Putting a Sharper Edge On Our Young Adult Series

After last night’s Writers’ League of Texas 3rd Thursday program titled Coming of Age: Writing for Teens and Tweens We came back with a clearer appreciation for the need to be sure the message for our Young Adult market is sharper than it has been.

As many of you know, our blog often times delves into the Writer’s journey of marketing, selling and promotion activity.  Having come from a career of 23 novels published by publishers, our last 9 novels are all self pub…the real DIY of books.

Special thanks goes to last night’s panel, especially to Jo Whittemore.  Jo is the author of the tween humor novels, FRONT PAGE FACE-OFF, ODD GIRL IN, D IS FOR DRAMA, and the upcoming COLONIAL MADNESS and CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS series.  She is deeply embedded in the world of Children’s and young adult publishing and her insight was provocative.

Long story short?  Each of the books in the YA Time Travel Mystery / Suspense series CUL8R, has it’s own hook as might be considered by a potential YA reader.  Today we sharpened that hook and through social media, communicated to the hundreds of thousands of connections we’ve accumulated.

Just thought we’d share the work product today.  Pay particular attention to each book’s log line.

0000CUL8R SERIES 0000CUL8R SERIES1 0000CUL8R SERIES2 0000CUL8R SERIES3 0000CUL8R SERIES4 0000CUL8R SERIES5

 

 

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Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

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The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages Blog

In the past I wrote about the re-branding of my reader facing social media and other advertising and marketing materials.  In the last ten days everything moved from being about me, Kathy Clark, sometimes Bob Kat, the young adult author to what I, and my husband on two of the three series, write about, suspense.

So we branded the author slogan, The Thrill Of Suspense and a secondary longer slogan by adding the phrase Across The Ages.

This blog has now been re titled The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages. 

Here are some of the graphics you will see on line…but behind it is me and what we write about.

0NEWSLETTER HEADER 0Contest 0B STREET TEAM FULL SIZE 0A HEADER SIZE

 

Oh yeah…being from Texas originally the liberal use of stars in all the graphics?  Yeah…it’s in the DNA.  Being a big state you also learn that a lone star would just not do.

You’ll also find the brand on Pinterest and the following QR codes are for point and loading your smart phone for getting on our main author site

www.TheThrillOfSuspense.com

or this blog site.

www.TheThrillOfSuspense Blog Site

I’d love to have you on The Thrill of Suspense street team so clock on the Mail Chimp link and fill it in. http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

 

The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages; Marketing An Author’s Brand

As a New York Times bestselling fiction author, once, and having authored and had published 32 books with total sales over nearly 3.5 million across way too many years to remember, Bob and I joined the Romance Writers of America [RWA] deep in the heart of Texas, on July 23–26, for the 2014 #RWA Conference in San Antonio.  I had stepped away from the #RWA organization after being a National Board member and went to Hollywood to write for the big screen which can explain my time away from the organization and writing books.  The biggest change I noticed was the high quality expertise surrounding the 2nd major task of any successful best selling author, marketing.

In 2012, my husband Bob and I relocated to the #Austin area and we went back to writing novels.  The trip to San Antonio was a short drive and the week was a great time to get away.  We had released 8 books in two years, so it’s not like we’ve been goofing off. What they didn’t realize was how much we would learn about marketing our books and, more critically, our brand.

Whether you’re being published through a large publishing house or self-publishing your books, the effort, skills and intuition needed to market your brand and your books is nearly equal.  So we came back and went to work to sharpen our message to the book market in general and to work on finding and communicating better with our readers and fans.  The result was that we now have a consistent reader facing message.  Bob always knew that an advertising slogan is a short, memorable group of words used in advertising campaigns to draw attention to one distinctive feature,” Bob continued.  “Our passion is suspense so our slogan had to be The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages.”

We have three different active suspense series currently.

