We had the good fortune of connecting with Glenn Damato and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Glenn, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
My business involves writing and independently publishing books for distribution on Amazon. Most folks know that publishing has experienced rapid changes with the rise of eBook readers, print-on-demand, and the mainstreaming of independent publishing. Many thousands of minor classics, popular books published across decades, are now easily and inexpensively available for download or as print-on-demand paperbacks. This means that today’s authors are not only competing with other actively writing authors, but with a vast assortment of previously “lost” books that are now available for the first time in years – few, if any, popular books need ever go out-of-print. If you’re a reader, this is wonderful, because the volume of well-written books available to you has exploded. If you’re an author, you’re competing with new books plus highly successful bestsellers from twenty, thirty, even fifty or more years ago. The extraordinary volume of competing books creates a challenging market for new authors to generate a profit.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a teenager, I was a huge fan of what’s called hard science fiction, stories that are based on realistic technology and sound scientific principles. Like many others, I was inspired to study science in college in large part due to my fiction reading habits. As I grew older, the types of stories I enjoyed became increasingly hard to find. In 2012, my friends urged me to write a memoir about my sailing experiences. Not being a famous or newsworthy person, I did not expect my memoir to be popular among readers, so I was pleasantly surprised by the sales volume and positive feedback. Because people liked my writing style, I was encouraged to make my next book a novel – but it had to involve a story and characters that were special to me and I could feel proud of. There was no question it also had to be in my formerly favorite genre, hard science fiction. I was determined to write the kind of story I want to read, but the fact that those sorts of hard sci-fi adventures were not currently popular with readers made me ask myself if I wanted to risk spending a tremendous amount of time and creative effort to put out a story that few people would want to read – because it did not have to do with space warfare, or Armageddon, or any of the popular storylines. The sudden success of the novel and film The Martian convinced me that my target audience did exist! I spent four years revising The Far Shore and getting feedback from alpha readers before I was satisfied enough to publish. Reader reviews have been enthusiastic. I’m now working on the sequel, as readers are requesting it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m biased here because I live in Marina del Rey and I’m a sailor! First we would prepare the boat for a sail to Catalina Island. That takes seven to eight hours, and we may have to dodge shipping traffic! First stop would be Avalon. We can tie off on a mooring and sample the town’s restaurants. After a relaxing night on the boat, we would rent an ATV and see if we can spot any of Catalina’s famous bison herds. Next stop would be Two Harbors, a quiet and secluded inlet on the western end of the island. We would barbecue on the boat, and then spend a quiet evening under the stars – when the sky is clear, Two Harbors is far enough from the lights of LA to see the Milky Way stretched between the hilltops. In the morning we would eat breakfast, untie the mooring, and motor out of Two Harbors while sipping coffee. Raise sail, and enjoy a seven hour trip back to Marina del Rey.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Karrie Ross, book cover designer https://www.bookcoverdesigner.com/about-karrie-ross/ Has designed the covers for three of my books and offered much valuable advice. Robert Bidinotto http://www.bidinotto.com/ Independent author Has acted as my writing and marketing mentor.
Other: https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Seas-overweight-middle-aged-adventure-ebook/dp/B00A6542M6 https://www.amazon.com/Far-Shore-Glenn-Damato-ebook/dp/B07Z5PGQYY