Posts tagged with: subgenre

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about a promotional idea, one that I and another writer are trying out, even as you read this.

Most readers have a preference of subgenres, and some will not dare to dangle even a toe into the other genre pond.  Romantic suspense readers might easily pick up books with contemporary, edgy covers while passing on books with Jane Austen type gowns gracing the cover. Historical readers might go for the stories featuring a hero in a kilt or with a sword. I, myself, pick up a British historical romance before a contemporary military or western romance. I know what to expect in the English and Scottish settings and language, especially when reading my favorite authors. The stories are comfortable and the “ride” I take to reach the end of the journey is as familiar, fun and wonderful as usual.

Untamed_Hearts_500The Perfect Hostage












So when my publicist recommended that I do a joint blog tour with an author who writes contemporary romantic suspense, I wasn’t sure it would work. My novella, UNTAMED HEARTS (Buy Link Untamed Hearts) is a 16th century romance that follows a pirate into the Scottish Highlands. The other author, Misty Evans, was releasing a romantic suspense novella, THE PERFECT HOSTAGE (Buy Link Perfect Hostage) featuring a Spec Ops hero from her Super Agent Series. Completely different settings with a completely different readership.

As Misty and I discussed our two seemingly opposite novellas, we realized that both involve characters taking a large risk. Our heroines take a “walk on the wild side” and try something new. And in both cases, the payoff is hugely gratifying.

That got us thinking about the benefits of taking risks, stepping out of the box and diving into something completely different. Aha! This was something we could suggest to readers. So I did a little easy research on the benefits of stepping outside the box and trying new things.

The following quotes are from The Franklin Institute of Science and discuss our brain health.

“Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline…”

“Throughout life, your neural networks reorganize and reinforce themselves in response to new stimuli and learning experiences.”

“Consider your brain a muscle, and find opportunities to flex it. ‘Read, read, read,’ says Dr. Amir Soas of Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland.”

The article gives various ways to improve cognitive strength throughout our lives.  It recommends physical activity, learning a new language, as well as using your non-dominant hand for tasks like brushing teeth or moving a computer mouse. Basically doing something new or trying to do something familiar in a different way.

All reading stimulates the brain and reading something outside a person’s area of familiarity could add even more stimulus. So we’ve asked our readers to “take a walk on the wild side” and try out a different subgenre of romance. If they usually thrill at a man packing a semi-automatic and riding a motorcycle, we’ve asked them to take a look at my swashbuckling pirate stuck in the Scottish Highlands. If their hearts thump wildly while reading about a man in a kilt brandishing a lethal claymore, we’ve asked them to give a Special Ops agent, snowbound in a chalet, a chance. Our books are novellas so the time and monetary commitment is small (Both novellas are only $0.99 right now). And who knows, maybe after wading in the other pond a reader might decide to plunge into the other subgenre altogether.

I don’t know if it will work and I don’t think we can track numbers on it, but it is something new to try. The more we can promote each other and other subgenres, the more opportunity we create for readers to expand their reading preferences. And that will help all of us. So if you are contemplating a joint endeavor to promote, don’t rule out authors who write in completely different subgenres than you. Taking a “walk on the wild side” might be a perfectly fun way to broaden your readership.

Has anyone else tried something like this before, and did it work?

Do you have any suggestions for “outside the box” promotion?


More information about Heather McCollum can be found here on her web site: She can also be found on Twitter at and on FB at

More information about Misty Evans can be found here on her web site: . She can also be found on Twitter at and on FB at .

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