The Young Adult series, CUL8R [See you later for the non-texters], is all about the 15 to 18 year old reader.  It is a time travel series with the last book, RIP, taking place in 1911 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado who were very supportive of our work. Having RIP on the shelf with the another famous work of fiction by Stephen KingShining, is a real rush.

aaThe New Adult series, Scandals, is about the 18 to 26 year old generation.  There are two books published thus far, Due Dates and August, 2014 release of Killer Date.  “Millennial “kids, mainly in 18 to 26 year old group, have a great deal of organic suspense built in based on our five sons.  The stories and heroes of these books will keep your heart rate up.  Our NA books are not YA with sex or YA with training wheels removed.  These are bonafide adult suspense stories with twenty something’s talking on the heavy lifting in the story.

0000picFinally, and with one foot still in the romance industry so Kathy doesn’t co-write this series with Bob, the Denver After Dark series is heavy on the suspense and deep into the romance, hence Romantic Suspense.  The 2nd book, Cries In The Night” recently was a finalist in the 2014 #ColoradoHumanities book awards and was recognized in the Amazon 2014 Breakthrough Novel Award.

     AFTER MIDNIGHT  CRIES IN THE NIGHT

The activities we’ve undertaken to implement what we learned is that The visual image and simple message on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, the webpage http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com, our email address thethrillofsuspense@gmail.com and template and this blog must all look and feel the same.

Our readers can simply see what we’re about and that’s important. The #RWA San Antonio experience helped us hone our message. These are writers that sell millions of books in a couple of years which took me twenty years to accomplish. With the marketing activity undertaken this first week back we can check marketing off our to do list...for a couple of days.

We was skeptical of the value add of the week at the conference.  Kathy knew what was coming as she used to eat and breath this stuff.  Now Bob’s a believer and more importantly he is seeing the upside to marketing and marketing through a prism to help focus all that we do.  We’ve been fortunate enough to win awards and contests and have earned amazing reviews and ratings…maybe now new readers will have an easier time finding us.  Now it’s time to write.

 

So you’ll see this image from here on…

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Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thrill Of Suspense

Are you a fan of Thriller, Suspense or mystery fiction and enjoy my books?

My first 23 books were conventionally published but the week in San Antonio at#RWA14 was an eye opener now that we’re back into publishing for two years with our last 8 books. Times have changed in #Authorworld and #marketing.

Today, actually today was ten years ago, authors have #street #team! Who knew? Not me but now I’m excited.

What’s a #street #team? Wikipedia says a #street #team is a term used in marketing to describe a group of people who ‘hit the streets’ promoting an event or a product. ‘Street Teams’ are promotional tools that have been adopted industry-wide as a standard line item in marketing budgets by entertainment companies, record labels, the tech industry, corporate brand marketers, new media companies and direct marketers worldwide. Add Books under the media companies.

Naturally this is a voluntary position and my few but might members are readers, bloggers and fans of suspense and thriller fiction in either or both #YA or #Adultage groups.

What do #street #team members do?
* Share or re-tweet or re-post on Face Book, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. Any and all are appreciated
* Receive FREE books of ALL releases and then post reviews [honest reviews only]
* Receive small gifts of appreciation long the way
* Some of my existing Street Team are also Beta Readers
* Blog opinions and articles about any or all of my book series
* Making me aware of opportunities to reach readers and fans

This is new to me as well so we’ll likely slog through this CROWD MARKETING together but it was exciting to hear about this “new” 1990’s idea that started in the music industry and now has over taken author world.

Thanks first to Scott, Kristie, Pat, Betty and Steve for the energy to move forward. Ronnie, if you’re reading this we’d love to have you as a member representing the youngsters at age 70. Finally, to the presenters at #RWA14 who brought it home for us, a special thank you to #bellaandre #marieforce #barbarafreethy#pennysansevieri #cathrinebybee #jenniferprobst to name some of the stars of the #rwa14 conference in San Antonio!

