The Hachette Book Group has launched Novel Suspects, a mystery/thriller vertical that features movies, TV shows, and podcasts along with books. The goal of the vertical, explained HBG's senior v-p of marketing strategy Heather Fain, is to "strengthen our ability to reach out directly to mystery and thriller fans." Novel Suspects features bestselling and new authors as well as HBG's backlist mystery titles.
The vertical is comprised of a website, Facebook page and a free weekly newsletter highlighting content from the site, and promoting things like contests and sweepstakes.
Like category verticals from other publishers, Novel Suspects includes mystery and thrillers from all publishers. A unique aspect of Novel Suspects is that it lets readers link to a book's title page. This is something Fain hopes will keep readers on the site longer. Consumers can buy books directly from the site (in print, digital and audio formats) from a variety of retailers.
Both the books and TV/movie pages feature listicles, quizzes, videos, graphics, author interviews, and reviews. Currently the content is largely from HBG authors, but Fain said the company would like to include works by authors at other houses. "Novel Suspects is a work in progress," Fain said. "We hope to get more authors taking part and contributing their voice."
To jump start interest in Novel Suspects, HBG has a number of plans set for BookCon including participation in three panels. The publisher will also be giving away Novel Suspects tote bags, doing Novel Suspects-themed book giveaways in its booth, and offering free audiobook downloads to new email subscribers.
HBG will continue promoting Novel Suspects throughout the year, with events and giveaways planned for Thrillerfest in July and Bouchercon in September. Ongoing advertising and social media campaigns are also planned, as well as sweepstakes and giveaways.