Thursday, September 27, 2018

September Wrap-up

An illustration from Beneath the Lanterns (not used) From Chapter 15, Lanterna

September has been a busy month for me. The first half was spent getting both the ebook and the paperback editions of Beneath the Lanterns ready for release. That included building the print version, which involved designing both a front and back cover, writing a back cover blurb, designing the art and blurb for inside the cover, title page and map page. Inside, the page size and margins had to be set up and the text converted to be justified right and left. I also changed it to a new type-face for print (Goudy Old Style), and putting in things like page numbers and page breaks between chapters that are not used in the ebook versions. And then one has to go through and make sure that things like my scene numbers within a chapter do not end up in the last line of a page – which would look silly. Finally, I had to decide what I wanted to do with the fact that the story ended within a line of the bottom of the page. I would have preferred it to end in the middle of a page so that the white space of the rest of the page would make it clear that the end had been reached. However, I could not find a satisfactory way of extending the chapter into the next page, so I left it as it fell. (And CreateSpace didn’t include one extra blank page, so the story runs right to the back cover. But then, I like to keep my endings open, as life continues on for my characters, even if we no long travel with them, so perhaps that is best. And, well, seeing that I might sell one or two copies at most, I’m not losing any sleep over it.

In the middle of the month, after seeing the print proof copy, I decided to re-do the cover for both the paperback and ebook version. I paint my own covers, and then, sometimes, add thin black outlines in the painting on the computer to give it sort of a wood cut look. In the first version, I overdid the black lines a little, and had to tone it back down. I’m still not crazy about the cover, but it is as good as that one is going to get.

I also uploaded new versions of Some Day Days, The Bright Black Sea, and The Lost Star’s Sea to fix some of the remaining typos. I think there still is a silly one in Some Day Days  that I saw when doing the Google version. It has “ever” instead of “every” in the little blurb about reporting typo. I should fix that… tomorrow…

Some time ago I had applied to have my books in the Google Play bookstore, and two weeks ago I received an email invite from them to add my books to their store. I could upload either PDFs versions, and/or epub versions. I have, in the past, relied on Smashwords and Amazon to convert my word document into their ebook versions, and had not been impressed with how my own epub versions turned out using an old version of Calibre, so I was rather leery of uploading my own epubs. I had PDF versions from the paperback book, so I started with them. It took a few days for them to approve my account and a few days to master their system, but eventually I had the PDFs up. I then decided to tackle the epub versions. I first tried uploading the LibreOffice documents to Google Drive, opening them up in Google Docs, and then download them as epubs. I figured working within Google should produce acceptable epub versions.  With those in hand, I then uploaded them to Google Play Books. The only problem was that it seems that The Bright Black Sea and The Lost Star's Sea were too large to open in Google Docs, so I could not convert them using Google Docs and ended up installing the latest version of Calibre and after doing a little research, I produced acceptable epub versions -- at least they passed Google's inspection. They are all live now, and we'll see what, if anything, business results from being on Google.

This past week I contacted the folks at Speculative Fiction Showcase ( http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/ ) about featuring my new book. They were kind enough to oblige and featured Beneath the Lanterns on 27 Sept 2018 on their website. I would like to thank them for including my book on their website. The site features new releases on most days, and on every Friday, an extensive list of links to the speculative fiction stories of the week. A great place to find new books and interesting reads.

I hope to start writing my 2019 novel in earnest in October. I have re-written the first page half a dozen times, as the story and time line shifts in this early phase, keep changing. However, with all the above distractions out of the way, I hope to start nailing the story down. I had challenged myself to write a mystery next, and this will be something of a mystery, though not of the a who-done-it type. I’m thinking something more along the lines of a Raymond Chandler type of story with pirates instead of gangsters. And after a couple of years, I think it is time to return to space – this time with starships! ...Assuming all goes well...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

C. Litka Books - Now on Google Play and Google Books


All five of my novels are now available for free on Google Play and Google Books. I have uploaded both epub and pdf versions, but I only see the epub versions. I'm not sure how books on Google Play work. If you can find the pdf versions, they are the pdfs from the print editions, with the maps and such included.

You can find them here:
https://play.google.com/store/search?q=C.%20Litka&c=books&hl=en

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Free Worldwide on Amazon


I am happy to report that Beneath the Lanterns is now FREE in all the Amazon stores, at this time, which is great news. A Summer in Amber and The Lost Star's Sea are also FREE in the UK Amazon store, but I don't think anywhere else.

I recently up loaded a new version of Some Day Days that corrected three dozen or so typos in the first half of the book, thanks to Nicole B. She says the second half will show up sooner or later. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but beggars can't be choosers.


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.