Vampires get a bad rap. It makes a certain amount of sense though. They’re always taking blood, but they never give anything back. Not really the best PR campaign…
Sure, some are evil, maniacal fiends dead-set on fulfilling an ancient prophecy to wipe out the sun. Others aren’t so grandiose but are still a pain. They stalk and kill innocent humans because, well… a vampire’s gotta eat, right? And let’s not forget the ones that are little more than beasts, short on intellect but long on thirst. With all that bad going on, it’s easy to peg ‘em as, well… bad.
But not all vampires are hell-spawned hooligans. There are sparkly ones, cheeky ones, heroic ones, passionate ones. Vampires that actually try to be more than just bloodsucking bloodsuckers. And yet… vampires still get a bad rap.
In 2014, I decided to help change that. I had released a book about a bowling vampire in Wisconsin, and I wanted to partner with a good non-profit organization to help market my book. When deciding which organization to support, the American Red Cross was a no-brainer. A vampire book supporting a blood-services organization with a giant cross as its symbol? Perfect!
It was about that time that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge happened. One person donating to the ALS Association is great, but a social media event engaging millions of people across the country… way better. A rising tide lifts all boats so rather than go it alone, I declared October 2014 to be the first “Vampire Books for Blood” month.
The goal was simple. Encourage authors of vampire-themed books to donate a portion of their royalties from October book sales to the American Red Cross. At the same time, create a place where readers could find all the books from participating authors.
I made an embarrassingly bad YouTube video, put up a Vampire Books for Blood Facebook page, and dragged four other authors into the fray: Jeanie Grey, Kimberly Anne, Steven Montano, and Sentu Taylor. I sent out a ton of press releases, tweeted the heck out of it with the hashtag #VampBooks4Blood, ran a Goodreads raffle for my book and a cool bag of Red Cross schwag, and basically had a blast while raising money for a crucial organization.
Now October is right around the corner, and it’s time for the 2nd Annual Vampire Books for Blood event. I’m excited to grow the event, engage more authors, and reach more readers. Instead of just a Facebook page, I’ve set up an event website. Readers will be able to peruse vampire books from participating authors by genre (eg, gory, gothic, YA/NA, comedy, romance, etc) and link directly to where the book is being sold. Participating authors will have more guidance on how to contact and work with their local Red Cross.
And will a little luck and a lot of support… we’ll have a lot of vampire book authors selling a lot of vampire books and donating a lot of money to the American Red Cross!
- The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Red Cross. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.
For updates about the 2nd Annual Vampire Books for Blood event, like the Vampire Books for Blood Facebook page, follow the #VampBooks4Blood hashtag and visit the event’s website: http://www.vampirebooksforblood.org.
Aug. 28, 2015: I mistakenly referred to Scott Burtness as “Scott Burness” in the picture captions, article’s excerpt, meta description, on Facebook and (sigh) even the author’s profile. My bad. The article’s excerpt, meta description and user profile have all been corrected accordingly. –ed.