I dusted off my journalist's hat last week and interviewed bestselling, award-winning author Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff. I appreciate Mark taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about the method to his writing 'madness'. Literally - all puns intended. Mark writes dark, edgy horror thrillers including: "Diary of a Madman" and "Killing My Boss" (just to name a few!)
Mark made a living writing music for television before opportunity knocked and transformed him into a screen/TV writer and later an award-winning and bestselling author featured on “Access Hollywood.” A podcast he recorded in his car turned into a drive-time radio show on Sirius five nights a week. This led to a handsome feature in Playboy Magazine that compared Mark to Howard Stern and Jon Stewart. Mark later created an internet video series that led to him being cast as the on-screen host of TV’s “The MoShow”, a nationally syndicated newsmagazine about smartphones and mobile entertainment.
His book The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, released less than a week after U.S. Navy SEALs killed the Al Qaeda leader, has become a fixture on several Amazon bestseller lists, including the non-fiction top 100 for all books.
Your book “The Killing of Osama Bin Laden” took Amazon by storm. You are THE FIRST author to write a book about the killing of Bin Laden. Where did you get the idea to write this book AND how did you crank it out so fast?
Mark: I was stunned by the news. It was mind-blowing and it was one of those moments that shatter your psyche. The news that we had got “the guy” – it just struck a chord in me and I was consumed by the news. I am a news JUNKIE! I grew up in a newsroom so news is in my blood. The morning after Bin Laden was killed I was searching furiously and reading bits and pieces everywhere about how they got him. It was a Hollywood blockbuster story that was all true. I saw how all the narrative fell together; it really was a perfect story.
I am a ridiculously prolific writer. I can can write an enormous amount of content in a short amount of time. I became addicted to the process, and I put it together in four days days and worked ten to twelve hours to crank it out . I made phone calls and read everything I could get my hands on. It became apparent that I was going to be the first guy to put out a book about the killing of Bin Laden. As a result, I became enamored by the idea. Wow, I could REALLY be the first person to do it. This would be something very different for me, but not too far off from my brand.
I didn’t have big expectations for the book. I published it within a week and it exploded! During that first weekend, it hit the nonfiction top 100 list. It spent 72 days on the Amazon History bestseller list and hit that list the first week it was published. I also hit my Kindle-only subcategory list for Middle East history in the first 24 hours. Now two months later, the book continues to do well and has been steady on Amazon’s nonfiction top 100 list.
The biggest surprise from this book was my comic book project. I was contacted by the CEO of an animation company just five days after the book was published. As a result, I negotiated a comic book series, SEAL TEAM X. Think “Men in Black” meets aliens with a sci-fi twist. The series will be launching in the upcoming months.
The best advice I’ve received since writing and publishing books is from a good friend who puts out an indie label in New York City. He told me the best way to sell your back catalog is by putting out new content. It was great advice that I’ve taken to heart – it’s helped me expand my horizons and readership.
Mark’s “The Killing of Osama Bin Laden” book is proof of that sage advice!
Stay tuned for Part Two this week. Learn more inside tips and tricks from Mark – how to effectively market and put your best face forward when it comes to your online brand.
For more information about Mark Yashimoto Nemcoff and his books, please visit http://wordsushi.com/ or his Facebook page. Mark is currently offering a FREE download of “Shadow Falls: Badland” on iBooks to kick off the next in his series of the dark horror thriller, “Shadow Falls: Angel of Death.”