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…

0B SIG SIZE0A SIG BLOCK SIZE - Copy (2)

 

 

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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Next Romantic Suspense in the Scandals Series – Tramp Stamp

Hello all and welcome to the post-Christmas  / pre-New Years post about my next Romantic Suspense, aimed at the 18 to 30 year old new adult crowd.  I put book #1, BABY DADDY on sale this weekend for everyone.
So you know about the 18 to 30 year old crowd a little better I have been doing research in the US and UK abut new adults.  Over the past few weeks I have focused on my new adult romantic suspense series with blogs about a number of new adult related realities of the world…

* What do the Eagles, New Adults and Facebook have in common?

* A Novel about Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials, Net Generation, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Peter Pan Generation, and The Lost Generation.

* Friends, Debt and Tattoos; New Adults, the Educated Homeless

* A mental basis for The New Adult Fiction

The top ten book sellers is Baby Daddy  Book #1 in the Scandals Romantic Suspense series and that link to the Amazon version is in this post.

The second book in the series is underway and tonight’s blog is a convenient way to avoid finishing chapter eight I guess.  Book #2 is titled Tramp Stamp and the title comes from the female client that walked in the door of Austin’s Scandals Investigations at the end of book #1.  The SCANDALS Series is the story of five brothers and sisters who inherited their biological father’s very successful PI agency in Austin, Texas.  By this time in their decision to take over the ownership and operation of the agency they have taken on multiple cases but the one that Tramp Stamp follows is of personal interest to Reno…not the town but the one son of Roger Eliot, former musician who had spent too many years as a bad boy on the road.

I hope you’ll come back and when I’m a little closer to the release in February…they’ll be free copies of the ARC [Advance Review Copy] available in exchange for your honest opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/
SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013
About me check out the Wikipedia link at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

My website is http://www.nightwriter93.com and the purchase links for BABY DADDY can be found on the page http://www.nightwriter93.com/SCANDALS.html

NEW ADULT Book Release SCANDALS Series; BABY DADDY

NEW ADULT SERIES Releasing November 20th…SCANDALS Series Book #1 – BABY DADDY
 SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013
An excerpt…where Christopher and Killeen visit one of Christopher’s ex girlfriends trying to solve a murder. 
 
