Putting the Brand Out There

Some of the people in my writer’s workshop, and others, have started a second group to work on marketing our indie books together.  We have been meeting to study up on indie marketing and draw up actions plans to publicize our books.

The first thing to do, is to provide a professional presence for your books and yourself as a writer on social media.  Facebook, Twitter, whatever you like to use. A website/blog is also a essential.  Look for some changes at this blog in the future.  For example, I changed the primary domain name from atlantisfallen.net to kirstencorby.com, to reflect the fact that my current work in progress is not the next book in my imagined “Atlantis Fallen” series, but a science fiction novel.  The website is currently about all my writing, not just Atlantis Fallen.

The next step is to create a Facebook page:  Kirsten Corby, Author. Again, advertising myself, the author, not just Atlantis Fallen, the books.  I can always create an Atlantis Fallen Group or Page later, once I finish the next book, which is currently called, The Gift of the Lion . 

I’m thinking about Twitter or Instagram.  I kind of hate Twitter, but it has a strong #WritingCommunity based around that hashtag — it even has a newsletter.  Instagram has a friendlier vibe.  But the fact is, I’m already wondering about good, useful content to post on FB and more regularly here.  Not sure I can generate worthwhile content for four different platforms.

I’ll update if I add those platforms.  But probably, it’s better to concentrate on what I already have, this blog, and my new FB page.  Please visit it and tell me what you think: Kirsten Corby, Author.

Oh, there’s also Goodreads — I have a page there — but that’s a whole other thing. We’ll talk about that later.

 

One Giant Leap For All Mankind

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  Neil Armstrong made his one giant leap 50 years and about one hour ago.

I at 53 am just barely old enough to remember the Apollo program.  I remember watching Apollo 11 lift off from Cape Canaveral with my parents and my newborn baby brother, on our little black and white TV.  I knew enough to know it was terribly, terribly important, although I didn’t understand why.  I do not remember the the actual landing, I don’t know why.  Maybe I didn’t see it; it was way past my bedtime. I was only three years old.

But I learned about Apollo 11 by reading the commemorative issue of Newsweek magazine that my mom kept and carefully preserved, and is still at her house.

I am old enough to remember the later missions.  I clearly remember seeing incredibly vivid live color pictures of Apollo 17 bouncing around the Taurus-Littrow valley in their “moon buggy,” as it was nicknamed, the Lunar Rover.  I also remember thinking that we were going to see a lot more of that, that we would build a moonbase and it would become a regular thing.  And being excited.

I loved the space program as a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was tiny, not a nurse or a mommy — until I suddenly realized that my eyesight was far too bad to ever become a jet pilot, and so I would never be allowed into the space program.  (That was still the case back then.) Lego had a giant “Moonbase” set that I wanted so badly, but never got because it was hella expensive.

My second grade reader was all about the space program, and I learned about the Mercury and Gemini programs that preceded Apollo, about the astronauts and their capsules — Friendship 7, Freedom 7, Liberty Bell 7.  It was not lost on me that they were named things like Friendship and Freedom, not Javelin or War Eagle or anything like that.  I was young enough to completely accept the propaganda that the moon shot was an endeavor of pure science and human achievement, conducted in the spirit of exploration and inquiry, nothing so grubby as politics.  That propaganda probably contributed to my lifelong disdain for money and the profit motive and the balance sheet, and my choice of a career in public service. As I grew older and realized Apollo had been a tool of the Cold War all along, it was bitterly disillusioning.

(But still, that war was fought at least partly by these peaceful means after all, exploration and discovery, not weapons and conquest.  They turned missiles into spacecraft, not the other way around  — the Redstone rockets that launched the early Mercury missions.)

That, the race having been won, America and the world turned its back on the moon and space exploration has been one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I grew up reading Heinlein juveniles and watching original Star Trek and 2001:A Space Odyssey.  I thought our future lay in space.  I still do.  It is our very nature to explore and expand.  We, homo sapiens, walked out of Africa over 70,000 years ago, and we walked, sailed, swam to every habitable corner of this planet.  To see what’s beyond the horizon, to pierce the new frontier, is in our very DNA. We turn our back on that urge at our peril, I think.

