1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
In The Wind – A Tom Myers Mystery is the first book in a series of novellas featuring Tom Myers, the sheriff of Sommersville, Georgia. Although this is the first book in the series, Sheriff Myers and his deputies have appeared in my novels Evil Ways and Deadly Games! and will also make a brief appearance in the upcoming Evil Intent novel before their second stand-alone novella comes out in 2021.
In In The Wind, an FBI/US Marshal task force has stashed Bates Hewell in a safe house in Sommersville. Hewell is the star witness in the RICO case being built against Antonio Manelli, head of the Manelli crime family, an organization with a long history dating back to the 20’s. When armed mercenaries attack the safe house, the agents are killed, save for two that are wounded. Bates Hewell escapes into undeveloped Sommersville County with trained killers on his tail.
Sheriff Myers is understandably upset that the feds used his county without informing his department, but he sets that aside and begins a search to recover the missing witness before those sent to kill him. When Tyson Monroe arrives, also on the hunt for the witness, Myers is skeptical. Is Tyson Monroe there to help or hinder his manhunt?
2. How have your sales been?
Sales are okay. They can always be better. I am always working on ways to reach new readers.
3. You’ve chosen self-publishing. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
I added self-publishing to my publishing plans a few years back. I still work for traditional publishers, both small press and larger publishers, but there are certain types of stories I want to tell that the publishers I work with aren’t as interested in telling. So I set up BEN Books to do those stories in the manner and format that works best for those stories. Most of my BEN Books releases are crime/action thrillers like the new Tom Myers series, the Snow series, and novels like Evil Ways, Deadly Games!, Suicide Bomb, and more. It allows me to own and control my IPs and also do work for hire at other publishers. The best of both worlds.
4. You’ve used a traditional publisher for your books. Talk about that a little.
When I first started, traditional publishing was the only path. Print on demand was not looked upon favorably the way it is today. With that in mind, I worked hard to get my work in front of publishers. Eventually, it happened. My first publisher ended up being a pretty terrible publisher, but I had a book in hand and I used that book to get work with other publishers. Once my rights reverted on that original novel, I re-released it under the BEN Books banner, my first publishing effort.
5. Between self-publishing and traditional publishing, which do you prefer? What are the pros and cons of each?
They each serve their purpose. With traditional publishing usually comes better distribution. They also handle the production work, covers, etc. With self-publishing, all of that is on me to do or pay to have done. I am in charge of all facets of how my book looks and where it will be sold, marketed, etc.
When working for a publisher, the writer cedes control. You know going in that you may have no say in what the cover looks like, what is written on the back cover or in the solicitations when the catalog is sent to retailers. You have to be willing to give up that control. Also, in many cases, you don’t own the character or the work.
In self-publishing, I have the final say on everything. It also means I spend time doing non-writing work to get the book ready for release. I own everything I publish through BEN Books and I can make sure it is exactly how I want it.
With both traditional and self-publishing, one thing is universally constant. As the author, you are going to be expected to do the lion’s share of the promotion of your book. In fact, I spend almost as much time doing PR and marketing as I do writing.
6. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
I am always on the go as I promote my work. I do conventions, conferences, book signings, fairs, festivals, store appearances, podcasts, radio, TV, and virtual on-line panels and events. I have been very blessed to have met some incredibly amazing people in my journey as a writer.
Not only that, but I have made lifelong friends of people I met through these networking and promotional appearances. That is an incredible bonus. I feel fortunate to have met these great people. I love talking with readers and get to know them. Networking is a big part of my job as a writer.
7. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
I have had the best success with in-person promotion. Conventions, signings, and the like are great ways to meet readers. The newsletter is also helpful. If you sign up for Nash News you get a free ebook copy of Snow Falls, the first book in the Snow series. Social media helps, but it’s really easy to get lost in the noise. I have had some success with pre-promotion there. Talking about a book in process helps build anticipation for it.
8. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
If something doesn’t work, I stop and move on to other things. Marketing to bookstores has not proven successful for me as an indie author so I adjusted focus and now market direct to readers. I try to remain positive. I do not badmouth other creators or other books. That’s a no-win for all involved.
I also try to avoid talking politics or religion on my author sites. That’s not the place for those discussions. And I try to promote other creators from time to time. A rising tide truly does lift all boats. It never hurts to be nice to other writers. Congratulate them and enjoy their successes.
9. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
My biggest regret is not realizing that being a writer meant owning a small business. If I had learned that lesson earlier, I would have taken business classes. I also would have had a better pan and tried to stick to it. I veered off the course I had set for myself and it took a few years to course correct. A lot of good things happened in those years, but there are a few things I would do differently.
10. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, would it be?
If I could wish for one thing it would be a budget to pay professionals to help me take these books to the next level. I have been very lucky to get this far on a limited budget. A lot of that luck has come in the form of people offering to help out, which I appreciate, but never want to take for granted. This is a great community of creators who lift each other up. I love that.
11. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Decide what you want to accomplish with your writing. Is it a hobby? Nothing wrong with that. Set goals to meet your expectations. Do you want to write as a career? That’s cool too. That means treating it like a job.
As a hobby, you can write when inspiration strikes. When it’s your job, you’re working even on those days you don’t feel like it. Trust me, those days happen. Set attainable goals. Set a lot of goals. Then, celebrate those goals when they are met.
12. What other projects are you currently working on?
I always have several projects in the pipeline. The Snow series continues from BEN Books. We have some big Snow plans for 2021. There will be more stories featuring Sheriff Tom Myers and The Freelancer in 2021. I am writing a four-book horror/comedy series for Falstaff Books called Hunter Houston: Horror Hunter.
Some long overdue novels – Evil Intent, Lance Star: Sky Ranger “Cold Snap!”, and Deadly Deals! – are planned for 2021. Plus a few other projects I can’t talk about at the moment. It’s been a busy year and next years looks to continue that trend.
13. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Action, thrillers, and mystery – live the adventure with Bobby Nash’s books!
How’s that? I love adventure and my stories are filled with them.
14. How can readers learn more about your books?
My books are available in paperback, hardcover, ebook, and audio. You can find links and information on all of my books here and at bobbynash.com. My BEN Books releases are at ben-books.com. All BEN Books titles can be read for FREE if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
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