The story behind why The Moon Cried Blood is going temporarily out of print

ImageThere are many resources available to an independent author looking to hone his or her craft, and particularly one like myself, who is a part time worker and quarter-time student. The community college track may not be extremely financially lucrative, at least in the short run, but it is chock full of opportunity to improve and hone one’s craft.

            My English teachers at Berkeley City College have everything to do with why I suddenly find that I have the confidence to accept the challenge posed to me by one of my readers. The challenge is to place The Moon Cried Blood through another round of proofreading.

Those of you who follow my blog are probably already aware of the fact that I am planning to separate the 541 page into two shorter books with a bit more action to balance out the exposition. Part of the reason I am willing to take up this challenge is that I am realizing that the indie eBook market is primarily shorter works, and that the length of Warmth (about 250 pages, or a little more than half of TMCB) is more appropriate for that market. However, I have decided that there are more basic issues with TCMB that need addressing.

As a result, on December 18, 2013, I will be temporarily retiring all versions of The Moon Cried Blood: paperback, hardcover, and electronic.  This is a response to this Amazon review:

 “This is an amazing book. I downloaded this book on the day it was offered for free.

This is not a Twilight or Harry Potter book. In my opinion, it’s better. There is a very complex plot that thickens with every page. The characters, and there are many, are quite detailed. You don’t know what’s going to happen, even as it’s happening. That has been missing with many books these days, and I’m glad to see it here.

There are a few downsides, however, and that is why I’m only rating this 4/5 stars. There is a LOT of grammatical errors in the book. Majority of them are incorrect word usage, such as using “is” instead of “it” or “on” instead of “of”. They occur on average every 2 pages or so.

“But there are some that make reading the book confusing, irritating, and difficult to follow. They are more rare, I only found a handful throughout the book. Some of these examples include using the wrong character name. An example of this would be using “Joy” when “Letty” was the person talking, and Joy wasn’t apart of the conversation at all. If you can read between the lines and make sense of the story without the errors, its not so bad.

All of these mistakes could be easily corrected with a proofread. I highly recommend the author taking the book down long enough to get a proofread done and have all the errors corrected.

I have seen some reviews asking the author to change parts of the story. I don’t think that it’s necessary at all. I loved the story itself and will read it again. If a new copy, without errors, is posted, I’ll buy it right away.”

–          Lance S. Elliott

If I had not just spent a few semesters in community college English Writer’s Workshop classes learning new editing skills and honing those I already possessed, I would be extremely intimidated by this prospect. In fact, I will admit here and now that I originally attempted to pay for proofreading and editing assistance for the book, but I was never really able to afford it, and the offers for free assistance I received (there were a half a dozen of them) never really went anywhere. At this point, I am realizing that the best person to edit this is me: I have a vested interest, and I am an editor that I can afford.

The issue with that, however, is that like most writers, I am blind to my own errors. That is where the classes I took come in to play: I have been learning various techniques for seeing my writing with new eyes, and catching precisely the kinds of errors mentioned in the review.

These errors are the types that authors often miss in their own works because the mind substitutes what you intended to write with what is actually there: you see “on” because you intended to write “on”, but “off” is actually there.

One of the techniques I was taught is to read the paragraph backward, so that I am focused on the language, and not on the meaning, in order to assist with preventing the mental substitution of intended or correct words where incorrect words were used. Another is to read the work aloud.

In order to accomplish this task I have grabbed up the last print copy of the second edition of The Moon Cried Blood and marked it as an Editing Copy. I just finished reading the cover text aloud, and editing it (yes, there is at least one error on the rear cover) and now I am reading through the rest of the book to capture the other errors.

I am not sure I can find them all, but I am certainly going to do my best.

Because The Moon Cried Blood is going out of print on the 18th, and I still have three days left to offer for the Kindle KDP Select program (I can’t take the book down until after the 17th) I am offering it for free on December 15th, 16th, and 17th, the last three days it will be on sale.

Pick up your free eCopy on Amazon:

The Moon Cried Blood

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle reading app.

~ by Sumiko Saulson on December 14, 2013.

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