To my mind, Apollo is still the pinnacle of human achievement.  Apollo is my touchstone to the thought that the human race is capable of true greatness, true excellence.  That our reach does not exceed our grasp.  We went from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base in sixty years.  We did the impossible.  Apollo proves that we, the human race, can do anything we want to, if we have the will.

Many of the challenges that face the human race right now seem impossible to solve. But they’re not, if we face them squarely and have the will to meet them.  I want us to have that will again.  I know we can, because I saw men walk on the moon, who went in peace for all mankind.

 

Tropical Storm Update

Hey, just wanted to give everyone an update. I live in New Orleans, LA and we are awaiting Tropical Storm Barry. So far nothing much happening, as you can see. It’s raining but not much else.


The concern this time was that the storm surge Barry pushes up the river could overtop the levees. The river is already at record levels for this time of year, due to all the flooding this year in the Midwest. Most of the concern is for parts farther south of the city. But it’s a concern. The levees have never been overtopped in my lifetime.

Luckily, the surge is looking not to be as large as feared, and the levees appear to be in no danger.

 
In case you didn’t know, this is climate change. This is it. It’s here, now. Not some Boogeyman of the future.

 
Wednesday morning we got a feeder band spun off in advance of the storm – a line of squalls – and it was crazy! We got EIGHT INCHES of rain in NINETY MINUTES! This overwhelmed the pumping system, and we had street flooding in places it’s never happened before, like the French Quarter. The city was at a standstill. More such rain is expected when the storm makes landfall later today.

 

This storm is unusual in that all the moisture is on the back end, “behind” the eye as it travels.  So for us, the really heavy weather is yet to come.

 
The government instructions are to “shelter in place.” No evacuations. So my family is hunkered down with storm supplies – water, snacks and batteries. We’ve done this before. But every storm is different. The only way to know what Barry will do is to wait and see.

Big Day on the Amazon Front!

 

 

This is cool! I learned today that I can paste an excerpt of Daughter of Atlas on any webpage with one click.  Like this:

 

 

With a Buy link of course. Amazon knows what it’s doing.

And, as I was working on this, I logged onto the DoA page, and found FOUR five-star reviews waiting for me!  That’s great! Thanks everybody!

Check them out (click Buy on Amazon):

 

 

And the last thing I learned, was the way to display a short link to the book’s Amazon page, not the long, dumb, copy-paste link from searching for the book from the Amazon front page.   Thanks to authors Robin Praytor and Dave Chesson, the Kindlepreneur, for teaching me that. I have been puzzling over that since I published the book.

Great day for me and my book.  Thanks everyone for your support!

 

 

 

It’s Here!

 

My book is here!

 

IMG_20170715_214042

 

The proof copy of my book has arrived from CreateSpace.  My own book, in my hands!  I’ve waited my whole life for this moment.

I have to review it for typos, formatting issues, and then approve it, and then it will go on sale on Amazon just like the ebook. Amazing! I’d like to thank Selfpubbookcovers.com for the cool cover design, and my good friend and editor Charlie Brown of Lucky Mojo Press for formatting the text.

Now I have to get a tattoo.  I always said I would get a tattoo when I published my first book. Suggestions?

Big News! (Finally)

 

So I have some news. Big news! I finally stopped screwing around and published my Atlantis novel, now called “Daughter of Atlas,” as an Amazon e-book!

Check it out!

 

DoA Cover

So what I need you to do now, if you ever read or critiqued it, is to jump onto Amazon and leave a little review. Reviews are the driver of success on Amazon. It’s doesn’t have to be long or detailed, it just has to be an actual written review. It would help me out and be a real vote of confidence in me. Thanks so much.

I’m Doing Panels at Contraflow V This Weekend

Today Contraflow starts, our local science fiction convention, and this year I’ve put myself forward, and I’m going to be on a couple panels. Here’s my panel schedule:

Saturday, 2 PM — Dreams and Creativity

Saturday, 9 PM — Writer’s Block: Myth or Madness

Sunday, 11 AM — Cultural Appropriation or Building Diversity: An Exploration Of Issues Involving Real World Cultures In Fantasy and Science Fiction

Brandon Black must have written that last title, I think. 🙂

I’m excited about “Dreams and Creativity,” because two of the five stories I’ve sold, were based on dreams I had. So I have some stuff to say about that.

If you’re going to the con, some see me. I’ll need your support.