Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Fun Announcement Plus How to Get an Autographed Book for FREE

Can I have a drumroll please...

I'm thrilled to announce that my 10th book, Whispers of the Bayou, which was originally published in paperback in 2008,  is, at long last, now officially available as an audiobook!  Woo hoo! Better yet, the book's narrator is outstanding and truly brings the story to life. 

My very first standalone mystery, Whispers of the Bayou was a real project of the heart and one of the most fun books I've ever written. When it came out, it was a big hit with critics and with my readers, who helped catapult it onto the Inspirational Fiction bestseller list. (Love you guys!)

Now that the story is available in an audio format, I'm eager to spread the word about the new life that's being given to this former fan favorite. Whether you've already read the paperback version or not, if you're an audio reader in search of an exciting, can't-put-it-down mystery, the Whispers of the Bayou audiobook is ready and waiting for you to give it a listen!

What's It About?

Here's a description of the story...
Swept away from Louisiana bayou country as a child, Miranda Miller is a woman without a past. She has a husband and child of her own and a fulfilling job in a Manhattan museum, but she also has questions - about the tragedy that cut her off from family and caused her to be sent away and about those first five years of her life, which were erased from her memory entirely.

Summoned to the bedside of Willy Pedreaux, the old caretaker of her grandparents' antebellum estate, Miranda goes back to Louisiana at last, hoping to learn the truths of her past and receive her rightful inheritance. But Willy's premature death plunges Miranda into a nightmare of buried secrets, priceless treasure, and unknown enemies.

Follow one woman's search through the hidden rooms of a bayou mansion, the enigmatic snares of an ancient myth, and the all-consuming quest for a heart open enough for love - and for God.

And here's an excerpt from one of my favorite reviews in 2008 (when it first came out in trade paperback) from RT Book Reviews Magazine:

"Intricately plotted and exquisitely detailed, Clark's latest novel is fantastic. There's a gothic feel throughout, and the outcome of the mystery is fascinating.... Mystery lovers should move this to the top of their purchase lists."

Who's the Reader?

The narrator of the new audiobook version is Jill Smith, a top-notch producer and voice actor with a solid list of credits. You can hear an audio sample of her reading the book here:

Also, be sure to come back to this blog next week, when I'll interview Jill and get a behind-the-scenes look at the audiobook creation process.

Where Can I Get the Audiobook?

The audio version of Whispers of the Bayou is available from iTunes, Amazon, and Audible, but if you get it from Audible, I have a very special offer for you... 

If you join Audible within the next 30 days, you'll get a free copy of the Whispers of the Bayou audiobook PLUS a free, autographed paperback copy of one of my standalone mystery novels! For your free paperback, you can choose between:

     Whispers of the Bayou
     Shadows of Lancaster County
     Under the Cajun Moon
     Secrets of Harmony Grove
     Echoes of Titanic
     Beauty to Die For

All you have to do is go HERE to sign up for Audible.com, download your free copy of the Whispers of the Bayou audiobook, then fill out this simple form telling me which one of these paperbacks you'd like to get, how you want it autographed, and where I should send it. That's it.

You can find out more about this offer below, under "All the Deets", but first I'd like to share a bit about Audible and my own personal experience with it.

What is Audible and How Does It Work?

A subsidiary of Amazon, Audible is a place where you can buy digital audiobooks online and then download and listen to them on your cell phone, iPad, laptop, computer, iPod, etc.  Buying and downloading a book from Audible is so fun and easy, it only takes a couple of clicks. And even though the books you buy are digital and not physical, you still own them, just like any physical books you've ever purchased.

There is one big difference, however, between buying physical books at a store or online and buying audiobooks on Audible: To buy from Audible, you first have to "join" and become a member. The cost and benefits of membership vary, as shown in this chart, below. 

PlanCost# of Credits
Gold Monthly$14.95 per month1 per month
Platinum Monthly$22.95 per month2 per month
Gold Annual$149.50 per year12 per year
Platinum Annual$229.50 per year24 per year
Audible Channels Plan$4.95 per monthNo credits

Note that a "credit" is the same thing as a book, as in, one credit is good for one audiobook, regardless of that book's retail price. That means if you sign up for Audible's "Gold Monthly" plan, you'll pay $14.95 per month and in return get 1 book of your choice per month. Considering that audiobooks usually run $20-30+ each, that's a real bargain. 

According to the Audible website, a basic membership gives you:
  • 1 credit a month, good for any audiobook regardless of price.
  • Your own library to build. Keep your audiobooks forever, even if you cancel.
  • Exclusive member savings. Get 30% off any additional audiobooks.
  • Easy exchanges. Don't love the book? Swap it for free anytime. Seriously. 

Plus, keep reading to find out how, if you act by 8 pm today, you can get the first three months of your membership at 66% off! 

My Own Experience with Audible

I first became a member of Audible in September 2012. Since then, I've become a huge fan and, as of today, have amassed a total of 624 audiobooks for my personal audio library. That's a lot of books! I'm telling you this so that you'll understand I'm not just hawking some random service. I'm speaking from experience, and I really mean it when I say that I highly recommend Audible, it's a huge part of my life, and I'm not sure how I'd get along without it. 