“Would you all want something to drink?” she offered.  “Water, coffee, soft drinks?”
“Not for me, thanks,” I said and a similar response came from Christopher.
“So how have you been?” the pretty doctor asked Christopher.
“Outside of Roger’s death…pretty good.”
“I still can’t get over that.  I thought he had given all that up.”
“Well, that’s why we’re here.  We don’t think it was an accident.”  Christopher leaned for back in his chair, but I could see he was watching her reactions.  “You might not have heard, but our building got bombed a few days ago.  I’m thinking the killer is close.”
“Bombed?”
“Our offices…kaboom,” Christopher spread his hands apart in an exploding pattern.  “One of Roger’s other kids, Liberty, was in the hospital for three days…almost killed her.”
“I had no idea.  Wow!  Any idea who might have done this?”
“We have a few suspects.”
Janet interrupted.  “Is that why you’re here?  On business?”  She smiled and crossed her legs and letting her skirt slide up her thighs.  “I was hoping it was because you missed me.”
I suddenly felt like they had forgotten I was in the room.  And it kind of pissed me off.
“I thought you were engaged.”
She held up her left hand so he…and I…could clearly see there was no ring on that finger.  “I realized he wasn’t the one.  So, I’m back on the market.”
Subtle.  Real subtle.  She was definitely not going to get my business.
“Good to know,” Christopher said.  “But today, I need to find your father.  Do you have any idea where he is?”
Janet’s body language changed as she crossed her arms across her chest as if she had suddenly felt a chill.  “You mean the man who screwed my mother, then walked away?”
That sounded familiar.  Completely against my will, I had a hint of empathy for her.
“Have you talked to him recently?”
“Recently?”  Janet thought for a moment before speaking.  “The Thanksgiving after the election Stephanie and I still hadn’t heard from him, so we hired Murray to track him down and see if he wanted to come home…you know extend him an olive branch kind of thing.”
“You hired Murray the frog!” Christopher exclaimed.
“He creeps me out too, but he fits in with the homeless scene,” Janet said with a little half-shrug.  “Anyway, Murray came back the week after Thanksgiving with a present from our dad but no contact information.”
“A present…?”
“It was a beaten-up old shoebox with dog shit wrapped in newspapers.  That’s the last we’ve heard from or about him.”
I could see that in spite of her tough-girl attitude, she had tears in her eyes.  I tried to lighten the mood.  “And I thought my Thanksgivings were weird.”
Neither Christopher nor Janet so much as glanced my way.
“So, no idea where he might be?”
Janet shook her head.  “Anywhere where there’s free food or a bar, I’d guess.  If we could do it over again…we wouldn’t.  When Steph and I were growing up we fantasized about who our father could be.  We were better off not knowing.”
After a prolonged awkward moment of silence Christopher spoke, “He’s an asshole.”  Christopher stood.  “Well, it’s been great seeing you again Janet…say hi to your equally gorgeous sister for me, would you?  We need to double date some time, maybe tear it up on Sixth?”
“I’d love that…you have my number.”
Fuck, even I had her number, I thought with a snort.  I must have actually snorted because both of them turned to look at me.
She held her arms out, and he gave her a hug.  A professional yet personal lip-on-lip kiss happened, and I could see Janet’s arms pull him closer to her.
“It was nice to meet you Janet,” I spoke up in order to shorten Christopher’s time in her grip.
Janet looked over and smiled as she released him.  “Yes…of course. It was great to meet you, Kiley.”
“It’s Killeen,” I corrected her with an equally insincere smile.
“Thanks, Janet.  I’ll let you know what we find out…bye.”  Christopher waved as we headed out the door.
  Once in the car, I couldn’t get the body language and familiarity between Christopher and Janet out of mind.  It wasn’t any of my business, but I just had to ask as Christopher sped along the interstate heading back to the office.  “How long did you and Janet date?  I mean, was it serious?”
Christopher’s eyes darted toward me, then back on the road as he cleared his throat.  “Date?  We went out a couple of times…”
“After the case was over?”
He hesitated.  “Technically, no.  I know…I know…conflict of interest.  She was hot…I was young.  Okay?”
What else could I say without seeming like I was jealous?  Which, I was surprised to realize, I was.
“Today was the first time I’ve seen her in years…she still looks the same, though.”
“So, are you going to call her?”  Oh God, had I said that out loud?  I need to re-adjust my filters.
The car quickly sped up as we exited the interstate and Christopher took the U-turn lane to reverse direction on the interstate.  He looked in the mirror and exhaled deeply.
THE BLURB
An inheritance brought her more than she ever could have imagined…
Killeen Ames had it all…beauty, brains, a college scholarship, a rich and handsome boyfriend.  Then she found out she was pregnant and the boyfriend disappeared and the scholarship is in jeopardy.  A stranger arrives at her door with the news that a father she had never known had died and she was his heir.
But not his only heir.  She and four half-siblings meet for the first time and learn the shocking details of a popular music star who had been their father and Scandals, the private investigation agency he has left them.
Killeen’s decision is further complicated when she meets the totally irresistible manager of Scandals.  Her attraction to him is immediate and volatile, but she knows they have no future.  She has a secret she can’t share.
Someone doesn’t want them to stay and take over the business.  In fact, someone wants them all dead.  Their lives depend on whether or not they can figure out who he is and how to stop him before he succeeds.
THE AUTHOR
Kathy Clark has 23 women’s fiction/romance novels with sales over 3 million copies in more than 10 languages and have been on the New York Times’ bestsellers’ list and won her numerous awards.
In September 2012 she went Indie and launched a new suspense series, Denver After Dark.  Book #1, After Midnight.  Voted The Best Indie Suspense of 2013 and won a prestigious Readers’ Favorite Suspense Award in 2013, book #2, Cries in the Night followed in October, 2013.
Also in 2012 Kathy teamed up with her husband Bob Wernly to write a Young Adult Time Travel Mystery/Romance series called CUL8R (See You Later) under the pen name of Bob Kat.  Book #1 OMG (Oh My God), when they go back to 1966 to save a girl’s life, was released in October, 2012 and was named as the Best Indie Young Adult Suspense of 2013 and was a Beverly Hills Book Awards finalist.  Book #2 BRB (Be Right Back), when they travel back to 1980, recently won a Readers’ Favorite Young Adult Award in 2013.  Book #3 BION (Believe It Or Not), when they go back to 1927 and join a circus to save a boy, was released in July, 2013.  They also teamed and wrote a fictionalized version of Bob’s fraternity days at Kent State University in 1970.  The mixture drama of senior year, military draft lottery to supply the Vietnam war and the Kent State shootings.  This novel was named as a finalist in the Best Indie Mainstream Book of 2013 Awards.
Their New Adult series Scandals, kicks off the book #1, Baby Daddy in November, 2013.

