From his secret lair in the wilds of Bethlehem, Georgia, 2013 Pulp Ark Award Winning Best Author, Bobby Nash writes a little bit of everything including novels, comic books, short prose, graphic novels, screenplays, media tie-ins, and more.
Between deadlines, if such a thing truly exists, Bobby is a part-time extra in movies and television. He is also the co-host of the Earth Station One podcast.
You are a prolific writer. How do you manage your time? Do you plan out the things you want to write with your podcasting? Is it synergistic or serendipitous?
Time management is one of those elusive things. I wish I could say I was better at it than I really am. I try to keep my time management under control, but am not always successful. Basically, it’s just knowing when my deadlines are and working toward them.
The podcast and writing are really two separate things. What I do for the Earth Station One podcast is setting up and conducting interviews and participating in the recording and promotion of the podcast. For awhile there I was writing opening skits, but my schedule has been so busy of late I have had to stop. Hopefully, I can get back to doing those soon. You can listen to the Earth Station One podcast at http://www.esopodcast.com
I’ve never thought about synergistic or serendipity in regard to it. I’d say it’s a little of both. Something we make happen while others sort of fall into place like we planned them.
Building a platform or brand is very important for authors. Social media is definitely an important way to get not only your work, but also yourself out in front of an audience. Your audience doesn’t just want you to try and sell them something though. That’s why I share my writing process as I go along, do a Q&A column called “Sometimes I Get asked Stuff…” post updates for The ESO Network of podcasts, interviews, blog posts, and other odds and ends in addition to posting new books and new projects. I also do an email newsletter and often share the news of other creators on social media plus I attend conventions, signings, and the like. I’m not just trying to sell to my friends/fans/followers, although I do love it when they buy something. Ha! Ha!
I really wish I had some quantifiable evidence to show what works best, but it’s a mixed bag. I’ve met people on social media who have then gone on to try one of my books. I have also met people at conventions who have picked up books. I can’t say for sure which one works best, but each way seems to work a little bit so I keep doing as much as I can.
Are short story collections and anthologies the way to break into the publishing business or do you think crafting a novel is the way to go? On that same note is being part of anthologies a way to keep the dollars flowing or is that really just a way to keep your name out there and fresh on the mind of the readers?
I started writing for anthologies as a way to get and then later keep my name out there while I was working on novels. It also helped with conventions because I could have several books on the table at shows. Although I have cut back on the number of anthologies I do these days, they still serve that same purpose. Plus, it does bring in a little money, although not much. You have to remember that every dollar of profit brought in by an anthology has to then be split amongst all who worked on it. A small press anthology is not selling millions of copies so the writer’s slice of the pie is very small, dollar-wise.
Anthologies can also be a fun way to scratch a creative itch. One of the anthologies I worked
on allowed me to write a short western story, which is a bit outside my normal wheelhouse. This book allowed me to stretch certain creative muscles I might not have an opportunity to otherwise. Anthologies are also a great way to get to work with other writers and artists whose work I admire. That’s a nice bonus when that happens. You also hope that if a reader likes the story in the anthology, he or she might try another of my books. It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does.
I would have told younger Bobby to focus a bit more. He was all over the place back in those early days and made some choices that, in retrospect, were not his smartest. That younger Bobby also let his writing take a backseat to a day job that years later tossed him aside without so much as a second thought. I’d let him know that he could balance that better.
I wouldn’t try to change too much in the way of books though. Even my bad publishing experiences, and there have been a few, opened doors that might not have opened otherwise. My first novel publishing experience was awful, but I did have a published book in my hand and I used that to open doors to get other work. Avoiding that experience, as terrible as it was, might not have allowed those doors to open and we might not be here talking about this today.
How important is it that authors do the Convention circuit? When in a career do you think con appearances become a valuable tool?
I absolutely love attending conventions. I think they’re great. I think they are important as another method for me to get my work in front of potential readers through setting up a table and doing panels and other events as part of the show. I don’t know if setting up at cons is for everyone, but they have proven themselves a valuable resource for me as a writer and a fan.
There are different ways to do cons. You can simply buy a ticket and attend then show off your work once you’re there, meet other authors, meet editors, ask questions, attend panels, etc. You can go as a guest or attending pro, which means the con invites you and gives you a pass inside, usually asking you to do panels or something. You can do this early on to help build your brand or after you have work out as a form of promotion. You have to decide what works best for you and your work.
Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 4 from Airship 27 is new. Features stories by Jim Beard, Sean Taylor, Andrew Salmon, and Bobby Nash. Interior illustrations by Scott “Doc” Vaughn. Cover art by Felipe Echavarria. More info– http://www.lance-star.com/2014/04/lance-star-sky-ranger-vol-4-launches.html
The New Adventures of Major Lacy and Amusement, Inc. from Pro Se’s Pulp Obscura is new. Features stories by Jim Beard, David White, Andrew Salmon, R. P. Steeves, Don Thomas, and Bobby Nash. Cover art is by Mike Fyles. More info–
Box Thirteen – Adventure Wanted! from Radio Archives came out as an audiobook this week. The ebook was out a few weeks earlier. Features stories by Jim Beard, Barry Reese, Andrew Salmon, and Bobby Nash. Cover art is by Doug Klauba. More info– http://bobby-nash-news.blogspot.com/2014/05/adventure-wanted-box-thirteen-audiobook.html
-Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal “The Wild Hunt” is a novel I wrote for Raven’s Head Press. It’ll be out within the month. http://www.ravensheadpress.com
-Snow Storm from The Stark Raving Group will be out in ebook this summer. http://www.starkravinggroup.com
-At The Earth’s Core from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics is a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel. It’ll be out sometime this year. http://sequentialpulpcomics.blogspot.com and http://www.darkhorse.com
-Domino Lady “Money Shot” is a novel coming out in September from Moonstone Books. http://www.moonstonebooks.com
– News and updates will be posted to http://www.bobbynash.com as they are available.