Robert J Dornan is someone who wishes to leave a better world to his children. He realizes that the odds are slim but he will do whatever he can to increase the probability of success. He is always open to discuss new and innovative ideas and hopes someday to see the building of a functional solar city as well as a fair and community-driven compensation system.
Robert’s latest book is the historical fiction, 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M.
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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Robert. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
I have published a few times and am forecasting another three books to be released in the next twelve months.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
I’m not a young, up and coming novelist with years of book writing ahead of me. Few, if any, mainstream publishers would take a risk on me. I realize the notion of being published is exciting or even romantic but unless you’re an old school author, your books will get limited shelf time in corporate bookstores that have turned their attention to more profitable items such as greeting cards and lattes. You’ll end up marketing your own book just as I am doing right now but unfortunately for a smaller margin.
Self-publishing is an art form to itself and allows someone like myself to control my own destiny. I don’t fear failure and I don’t write stories to make vats of money. For someone like myself, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the like, are perfect partners. There was no better option.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
There is a temporary feeling of elation and relief the first time you see your novel on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I would love to say I celebrated but I didn’t. I was working seven days a week and writing at night when my children were sleeping so any popping sound would have been popcorn and not Champagne.
Q: What was the first thing you did as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I went the Facebook route, thinking that my friends and acquaintances would spread the word. That was an unmitigated disaster and somewhat hurtful at that moment. I realize now that most people are uncomfortable selling something they know nothing about and probably hoped I wouldn’t bother them.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I will always push “research” as the secret to good writing. When I first started as a writer I wrote whatever was in my head and paid little or no attention to detail. Writing a book like 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. required a vast amount of research and it helped with my creativity too. I realize now that extensive research is the key to a successful novel.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
I’ve been surprised by how many dime store Publishing Houses exist and wonder how they exist and how much longer than can exist. This is just a recent discovery. I spent an entire weekend researching different publishers in North America. Some were scams but most were small businesses trying to carve out a niche. Other than that, the sheer volume of authors trying to ply their trade can be intimidating but competition should mean more quality novels.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
Sharing my novels with my children. My daughter is eighteen now and can read books like 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. She is loving the new novel and has learned a lot. Other than that, getting email from readers who have loved reading your book is an absolute thrill.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Stop dreaming and do. Just remember that as soon as you edit your book based on how others – family and friends – will feel, you should power off your computer and find another hobby. Good luck to all.