Saturday, June 11, 2011

An Interview with Morganville Vampires Author Rachel Caine

This week we get to hear from Rachel Caine, an internationally bestselling author of over thirty novels. Bite Club, the tenth book in her Morganville Vampire series has been a top ten bestseller in the Sony E-bookstore for several weeks. Rachel very enthusiastically answered ALL of my questions with some super insights, so I'm splitting her interview over two posts -- today and next Saturday. Read on and enjoy!

So Rachel, what’s Bite Club about?

Hmm, probably better to tell you about the series first, since this is book 10 ... the Morganville Vampires series follows the adventures of a 16 year old college student, Claire Danvers, whose freshman experience is shaping up to be far worse than the norm .... first, she's run afoul of the meanest mean girls around. Second, she's younger, smaller and smarter than most everyone on campus. And third ... she's got the bad luck to attend college in a town that's secretly owned and operated by vampires. With the help of three Morganville natives not willing to conform to what's expected of them, she's discovering all the secrets of a very strange and dangerous town.

In Book 10, BITE CLUB, all seems relatively peaceful in Morganville, for once, with a fragile peace between the human and vampire residents in place ... but there's a new gym in town that promises to teach humans how to fight their blood-sucking neighbors. When Claire's boyfriend Shane, always up for a fight, gets pulled in and starts showing increasingly ominous signs of violent tendencies, it's up to Claire, Michael and Eve to try to pull him back from the edge and save the town from exposure.

And yep, there's a book 11 coming (LAST BREATH) in November, as well as a book 12 in May 2012.

Wow -- I'm feeling for your protagonist already!
Who is your target audience, and how do you think the e-format meets their needs?

The main audience for these novels is young adult, so usually fourteen to eighteen ... but I have a very large crossover adult audience as well, and I think that these are the ones driving the e-format sales. More and more I find that working professionals love e-books ... they're not just portable and compact, they're also time-saving in that the bookstore is right there at a click. I think as the price points shake out for the technology and content, we're going to see more e-books in schools and in the hands of teens as well, but it will take a little more time, especially with educational budgets constantly shrinking. 
Your books are also available in print format. Which came first? How do your sales compare between the p-format and the e-format?

My books have always been print first. I've been publishing steadily since 1991, so e-books are a relatively new phenomenon for me ... I'm fortunate to have a large footprint in the print bookstores, so that is still where the majority of my sales reside. I don't think one format is necessarily better than the other, honestly ... I think they're complementary. When I find a writer I particularly love, or a book, I always buy it in print as well as in e-format so that I can read it on the go.  
How did you first get published: traditionally or independent?

Very much traditional. I have nothing against independent publication, but I do think that traditional publication evolved over more than a hundred years to answer a lot of the challenges that indie publishing still faces ... how to make sure you're putting out the best material, how to get the material out to potential readers, and how to build an author's work into a career. It's harder as an independent. You need to be a master of many more things than writing -- you have to be a top-notch editor, salesperson, business agent, marketing expert, artist, etc. So traditional publishing has always been a comfortable fit for me, even though I *can* do a lot of those things myself. I choose not to do them, and to focus more on writing.
Check back next week as Rachel weighs in on a pitfall of the e-format that none of my interviews have addressed yet.

To learn more about Rachel Caine visit her website.  The Morganville Vampires series also has its own website.

And check out this week's Kids' Ebook Bestseller List. Several new authors have broken into the Amazon top ten, which is exciting to see!