Pleasingly heavy, and not unattractive in appearance, 'The Vampire Book' is a major missed opportunity. It lacks a clear editorial direction, with some entries that are questionable, and others that are conspicuous by their absence (in the comics section for example, Marvel and Chaos are covered while DC's influential Vertigo horror imprint warrants nary a mention). There are also numerous errors which compromise its integrity (mixing up Forry Ackerman with Vincent Price is pretty unforgivable in this context).
Interestingly Melton, in common with many wouldbe 'vampires', seems reluctant to distinguish between 'real' folkloric vampires and their fictional representations. Background from 'The Masquerade' game gets extensive coverage, at the expense one assumes of more meaty material. This, perhaps, is the book's biggest flaw, as references to recent vampire research, or indeed any kind of thematic analysis or insight, are conspicuous by their absence.
There's plenty here, but it lacks bite and, crucially, brains. David Skal's effort in a similiar vein - 'V is for Vampire' - while far from perfect, is a far more professional and provocative package than this somewhat aimless and anaemic attempt.