Interested? Let me know. I am looking for more active members. Write me at thethrillofsuspense@gmail.com
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ABOUT KATHY CLARK, d.b.a. Bob Kat
WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE: http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com/

BLOG: https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER: @93nightwriter

PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

JOIN KATHY’S EMAIL LIST FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS, ** FREE ** PRE-RELEASE BOOKS : http://eepurl.com/N4osT via MAIL CHIMP
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What’s In A Name? Everything It Seems.

There’s something very satisfying about having decided on a title for a book.  In fact I cannot write the first word on the first page of the first chapter if I cannot write the title in first.

So imagine how hard it was, after having written 29 books, had 23 published and actually published six others myself, that I had the title all wrong?  It was an awful feeling and one that only the best of reviewers and friends would tell you. So recognizing what one of my husband’s former bosses who would say “if three people tell you to sit down you’re probably drunk”, well?

So book #1 in the SCANDALS New Adult romantic suspense series, BABY DADDY, has had a title change.  But before I divulge the change here are a couple of reviews that got me thinking.

“The title of this book is pretty awful but the book itself is actually pretty good. All in all, the only real negative things I can say about this book are the title and …” 

and

“This story pulled me in right from the start and ended up not being at all what I was expecting. Don’t let the title of the book fool you.”

Then the worse thing imaginable hit me this week while at my appointment at the Hair Central Salon in Round Rock Texas.  The really gutsy fans, readers and reviewers are the ones that will tell you straight away, Texas style, “I normally wouldn’t buy a book with that title but since I know the author, I did and I loved it.”  My husband and I don’t have a Wharton Business School MBA between us but some quick back of the napkin higher level math and we’re going to fall short of out $1 million a year income goal from publishing or we’re going to have to find a way to get more people to know us.

Bottom line, the title needs changed.

Sole searching with my co-writer husband, Bob, we concluded the recurring theme of the SCANDALS New Adult romantic suspense series is “date” and that the lead character in the first book, Killeen, is actually confronted with more than one critical due date in her immediate life.  That said, book #1 has been re-titled, DUES DATES and the cover is as follows:

DUE DATES AMAZON

And with book #2 now 75% completed, plus or minus, the planned title of TRAMP STAMP seemed doomed to experience the first book’s fate.  So book #2 will be named KILLER DATE and when you read about the details of the case that walked into the agency at the end of DUES DATES [remember the tramp stamp tat?] KILLER DATE fits the story well.

What about book #3?  Think about WORSE DATE EVER.

 

Wowee! We’re Finalists In Two Categories of the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for 2013!

TAKEN FROM THE PR WEB PRESS RELEASE OF JULY 1, 2013

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Life on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado where the story begins.

BRB eBook Cover 2

Time Travel can be murder.

2013 Reader’s Choice Award Finalists announced for Kathy Clark’s After Midnight, a romantic suspense novel and is book #1 in her Denver After Dark series. Kathy co-writes with her husband under the pen name Bob Kat and their second book in their CUL8R [See you later] teen time travel mystery BRB [Be Right Back] was also named a finalist in the Young Adult Mystery category.

“Awards from a professional competition are a great way to help establish credibility
with potential readers,” Kathy said when contacted. “We have been so fortunate to have won or placed as a finalist in all of the contests we have entered this year.”

“We are thrilled to announce two of our books are finalists in the Reader’s Choice Awards for 2013,” Bob added. “These awards give readers an independent recommendation that the books contain a good story, well-told, compared to the other books in the genre. I, too, am very grateful as it validates our work…our creativity.”

BRB [Be Right Back] has been named a finalist in the Young Adult Mystery category and After Midnight in the fiction Adult Suspense in the Readers’ Choice Awards for 2013. The final awards will be announced September 1st.

