Saturday, December 5, 2015

NEW! Ver. 2.0 of The Bright Black Sea Now Available

The Bright Black Sea Version 2.0 is now available on Smashwords and Amazon. It will be available on iBooks and Barnes & Noble within the next few days. 

Ver. 2.0 brings many "bug fixes", hopefully addressing concerns expressed in some early reviews. I moved the file from a Mac to a Windows machine and a newer version of LibreOffice, which then highlighted many typos and questionable words that the old version had not. Whether this is the result of LibreOffice being a newer version or that over the years of working in the old program many words may've somehow gotten into the program's dictionary and so weren't highlighted, I can't say. I do think that this is a significant update for everyone, and especially if you are just now starting to read a version released before 5 Dec 2015. Not only does it corrected misspellings, eliminate extra spaces and correct punctuation, but I've also straightened out several dozen awkward sentences, improved the constancy of names, made some minor clarifications, and restored "then" to the work.

Some how – no doubt operator error, since it's always operator error – while using the "find and replace" function of the program without a word in the "replace" box to check the usage of "then" (after the work had been proof-read), I must've hit "replace all" instead of "done". As a result, every "then" in the document was replaced with a space. Murphy's Law in action – if something can go wrong, it will. Hopefully, I've now restored those missing "then"s.

This work was written over the course of some four years and the decision to publish it was made only towards the end of the process. Going forward with new works, and with the knowledge that I will be publishing these works, I hope to use the lessons I've learned the hard way and have a process in place from day one that will eliminate these errors prior to publication, producing a cleaner copy out of the starting gate.

That said, there will likely always be some typos. Writing and editing/proof reading are two different professions, and I'm not an editor/proof reader. Professional proof readers charge between $.02 to $.03 a word and editing can jump the bill to $.04 a word. There are about 327,500 words in The Bright Black Sea. If you do the math you'd see that it would cost between $6,550 and $9,825 to have this book professionally proof read, and up to $13,100 to be professionally edited. There is simply no combination of price & sales volume that could ever be expected to produce enough royalties to cover even a tiny faction of this expense for an independently published writer like myself without a large established base of readers. I've read that 95% of indie published works fail to cover their expenses. And I know that it is very common for new authors to be able to count their sales on the fingers of their two hands and put a name to almost every sale as well. By forgoing professional covers, proof reading and paid promotions, I can at least break even with a cover price of free. The actual price of the work, however, will be typos. I will continue to try improve my processes to make that price as small and as painless as possible as well.

To upgrade to the new version you will need to:

Smashwords versions will probably have to be re-downloaded. It's live now.

iBooks versions include a "update" button that should update the book to the newest version when it becomes available. Didn't seem to work, same old version. I was able to get the new version only after deleting it from my collection and then re-downloading it. 
Amazon versions should be updated by going to a "Manage your Devices" page and turning on automatic updates. Personally, I've had no luck with this either. 
I tried several times to re-download to kindle my Kindle Fire the new version without success even after I set the preferences to automatically update. I deleted it from my account (in you account settings, not just on your device) and tried again. Still ver. 1.1. Contacted Amazon support, I was told it was a technical problem that I'd have to call or chat with tech support. Screw it. I went to Smashwords:
and downloaded the mobi (Kindle) ver. on my Fire tablet and it opened up just fine with the Kindle app. If you're experiencing the same problem I did, this would be my suggested solution.

Amazon Update 15 Jan 16 I read in one blog or another, that Amazon does not update for minor version changes like correcting typos and new covers. At least not without jumping through hoops. So if you've downloaded an earlier version of this story and are only now getting around to reading it, you might want to try another source. 

Barnes & Noble versions, haven't a clue. I don't have a B & N account.

Kobo. My computer's OS version is too old for the latest Kobo software, so I don't know how you can update your version. (I only recently discovered that Kobo doesn't report free sales, so I hadn't realized anyone was downloading from Kobo until I saw some ratings on the site. Thanks!)


  1. I have read somany sifis. Among them this is a very good reading. I could live with Litang in the Lost Star. I read the book two times. Some parts thee times. There are so many things to say. But this is not my language. And it is hard to type in a tab. So keep writing. I am eagerly waiting to know what happened to Litang and Botts. Sir, thank you. For giving us a real good reading.

    1. Hi Suneth, Thank you for your nice note. I am happy that you enjoyed the story. I rather hoped readers would feel like they were one of the crew aboard the Lost Star/Starry Shore. I am currently working on the first draft of the next Wil Litang story, "The Lost Star's Sea" and hope to finish it in the next few weeks. I will then put it a way for a month or two before I start revising it for publication. If all goes well, it should come out it late summer or early fall in 2016. Thanks again for writing. Chuck