Ray Ellis began his law enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Orange County, California. After working for a number of years in the maximum security facility, he transferred to patrol working along Orange County’s coast as well as the inner canyons and barrios. After 8 years he moved to Idaho and continued his law enforcement career, serving as an instructor for the Idaho POST Council.
Ray was first ordained into the ministry while living in Orange County and now serves as the Associate Pastor in his home church in Nampa, Idaho. A former United States Marine, he is a public speaker, communicating to groups of all sizes on the topics of community and personal safety. Since 1999 Ray has been a primary instructor for the Idaho POST Academy – Police Training Institution for Idaho- instructing on subjects of Arrest Control, Cultural Diversity and for the last five years exclusively on the topic of Instructor Development, where he teaches other officers to be POST certified instructors. He is currently serving as the lead sex crimes investigator for the agency where he works. He has been married to the same woman for 27 years and has three children; two sons and a daughter. Ray lives with his family in Idaho.
Ray’s debut novel, a work of urban fiction, N.H.I.: No Humans Involved, was released in March of this year.
You can visit Ray online at www.urbanfictionunleashed.webstarts.com or connect with him on twitter at www.twitter.com/RayEllisNHI or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ray-Ellis-Author/116322698426928.
NHI: No Humans Involved is really about one of the prejudices common to law enforcement, the ‘us versus them’ syndrome. The main character, Nate Richards, is assigned to solve a series of murders, but in the process a new street gang surfaces and Nate’s girlfriend has been kidnapped. The question of who is a good guy and who is a bad guy is central to the story. The quandary Nate has to wrestle with is will he succumb to his instincts to take matters into his own hands and himself become part of the NHI, No Humans Involved. It’s about how we as police officers view the people in our communities and how we assess value to those people and their representative people groups.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Like most this whole world of ebooks and epublishing is new to me. So when my novel was published as an ebook first, I was stuck as to how to do the traditional book tour and book signings. I was introduced to the concept of the virtual tour by a writer friend of mine and as they say history was made.
Is this the first time you have heard of them? If not, where did you hear of them?
Yes, this was my first hearing o them and my first experience, but I am anticipating great things.
As you know, a virtual book tour involves – among other things – interviews and guest posts. Do you prefer one over the other?
Not really, we actually yes, I prefer the interviews they come more natural to me.
Some authors prefer an all review tour. Can you tell us if you are one of them and why or why not?
Since this is my first experience I have no history to really draw from, but I think, my opinion, is that review tour while is has its place can be rather passive and not instigative in nature.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I’m looking for two things, really; first, name notoriety, and second, sales. I am hoping for huge sales.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
Yes, all the above. I promote mostly through my blog, Urban Fiction Unleashed, http://authorray.blogspot.com, and from there to both Face Book and Twitter, https://www.facebook.com/RAYNHI?ref=ts, RayEllisNHI.
Also fans can get information about me or the book at my web site: http://urbanfictionunleashed.webstarts.com.
Who maintains your website/blog?
So far I do them both. It’s a job that I grew to love. At first I saw it as a necessary evil, but as I began to make contact with fans and had a chance to open dialogue with them it became very special.
What are your experiences with offline book signings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
I am usually pretty good at them. I have never sold my own books; I have ebooks only, but have sold volumes of books for my friends at their signings.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
If money was no object…it always comes down to money doesn’t it? I would do a combination of the virtual book tours and then do the traditional meet and greet with hard copies in hand; also it would be helpful to have a few videos released on the web and on TV.
Thank you for this interview, Ray. Do you have any final words?
Yes, thank you for your time and let me know what you think of my book. I’d be interested in hearing your review. Thanks again.