Looking back…


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I’m celebrating 1,000 LIKES on my author’s Facebook page!  EAGLE’S DESTINY is FREE on Amazon through October 6.  Hurry and grab your copy before time runs out! It is as easy as clicking the Amazon link!  Also, check out my featured author’s interview on Johanna Rae’s Blog.

This time last year I was running around preparing to publish my first novel.  It has been a crazy year.  It all started when I visited another author’s book signing at the beginning of the summer.  I had been sitting on Eagle’s Destiny for two years pretending to “edit the book”.  All I was really doing was sitting.  Seeing Ken Cable’s book on the table made me think … and the more I thought about it … All of a sudden it hit me, “I can do this!”

Indie author Deborah Hainley Bonnar, who is a Facebook friend recommended to make my book look as professional as possible.  And, that is where it began.  I had experience in my career with graphic presentation, but I knew I was not up to the task of designing a book cover.  Having limited funds (also known as poor), I started researching book designers on the internet.  I found Scarlett Rugers Design and we clicked immediately.  The fact that she was located in Australia did not make me pause once, after all this is the global age.  Most of our contact was through email, but we did have fun conversations over the phone and on Skype. She laughed when I told her I loved her accent.  She said she didn’t have one!  Scarlett did an important thing before she designed the book cover.  She read the book.  I did not want a traditional romance cover.  I had a vision of what I wanted on the cover, and somehow she was able to pick through my brain and design the perfect cover.  Scarlett also designed my beautiful website too!

It was at this point that I made my first (and only) mistake!  Uh…oh… Yes.  I made the mistake that many first time self-published authors make.  I did not hire an editor.  Knowing the error of my ways now unfortunately does not change the past.  I can’t change the past, but I have learned from it.  Yes, I had friends go through the book. They began to read the book and happily marked it.  Around page 10, they forgot they were editing and only continued reading.  Later, they would remember they were editing and would circle a few typos, and then continue reading again… You get the picture.  Is it their fault? NO!!!  NOT EVER!  NEVER!!!  The responsibility lies squarely on this writer’s shoulders.  Will I ever make that mistake again?  A resounding NO!  I’ve learned this lesson very well, thank you very much.  Listen up indie authors … splurge on an editor!

During all this editing (aka reading), I researched self-publishing avenues.  CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon made it very easy for me to make the decision.  They were free.  Their royalties are generous and they made it easy (and inexpensive) to purchase copies of my book for my own use.  The technical side of it was also easy too.  The book flowed smoothly into the template they provided and I had no problems uploading my book to their site.

While I waited for the proof copy from CreateSpace, there were fun things to do like designing bookmarks, business cards, flyers, and planning a book launch party.  All of a sudden it all came together in November.  The book was launched, the party was thrown, and paperbacks were autographed.  Now what?  Now the REAL work started.  Friends started asking, “What are you going to write next?”  Next?  Can’t I simply bask in the glory that is Eagle’s Destiny for awhile?  Can’t I just look at my sales reports and bask in the glory of being a published author with royalties?  What?  What do you mean there are no sales?  There should be thousands of dollars rolling in.  Ahhh… no Chris.  That’s not how it works.

Indie publishing means YOU have to find the readers.  YOU have to entice them to come to your website, Facebook page, Goodreads, Twitter, Linked In, etal., and get them to LOOK at your work of art, and perhaps plunk down $$ to buy it.  ME. ME. ME.  What?  I’m suddenly the center of the universe?  Where do I begin?  How do I do it?  What do I do?  Where do I go?  And I thought writing a book was difficult.

We’re in the age of social media.  It makes it easier to get your brand out there.  This is all so new.  Step by step though, you start to make a connection.  One connection here leads to another chat there which leads to a LIKE and a giveaway over there.  Joining groups.  Talking the talk.  Pimping the book.  Learning the fight.  What to do and what not to do.  There are thousands of roads, thousands of contacts, and THOUSANDS OF AUTHORS doing just what you are doing.

Doing all of this, AND (and that’s a BIG AND) finding time and the motivation to write the next book!  The publishing industry is changing.  No longer is self-publishing a dirty word.  Hey, we even have a cute moniker like INDIE.  We Indies must ensure our work is up-to-snuff by hiring editors and designers to make our work look professional and worthy of a reader’s time. All the responsibility is on our shoulders.  Recently, a friend approached me about writing a book about his recent trip across the U.S. on a bicycle.  I told him what he needed to do, and his response was, “Gee, that’s a lot of hard work!”  Yeah, that’s right.  Has this been an incredible experience?  You betcha!

 

 

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A precarious balance beam…

Find EAGLE’S DESTINY for FREE on Amazon Kindle May 10-12 !!!  Click herechristianecorbin_eaglesdestiny_web_final 3 to download your copy now!

Through the click on someone else’s keyboard, a writer can feel that rush of elation or the crushing defeat of failure.  As a published author of adult contemporary romance, I put my heart out there every day asking readers to review my work of art.  The five and four-star reviews can certainly make my heart sing out, and know as I sit at my computer day after day that I’m doing the right thing.  What about the three-star review, the one that makes my heart drop to my knees?  Or heaven forbid a one or two-star review?