BABY DADDY Looking For Eyes

Yes, it is time to start seeking out readers of suspense, romantic suspense and new adult romance who would like a free book in exchange for a review posted to Amazon in support of our 11/18/2013 release.

Tonight we’re putting the final touches on the first book in the New Adult [NA] fiction series SCANDALS.  Book #1, titled BABY DADDY.  The planned cover is below:

SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013 

We have a list of people who have agreed to read the “galley proof” and provide reviews on other novels in the past and we will be reaching out and emailing them directly when it is ready to go to see if they interest this time.

However we are also extending that same offer to all those who are connected with us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.  The galley proof serves as some advance publicity but more importantly it is a means for us to acquire reviews on Amazon and Goodreads after the planned release date of November 18th.  We can provide the galley proof in mobi, epub or PDF formats.

Now…a little about the series and book #1, BABY DADDY.  The New Adult genre has been gaining visibility and its own set of rules over the past two to three years and it is in recognition that readers don’t move from reading teen books to adult books overnight or over a long weekend.  The 18 to 26 year old population has a unique perspective on life and relationships can be complicated and twisted by life at college and on the job.  This book is written in first person and is told from the point of view of one of the main female characters, Killeen Ames.  Other books in the series will be written from other points of view but I’m sure you’ll find Killeen engaging, independent, smart, gutsy and funny. 

 

So what exactly could you be getting into?

BABY DADDY is a full blown suspense with an underlying romance.  One day when SCANDALS hits the big screen it likely will be R Rated…maybe PG-17.  17 year olds aren’t yet “New Adults” but everyone is moving faster right?

Here’s the summary that will be on the back of the book.  We have posted the first paragraph of the first chapter for your further consideration.  In another blog post later this week the entire first chapter will be in the blog  When you feel compelled to grab the book and help with an early and honest review you will can get your galley proof by emailing Kathy@nightwriter93.com.

 

Killeen Ames had it all…beauty, brains, a college scholarship, a rich and handsome boyfriend.  She found out she is pregnant…now the boyfriend has disappeared and the scholarship is in jeopardy.  An attorney arrives at her door with an offer she can’t refuse.

She walks into the meeting and is surprised to find out that her real father had been a popular music star who is now dead.  Even more shocking is the four strangers who share the same absentee dad.  He has left them a highly successful private investigation agency, Scandals.  The catch is…they have to make the commitment to work there. 

It’s a difficult choice for them to make…leave their old jobs, schools and lives and run the agency.  Killeen’s decision is further complicated when she meets the totally irresistible manager of Scandals.  Her attraction to him is immediate and volatile, but she knows they have no future.  She has a secret she can’t share. 

But there is a darker side to their dilemma.  Someone is determined that they not get their inheritance.  In fact, someone wants them all dead.  Should they run back to their safe lives or should they stay and try to stop a killer…before he kills them? 