BRB is the second book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery series and joins OMG, book #1, which was a first place winner in The Best Indie Book of 2013 in the Young Adult mystery category. OMG was also a finalist in the Beverly Hills Books Awards in 2013. Book #3, BION [Believe It Or Not] will be released in July, 2013. “This series has been awesome to write and we have several new books plotted and researched,” Kathy noted.
After Midnight had won first place in The Best Indie Book of 2013 earlier in the year. The second book in the Denver After Dark series, Cries In The Night, will be released in late 2013.

All these books can be seen on the author’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com/ .

The CUL8R Teen Mystery series has its own website at http://www.cul8rseries.com.

All books can be acquired through Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Kathy Clark’s first 23 romance / women’s fiction novels were published by several publishers, including Harlequin and Dell and sold more than 3.2 million copies globally in at least 11 different languages. Her books have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Recommended lists and have received numerous industry awards including Romantic Times Readers’ Choice Awards and numerous regional and state awards.

After several years of writing screenplays she came back to the novel-author role with new skills, insight and storytelling capacity. Kathy Clark still writes adult books but now they are focused on romantic suspense. Book #1 in the Denver After Dark suspense series, After Midnight is about one of three brothers, a cop, and takes place in Denver. The next two books will be about the fireman and the paramedic, all public servants in Denver and will be released during 2013 and early 2014. After Midnight won The Best Indie Book of 2013 award and is a finalist in the Reader’s Choice awards in 2013.

Under the name of Bob Kat, Kathy now writes with husband, Bob Wernly. OMG was first in their new young adult-centered CUL8R Time Travel Mystery series and was recognized as The Best Indie Book.

OMG eBook 3

Book #1 in the CUL8R Teen Time Travel Mystery series, voted best Indie Book in 2013 for young adult / teens

Also in late 2012, Bob Kat published a New Adult Romance that takes place in 1969 – 70.  Every New Adult Romance criteria is fully met and Life’s What Happens is unique in that it is one of the few to not be set in today but is contemporary is very respect.  The story centers on the tumultuous times of 1969 and 1970 at Kent State University and how the New Adults then dealt with the issues and changes of the times.

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

2013 is a busy year with third CUL8R young adult mystery time travel series being released in April and book #2 in the Denver After Dark series, Cries In The Night   being worked on daily for an end of year release.  A prolific writer, Kathy, with Bob in a research role, will be releasing a New Adult age novel in a new series SCANDALS  in the fall.

Another Excerpt For the eBook Virtual Book Fair, A New Adult Romance

Before the fair closes up today we wanted to make everyone aware of our first New Adult Romance…and here’s an excerpt from the book..It is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS/

And to taste the times here’s the trailer…We also wanted to introduce readers to a New Adult Romance, Life’s What Happens. The excerpt is on our blog at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDTibRqRL4o

 

Life's What Happens NEW GIRL

FROM LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS by Bob Kat

From the outside, the coach house appeared to have undergone more renovations than the exterior of the fraternity house itself.  Don pulled open the door and allowed Jennifer to enter the building and climb the single set of narrow wooden stairs.  A wave of aroma from years of beer-soaked boards flowed down the stairs and hit them as they entered the building.  As Don walked up the fifteen steps, he automatically counted them.   The exact number had been a pledge test on oddities and trivia about the fraternity property.  He also recalled the number of windows in the house, the steps leading to the front porch and how many trees were in the backyard.  All critical knowledge needed to be recalled at times of duress like hell week and was, even after all this time, still stuck in his memory.

The stairs entered the second level through the center of the floor.  The old basketball half court remained on the left side and the right side had been carpeted since he had been here forty years earlier.  There were folding tables arranged in a giant rectangle shape for meetings.  The far wall was covered floor to ceiling with the signatures of all the seniors who had ever graduated Kent State as a Phi Psi brother.  Jennifer and Don gravitated toward it, drawn by all the voices from the past.

Together, they stared at the signatures written with scores of ball point pens, felt tip markers, colored pencil and even quill pens that had been the weapon of choice by those who had graduated from the very demanding architecture school.

