2014. And who knows, maybe more for previous years. We’ll see. But let’s move onto my selection process for the list.
First, no reprints. They’re the same book. Don’t care if it’s got a new cover. Same deal for Kindle versions. It’s never been published in ebook format? Irrelevant (though I have included ebooks). Unless it’s got original content—which should be mentioned in the product description—doesn’t count. Sure, it might be a different format, but it’s the same previously-published book.
Editions are a different matter. Second, third, revised, whatever. They add something to the original. Do books with new prefaces, even if the bulk of the content’s unchanged, count? Sure! They’re in.
What if the book’s not strictly about vampires, but gives them decent coverage? That’s a tough one. To settle that matter, I’ve followed a simple rule: if vampires are mentioned in the book’s title, I figure they’re given substantial coverage. It’s an admittedly flawed approach,¹ but the closest option I’ve got to actually buying them and manually checking their contents. That’s why books like Alison Peirse’s After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film, Varla Ventura’s Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts and Christopher Hart’s Manga for the Beginner Midnight Monsters: How to Draw Zombies, Vampires, and Other Delightfully Devious Characters of Japanese Comics made the cut.
I’ve also counted works about specific vampire literature, TV shows and film as non-fiction vampire books. So, books like BookCaps’ The Dracula Companion, Jennifer K. Stuller’s Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Maria Lindgren Leavenworth and Malin Isaksson’s Fanged Fan Fiction: Variations on Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, Jennifer Vogt’s The Image of Vampires in the TV Series “The Vampire Diaries” and Catalin Gruia’s What About Dracula? Romania’s Schizophrenic Dilemma are also included.
Those two qualifiers merge for a few inclusions—even if the vampire aspect seems tacked on. I’m talking about Dan Elish’s American Life and Movies from the Ten Commandments to Twilight and Kathleen McConnell’s Pain, Porn and Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalian to Twilight—both added with great hesitation.
¹ Consider it a friendly warning. Certain titles over-represent their subject matter: Vampires in the Carpathians: Magical Acts, Rites, and Beliefs in Subcarpathian Rus’ (1998) and Forests of the Vampire: Slavic Myth (2003) spring to mind (Hogg 2008).
ITB Library. 2012. “Why Not Sink Your Teeth into a Good Book This Halloween…” ITB Library, October 31. http://itblibrary.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/why-not-sink-your-teeth-into-good-book.html
Hogg, Anthony. 2008. ” “Beware Catchpenny Titles!” ” Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist, October 18. http://doaav.blogspot.com.au/2008/10/beware-catchpenny-titles.html.
———. 2013a. “Building a Vampire Library.” The Vampirologist, November 29, 2013. https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/building-a-vampire-library/.
———. 2013b. “Overlooked Book.” The Vampirologist, October 7, 2013. https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/overlooked-book/.
———. 2013c. “Troublesome Prices.” The Vampirologist, November 30, 2013. https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/troublesome-prices/.
———. 2013d “Upcoming Books #2.” The Vampirologist, December 5, 2013. https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/upcoming-books-2/.
The Vampire Library. 2013. “Non-Fiction.” The Vampire Library. Accessed December 7, 2013. http://www.vampirelibrary.com/non-fiction/.