 

Here’s the first few paragraphs…

CHAPTER ONE

“He left me with two empty DVD cases, a pair of worn-out Nikes and a plus sign on my pee stick.”  I laid my head back on the couch and stared up at the ceiling.  I haven’t had a drink for weeks since I found out.  This whole thing would be a pretty interesting country and western song if it wasn’t about me…oh yeah wait what the fuck was I thinking…it is about me!  He peed all over me and made a positive impression on my pee stick.  Too wordy to be the song title…maybe the refrain?  God!  This really sucks.  He sure didn’t take the news very well last night.  I rubbed my eyes but the view didn’t change.  Neither did I.  This can’t be happening to me!

Brandon was the only guy I’ve ever gone past second base with in my life.  He told me he always used protection.  Did the protection fail or was I just lazy and didn’t bother to check if he lied to me in the heat of the moment?  Why would he lie to me about that anyway?  I can’t believe I trusted him with my entire future.  That bastard!

I stared at the outside door that lead to the parking lot.  I can still hear Brandon yell at me as he threw the door open after everyone had left the party.  The door knob hole is still in the wall.  “That baby is your problem Killeen, not mine.  I paid the apartment up through the end of July so leave it clean…I want my security deposit back.”  What an ass!  Last night was no time to be mean to me, it’s not like it was my fault.  I didn’t do this by myself asshole!  I picked the small terracotta donkey statue we bought in Mexico last summer out from under the party debris in front of me on the coffee table and threw it full speed at the steel door.  Strike three! Reminded me of my first base throw whenever a runner took too big a lead trying to steal second base.  Two seasons zero steals.  That puppy really shattered so I looked around for anything else available at arm’s length.  All the beer bottles had beer left in them and I still have to live here for a few weeks so I set the bottle back down on the table.

Clean the apartment?  He didn’t lift a fucking finger yesterday as I vacuumed and dusted every square inch of his shit apartment.  I had put every one of the congratulations banners up for his graduation party. Every one!  Now that I think about it I think I cleaned his apartment more often that he did.  I fought back the tears again.  Last night was to be really special for us.  His graduation party and our pregnancy.  I’m just glad I was smart enough to not announce it at the party.  His reaction made me think I hardly knew him after two years of dating.  I even spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve at his family’s house with him last year.  I mean that was pretty serious stuff isn’t it?  I started to cry again and the sleeves of my tee shirt were growing damper with each minute that passed.

 

Don;t be fooled…this isn’t girl book…it is more like these two books only dealing with 19 to 26 year old college and post college kids with some seriously disrupted family histories.

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISEDCRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013

Making Summer Romance Reading more affordable

Pass your time this month with 4 great contemporary romance stories…Well over 100,000 sold in paperback and now available as an eBook.

2 Romantic Comedies and 2 Romances Western Style

Each collection contains 2 full length unabridged books and each collection are value priced at $2.99 each!
COLLECTIONS Romantic Comedy

Comedy http://www.amazon.com/ROMANCE-COLLECTION-ROMANTIC-Collection-ebook/dp/B00D6RRIK4/

COLLECTIONS Best Of The West
Romance Western Style http://www.amazon.com/ROMANCE-COLLECTION-Romance-Collection-ebook/dp/B00D5U5WC8/

Not your idea of curling up for an afternoon read or a glass of wine or two?  Try these out on Amazon.  Find them all in Kathy’s Amazon store at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

COLLECTIONS Unexpected ConsequencesCOLLECTIONS Men In UniformCOLLECTIONS Single DadsCOLLECTIONS Nashville Nights Texas DaysCOLLECTIONS Pregnant and AloneCOLLECTIONS Romantic SuspensesCOLLECTIONS Go For Your Dreams

All for $3.99 each.  Checkout Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com for additonal infomration about the 2013 awards, her new suspese series Denver AFter Dark, her new Young Adult series, CUL8R [website http://www.cul8rseries.com%5D and her first NEW ADULT Romance, Life’s What Happens.

Life's What Happens REVISED COVER - Copy