“What’s this all about?” she asked as she walked along the wall.

“It was a tradition that all seniors had to come up here on graduation day and sign the wall.  As you could guess, there are hundreds more now than when I left.”

Don slowly shuffled his way along the wall, carefully touching the inked signatures with his fingertips.

“You’re looking at those names like you’re at the Vietnam memorial in DC.”

Don turned to Jennifer and blinked against the tears that welled up in his eyes. “You really get to know someone when you go through college, growing up with them.  Being with them as they met and lost girlfriends, pass and fail classes and especially the hell we all went through our senior year.  They were always there for me.  But we’ve lost touch.”

“Did Mr. Harrigan sign it?” she asked.

“Sure.  He’s way over to the left and toward the top,” Don said as he pointed her in that direction.  “He was in one of the first classes to live in this house.  I guess he bought it after he graduated and got rich.”

“Whose is this?”  Jennifer pointed to a mostly illegible autograph that included a rough drawing of the iconic Playboy bunny logo.  “What’s with the rabbit?”

“That was Cliff Baker.  His nickname was Hef.”

“Ahh, I see.  After Hugh Hefner, right?”

“Yeah.  Cliff used to be a photographer.”

One perfectly waxed eyebrow arched with the unasked question that would naturally follow such a confession.

“They were art shots,” he defended his brother without apology.  “Remember, it was the Sixties.  It was all about freedom and beauty and love.”

“Where’s yours?”

Don pointed to a spot about five feet off the floor and left of the window overlooking the parking lot.  “Right there.”

“The one with the little rocket?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”  He smiled at the memory that invoked.  He hadn’t thought about that in years.

“You’re living in Texas now, aren’t you?”

“Yes, for the last few years.  My wife grew up in Austin.  She had to stay behind with our daughter who’s expecting our first grandchild any minute.”

“That must be nice.”  Jennifer glanced at her watch, clearly moving her focus back to the meeting.  “Do you know who is planning on making it?”

Don shook his head and shrugged.  “I have no idea.  I never even heard who was invited.”

Jennifer walked over to the meeting tables, and laid her briefcase on one of them.  “I didn’t send you the list?  My assistant must have forgotten to put that into your package,” she told him as she shuffled through her briefcase.

“I guess we’ll both know soon enough,” Don commented.

“I left my phone in the car.  I’m going to run down and call the office and make sure the food I arranged for is on the way,” she told him.  “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Don turned back to the wall.  He moved slowly, looking for familiar names and stopping to touch the inked signatures with his fingertips.  With each one he recognized, he’d stop, smile and sometimes nod as he recalled his experiences with every brother whose name he found.

Larry Reed with a small baseball drawn over his name.  Stanley Freeman.  Jeff Tallmadge accented by the faces of comedy and tragedy.  Frank Pucci.  Ted McCoy.  Barry Smith next to a drawing of two sticks that no one but the class of 1970 would understand.  Ira Schwartz.  Rick Rogers.  Alfonso Garcia and a paw print of a monkey with the name Carlos, inked above it.  Someone, probably Jeff, must have added the tiny paw print after Alfonso signed because Alfonso and the monkey’s hatred for each other had been legendary.  There was Kevin Nash and Mike Anderson with an airplane drawn near his name.

Those guys had been his best friends, and yet he hadn’t heard from any of them for years, not since the day they closed the campus.  He was overcome with all the memories that flooded back.  It was as fresh as if it was . . .

Suddenly he heard the sound of a basketball bouncing, then something hit him in the back of his knees so hard his legs almost buckled.

“Hey,” Don yelled as he whirled around to see who else was there.  “Watch what you’re doing.”  He hadn’t heard anyone come up the stairs.

From the dimly lit basketball court about fifty feet away he heard someone yell “Come on, Don!  A little help here.  We want to finish our game before registration.”