Thursday, September 20, 2018

Beneath the Lanterns is now FREE on Amazon.com


The headline says it all. Amazon.com (the US store) is now matching the free price of their competitors. Thank you very much Amazon. Unfortunately, they are not matching that price in their non-US stores, so that non-US kindle customers will either have to pay the lowest price I can list it on Amazon for, $.99 or side load the free mobi version from Smashwords.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Beneath the Lanterns Is Now Available



13 Sept. 2018 -- Beneath the Lanterns is now available. The ebook version on Smashwords is priced at FREE and on Amazon for $0.99. The ebook version will be making its way to Apple, B & N, and Kobo within the next few days for FREE as well. Once it is in those ebook stores I will see if Amazon will match their FREE price. They have in the past, at least on Amazon.com. The Amazon ebook price after 1 January 2019 will be $8.50, so if you must buy it on Amazon, do it before then. The trade paperback edition will be available shortly for $12.50 on Amazon, B & N and other fine books store sites. 

Beneath the Lanterns

No good deed goes unpunished.


The historian Kel Cam enjoyed a pleasant life in Azera, the colorful capital of the Azere Empire. In the dark days, he taught classes at the University. In the bright days, he traveled the wide steppes to visit Blue Order communities, seeking clues about the mysterious, long dead civilization of the Elders in their ancient texts. However, when his best friend, Lefe Sol, the son of the ruler of Azere, discovers that his father has arranged his marriage to Ren Loh, the fourth daughter of the Empress of Jasmyne, Kel offers to stand by and help Lefe deal with his unexpected, and unwanted, bride-to-be. Kel soon finds himself caught up in the intrigues of empires which not only upset his well ordered life – they lay it to ruin.

Beneath the Lanterns is an old fashioned novel of adventure and travel set in an imaginary land – a land of colorful cities, wide steppes, and valleys littered with the ruins of a lost advanced civilization. It is a world of sixteen days of day light under the Yellow Lantern and sixteen days of night lit by the Blue Lantern. And across this wide and wild world under the Yellow and Blue Lanterns, Kel Cam finds that he must flee for his freedom, if not his life.

Beneath the Lanterns is the fifth novel by C. Litka. As in all of his novels, the story features richly drawn, engaging characters, imaginative settings, humor, and lighthearted adventure in a complete standalone novel.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

And so it goes...


And so it goes... Another day, another new cover. I now have four to choose from, but I think this one is the best. It has actual figures and coaches in the scene. It represents an actual scene from the story without too much artistic licence. And it still has the sense of sweeping space that I wanted to impart. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Another cover for Beneath the Lanterns


This is likely the final version of the cover, save that I will probably lighten up the sky a bit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A New Cover for Beneath the Lanterns



Here is my latest attempt at a cover for Beneath the Lanterns, “Caravan to Traefara.” I think this one is better than the last, if only because it represents, more or less, an actual scene in the book – unlike the last one. I still have time to try something else, so this may not be the final version. Stay tuned.

As I no doubt said before, I’m not an illustrator, and my talents in both art and writing are rather narrow. In art, with this type of thick acrylic paint, I’m pretty much an impressionist landscape painter, and that is pretty much what this painting is – an impressionist landscape enhanced in Gimp with a filter to add the black outlines. 

This is something like my fifth or six attempt to produce a suitable cover. I run into a number problems making my covers. The first being that I can’t really picture a scene in my head, at least as a complete scene. Hopefully you can from my words. The second is that I have a lot of trouble with “camera angles,” which is to say, how to frame a scene into something that I might be able to paint. The third is, as I said, I don’t paint realistically, though I’m better at that type of painting with watercolors, but even then… And well, it would be too inconsistent with my other covers. (And these days, I probably lack the patience for detailed work anyway.)

They say that covers are a very important part of selling a book. Maybe.

With my covers, my first priority is “branding.” All my covers have the same design – just like those old Penguin paperbacks with the orange color and one standard design.

My second priority is legibility as a thumbnail. I’m not selling books on bookstore shelves, so it is important to have the book title and author legible in a small format. I see many books were the title and author are lost in the art. 

My third priority is that they should look, if not professional, at least neat and original, and not too amateurish. I am not a graphic artist, and know just enough of Gimp to produce my covers. You can buy covers or hire designers, but not on my limited budget ($0), so I have to work within my skill level and resources. The result is a book cover stands out from the great mass of books in their categories. Whether people try them because of the covers or in spite of them is an open question.




Saturday, August 4, 2018

Beneath the Lanterns (Beta version)


The beta readers' version of Beneath the Lanterns is now available to anyone who wishes to read the not quite final version of the book with a down and dirty epub conversion. If you are interested in reading it and giving me feedback (during the month of August 2018) or if you just want to read it before its final release, just email me for a free copy. The finished book will be published, as always, for free on Smashwords, iBook and Kobo. It will be Amazon's decision to match those prices or not, but free is my desired price point. I haven't set a final release date, but it should be somewhere between the middle of September (2018) and the middle of October. In any event, if you just can't wait for the final version, and don't mind a few mistakes and perhaps some awkward formatting in the ebook edition, drop me a line at cmlitka@gmail.com

Friday, July 27, 2018

A Map for Beneath the Lanterns


The map for Beneath the Lanterns. It can be downloaded and printed out. I did not include it in the ebooks because I find it awkward to jump back and forth in ebooks.