First, I remember that this is their opinion, and frankly, they are entitled to it.  Yes.  They.  Are.  Not everyone is going to enjoy my art.  My work is not written for everyone.  My characters tend to be older and more experienced.  If the reader is looking for a character fresh out of college and falling in love for the first time, move on to another book.  You won’t find that here.  You will find characters that are passionate about life and love.

Second, my work isn’t perfect.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  I’ve pulled up my big girl panties and have realized that I do not walk on water.  My writing has flaws.  Many flaws.  I continue with the process however, and I am improving.  Reading other authors furthers my craft.  I’ve even learned how to be helpful and critical to other writers too.  Surrounding myself with writers, we celebrate and commiserate our chosen career, which promotes camaraderie to pull from when your heart has dropped to your knees.

Lastly, I encourage the reader to tell me what they like and didn’t like.  I hope they write, “I didn’t like this because…”   Tell me.  I can take it.  I promise.

Anne Rice said to writers, “Write the book you have been trying to find but have not found.”

I did.

~CJ~

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The business behind books…

Eagle’s Destiny Kindle’s version is ON SALE at Amazon.com for only $2.99 !  Now through May 5th — 50% of ALL the proceeds I receive from Eagle’s Destiny will be donated to the San Diego Zoo for wildlife conservancy!  Read a good book and give to a great cause!

And with that new post we’re off and running!  How many hats do I wear?  In today’s age of indie (independent) writers, authors must have many different skills.  Not only do we have to know how to write a good story, but we have to have creative craftsmanship such as designing a book cover or laying out the book in a proper format.  Then there is expertise in marketing to get the book seen, and networking to broadcast the message.  Not to mention the proficiency in computers to design a website, Facebook page, and maneuver your way through email accounts, newsletters, blogs, and giveaways.  Of course you’ll need a knack for writing the copy for the back cover blurb, which is quite a bit different from writing the book.  Did I mention sales?  Yes, you’ll have to be the salesperson for the organization also.  Know when to cut the price of the book and by how much.  How about the accountant?  The IRS wants its fair share of your royalties too.  Is your head spinning yet?  Mine is.

I have a background in business, and have done many things in my career including marketing, sales, customer service, accounting, and design.  I am using every skill I have ever acquired in my past in this process.  In between all of this, I am writing a follow-up book to Eagle’s Destiny and this blog.  Am I running a tight ship?  You betcha!  I yell at my marketing team (me) all the time that they need to get more coverage for the book.  My poor sales team (me) is taking it on the chin whenever sales dip down.

So, to my reader I say to you, don’t worry about the back-end.  Pick up Eagle’s Destiny.  Read it to your heart’s content.  I promise you will fall in love with Michael and Elizabeth.  Let me worry about all the other business behind the book.  I’ve got it handled.  Wait…I think I hear someone from my accounting department calling me…

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My first blog…

 

It was a day I’ll never forget.  Eagle’s Destiny officially made its debut in public.  My first book signing at a local pub was a success!  I was overwhelmed by the friends and family who came out to support me.  Saturday, December 1 began with rain and blustery skies, but true to Southern California weather, it turned into a beautiful day.

All day long, friends asked me if I was nervous.  No.  I ran a half-hour late all day, I didn’t have time to be nervous!  Finally the hour came.

My first book sold was to someone I didn’t know and he was there to get a gift for his wife. Strangers wanting to purchase my book?  It was a good thing I had practiced my signature, because that’s when I started to get nervous.  Somehow I had failed to realize that people I didn’t know would be reading my work.  My work which is an intimate part of me, would be on display to readers who had no idea of who I was.  People who know nothing of my special quirks and how I think.  My book would have to stand on its own.  All by itself.

That was frightening.  Was it ready?  How many typos did I miss?  Would readers understand the nuances?  Would you love the characters?  All these thoughts came flooding into my mind as I autographed the first book sold.  Outside I’m sure I looked normal, inside however, my brain was shorting out.  Then, somehow, I remembered a former boss saying as we were launching our first new product, “You have to draw a line in the sand.  No product will ever be perfect to everyone, you can tinker with something forever.  As long as you did your best and you’re happy, draw that line in the sand and ship it!”

So.  Here.  It.  Is.

My dear reader, just for you.  Eagle’s Destiny.  Enjoy!

C. J. Corbin

P.S.  As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.  Please feel free to make comments below, send me an email or visit me on facebook.

 

 

 

50 books sold at the book signing, which was beyond my expectations, and 100% of the net proceeds are being donated to the San Diego Zoo Global animal conservancy.  Over $175!

 

 

Some were quick to settle themselves down for a read!

 

Signing and photos kept me busy for most of the 2-hour event.

 

Each step has been an exciting journey, and to share it with friends is the best of all!  The sequel is coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the book signing, it was back to my house for the private launch party!

 

 VERY SPECIAL THANKS!

 A big thank you to Janice for all the photos she took at the book signing and the launch party!

A WOW! thank you to Shannon, Jennifer, and Robin for taking care of the kitchen duties!  My girls are the best!

My dad, Bill

My girl, Nancy

 

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