Thursday, February 7, 2013

Author Interview – James Robinson Jr.

Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? I’ve never really had a mentor until recently. Kathy Shoop—a fellow author who has had a great deal of success selling her books—has helped to guide me through the difficult process of book selling in today’s market.

What dreams have you realized as a result of your writing? I have two books on the market now and I’m working on a third. I’ve found my style and I’ve discovered that I’m pretty versatile—I can write in a more than one genre. The process of selling and marketing books isn’t what I thought it would be but I’ve adjusted to the new way of things. I always thought that an agent would sell my book to a publisher who would offer me a sizable advance, say six digits or so. But these days, if a writer goes the traditional publishing route and manages to secure an advance it’s more in the neighborhood of $8,000 or so. And my book may never appear on that bestseller’s table which stands so prominently by the entrance of the door of the bookstore. The bookstores have that spot sewed up and brick and mortar stores are pretty much going by the wayside.

Have you started another book yet? My first two books—my second book, a collection of 13 essays, is entitled Death of a Shrinking violet—are non-fiction humor books but I’m currently working on a novella which is a totally different genre for me altogether. This book—called The Airport—will deal with a family who confronts their problems and their demons during an airport layover. The book can best be described as a romance and will, hopefully, bring a whole new audience to my writing.

How did you come up with your title?It’s been so long since I undertook this project that I can’t really remember exactly how I came up with the title. I remember I was working with a gentleman who runs a local Pittsburgh publishing company who was the first to publish the book. The two of us came up with the definitive title.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? It seemed like a natural. I was reaching middle age and the story about my ill-fitting jeans came to me and seemed like I could center the book around that idea. Everything grew from there.

Who designed the cover? Jennifer at Hot Damn Designs along with her associate Kim Killion designed the cover. I originally had a cover that most of my friends and associates thought was a bit juvenile for the mature level of my subject matter so I decided to make a change. I gave Jennifer a photo and she actually found another photo that looked a little more suitable. I simply made suggestions and corrections as we went along and she did the rest.

Who is your publisher?I published my softcover book through Create Space which is Amazon’s publishing arm. I actually went through iUniverse first which was fairly inexpensive and their editors and staff provided me with sound advice but, ultimately, I couldn’t get the control that I needed to promote the book. But on the other hand, it was iUniverse who provided me with the final edit of the book—the version that is available for sale now. While I thought that the version that I presented to them was good enough they suggested an exhaustive, thorough edit which would make the book as good as it could be. I agreed and—though the edit was expensive—it was the best thing I ever did in terms of writing. The edit literally changed my life in terms of writing style, grammar, and punctuation. I didn’t do a total re-write of the book but entire sections were removed and I wrote five new chapters. Short undeveloped points that I made from the old introduction became new chapters and I created a whole new intro.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Non Fiction Memoir

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

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