Uncharted Constellations launch party

Whew, that was one hell of a month! Well, more accurately, one hell of 58 days 😀

When we originally sat down to plan out the Uncharted Constellations anthology, we were expecting to have print copies for sale by June and a summer of face-to-face events to sell them at. Instead, the world went into lockdown and we had to go back to the drawing board, so to speak. Our face-to-face launch plan turned into a Zoom/Youtube crossover event and our paperbacks turned into ebooks. We are very happy with the final product, though it was a very strange experience planning a book launch without any physical copies of the book in question!

Space Cat Stars

The launch wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as it was without our contributors. We have been amazed and humbled by how well they all took the change in flight plans. If any are reading this, thank you so much for bearing with us through it all. You are, and always will be, Space Cat stars in our eyes.

Since the contributors were such a major part of the anthology, we began the marketing campaign by introducing all twenty of them. We split the month of August into four themed weeks and dedicated a weekday to each contributor. You can check them all out on Twitter under #SpaceCatStar or follow the individual links here:

‘Moon Warriors’: James Worrad, Deborah Tyler-Bennett, Rob Bray, Richard Urwin and James Walton.
‘Worlds Beyond’: Rod Duncan, Kathleen Bell, Mark Goodwin, Michele Witthaus and Simon Fung.
‘Star Women’: Teika Marija Smits, Mary Byrne, Katherine Franklin, Sarah Doyle and Emma Lee.
‘Dystopian Skies’: Tim Bombdog, J.K. Fulton, Yevgeny Salisbury, Rebekah Tobias and Paul Rudman.

You can also see a photo gallery of some of them and catch up on their author readings over on our new Authors page.

Space Cat polls

Also during August, we ran a series of polls (#SpaceCatPoll) related to the above themes:

The results were quite definitive for all of them:

  • 67% of people said they considered astronauts to be heroes, while 17% said some of them were heroes and 17% said no, they didn’t consider them heroes at all.
  • The sentient life question came back as a 50/50 split, with half saying yes, there absolutely is sentient life out there and half saying maybe, but not as commonly depicted in pop culture. Nobody answered ‘no’ to that one so at least we’re all somewhat on the same page about aliens.
  • 82% of respondents said that they think that women should be far more visible in space today, with 12% agreeing that they weren’t visible enough and just 6% saying they thought women were visible enough.
  • When asked it they would travel to another planet, 67% of people said yes, absolutely, sign me up, while 27% gave a more cautious agreement saying only if there was a way to return back to Earth, and 7% said no, they wouldn’t go.

Blogs

We also gave you blog readers some more in-depth analysis of our four themes by dedicating a blog to each one: Moon Warriors, Worlds Beyond, Star Women, and Dystopian Skies. Then we handed over the mic and gave six guest bloggers (J.K. Fulton, Emma Lee, Simon Fung, James Walton, Teika Marija Smits, and Michele Witthaus) the chance to tell us about their Uncharted Constellations contributions. We were thoroughly entertained by the mix of voices and topics they sent us.

Mascot Monday

Our mascot is just too cute not to be photographed so we decided to share some of our favourite pictured of him with you in a series of #MascotMonday posts. We then turned them into a caption competition, asking you all to re-caption three select posts to be in with the chance to win some cool prizes. But we only had one entrant in the end so ultimately decided to abandon the competition.

Launch itself

And then it was launch day!

We had decided we wanted a quite informal launch party since it was going to be online and opted to have it on our Youtube channel to make it as accessible as possible for all of you.

We then asked four of our contributors to come aboard on the day and join us for a livestreamed Zoom meeting. These were Katherine Franklin (Pathfinder), Rod Duncan (On the Path of Comets), James Worrad (+1) and Michele Witthaus (‘Visible spectrum’).

This was our first time doing a livestreamed event so some technical glitches were to be expected. Thankfully, our panel took being stuck in an infinite audio loop in their stride and we were able to fix it before the original launch time of 4 o’clock. After some quick introductions, Siobhan got down to business and had some really interesting discussion with our panel. If you missed the event, you can still watch an edited version here:

The ebook is on sale on our Shop page and we will update you about our plans going forward sometime in the near future.

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