The first few years of my membership, I only needed about one book a month, usually listening when I was driving or doing some mindless task. Otherwise, I preferred ebooks or paperbacks. But as time passed, I slowly found myself reading with my ears more and more and my eyes less and less. Bit by bit, I raised my membership levels to accommodate my rising quantity of purchases.

Eventually, because of eye issues, I found that I had to give up printed and e-books entirely. At that point, I had two choices: Read with my ears, or don't read at all. I can't imagine a life without books, no matter what the format, so I was grateful beyond measure that my Audible membership could allow me to keep on reading regardless. 

I'm still reading up a storm with Audible. These days, I tend to listen to about 100 audiobooks per year, which means that even their biggest plan, Platinum Annual, isn't enough for me. (Come on, Audible, time to add one more level, for us truly voracious readers!) In the meantime, at least I'm able to buy additional credits whenever I want, plus there's almost always some sale or special deal going on that I can take advantage of too.

I still read only with my ears, but I've actually gotten to the point where it's my preference. I do miss the feel and smell of actual books, but there's a lot to be said for the ease and convenience of having an entire digital audiobook library right inside my iPhone!

In Summary

Here's a list of My Top 5 Favorite Things About Audible:

1. The shopping interface is great. It's really easy to browse and choose books from audible, either on my computer or with my phone.

2. If I get a book from audible and it turns out that I don't like it, I can simply return it. As far as I know, no other bookseller does that–at least not without a lot of limits. Audible just takes it back and let's you get something else, no questions asked.

3. Audible offers its members a "Daily Deal," which is a book of their choice that they've priced around $2-$5–but just for a single day.  I've gotten such great books and found so many new authors that way that I've actually set up my browser's home page to the Daily Deals. Though I'm not interested in every single offer, I do find myself taking advantage of the Daily Deal fairly often. Somehow, it's just easier to take a chance on something new when it only costs a few bucks. And, as I said, I've made some wonderful discoveries that way.

4. Audible has frequent sales, and sometimes their sale prices are so good that I'm able to stock up on a whole bunch of new reads at really great prices. Audiobooks are expensive, so a good sale is a wonderful thing!

5. Audible carries pretty much every audiobook that's ever been made. I'm the first to admit that as a cost-conscious consumer, whenever I learn about some new book that I'm interested in reading, I'll always check my local library's digital download service first, to see if I can borrow the audio version from there, for free. But nine times out of ten, they don't carry the book I'm looking for, at which point I turn to Audible–and almost always find it.  Their selection is vast!

My One Quibble

In all these years, I've had only one real complaint with Audible: For some reason, they don't offer any sort of file/folder system for organizing your library. All of my books are shown in a single list, which is about as helpful as putting a bunch of physical books in random piles on the floor!

As a categorizer at heart, I would truly LOVE to be able to sort my books in a way that would save me some time and trouble. 

At least there is a search function, plus Audible does let you sort by Recent, Length, Title, or Author, which is better than nothing. But the lack of files or folders is a pain.

Fortunately, that's my only criticism. Otherwise, Audible gets my wholehearted endorsement!

All the Deets

Here's the full scoop on how to get a free copy of the Whispers of the Bayou audiobook PLUS a free paperback as a thank-you for joining Audible.  To qualify, you'll need to take the following steps at some point between now and midnight on August 15, 2018:

1. Sign up for Audible using this link. (Once there, click on the orange "Get it free with 30-day trial" button to sign up.) Note that this is a paid service, so be sure to read all the fine print first. 

2. Download your free copy of the Whispers of the Bayou audiobook from Audible.

3. Once you've done the above, click on this button, below, and complete the brief form so that I'll know which free paperback book you'd like, how you want it to be autographed, and where it should be sent. (Please note that this offer is only available while supplies last, so don't delay or your top choice may be all gone.)

5. After you've submitted the form, watch for your free autographed book to arrive within 2-3 weeks.

That's it!  Unfortunately, this offer is only valid in the U.S. (So sorry about that, but keep reading, I do have something else in store for my international readers.)

An Added Incentive

My offer for a free paperback is good through August 15th, but if you act today by 8 pm ET, you can also take advantage of this super Prime Day deal on Amazon:

(Just FYI, this deal is the reason I'm posting today, on a Tuesday, rather than tomorrow, which is my usual blogging day.)

While I'm At It...

Speaking of Prime Day, I thought I would close out this post by providing a few links to some other Prime Day specials that might appeal to book lovers, including... 

Just click on any of the above images for more info and to take advantage of these great offers.

Feeling Left Out?

I realize that if you're already a member of Audible, this offer of a free autographed paperback book does not apply to you, nor is it available for anyone with a shipping address outside of the U.S. However, not to worry: Next Wednesday, July 25th, I'll announce a different sort of giveaway, with one prize just for already-existing Audible members and another just for international readers. So be sure and come back!

Thanks for Being There

Before I'm done, I want to say that whether you end up getting a copy of the Whispers of the Bayou audiobook or not, I hope you know how very important you are to me! Having this book available in an audio format is a dream come true, but that dream wouldn't be half as wonderful if you weren't here to share it with. Thanks for such faithful support throughout the years! 

I'll see you here next week. In the meantime, I'm off to listen to another great book. How about you?

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.


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