in which sunken treasure is revised for a second edition

There's a brand new layout of Sunken Treasure, which looks beautiful and has earned the Second Edition designation.

A ton of readers have sent feedback about Sunken Treasure, and some common themes have emerged:

1. You like the stories. This makes me so happy I want to do the Snoopy dance.
2. The layout needs work. This makes me realize my own limitations.
3. You really want a digital version that's native to the Kindle, or other eReaders. This makes me wish my eReader-Fu was stronger.
4. You want an audio version of the whole book.

I took this feedback to heart, and over the next few weeks I will address every request. Today, I wanted to announce that I took some of the earnings from the first month's sales, and reinvested them into making the book even better: the US edition has been revised and redesigned by my friend Will Hindmarch, with a beautiful new layout and gorgeous new fonts. Will is a honest-to-goodness professional designer, and he made the gutters deeper, fixed some of the typos that eluded both me and Andrew (curse you, signing! You kept looking like singing!) and improved the overall flow of the whole book. (Note: The World edition has not been changed; we're working on it, and it'll be updated soon.)

Here, take a look at this comparison, starting with the original:

Original Sunken Design

And now, the new design:

New Sunken Design

I'm not sure if the change comes across on the screen, but it looks beautiful on paper. Also, the margins are vastly improved since I did them myself, which will address the number one complaint from customers.

Also, if you're a knowledge nerd like I am, you may enjoy learning this from Will:

If you’re curious, the new design is set in the classic transitional
typeface, Baskerville, which debuted from John Baskerville in 1757 (the
same year
The Last of the Mohicans is set, I think). The interior title is in Effloresce, designed around 1999 by the great Ray Larabie.

Woo! Neat!

Whenever I revise and update my books, some people who've purchased the first printing get upset with me. If you're one of them, I hope you'll understand that I always want to make my work better, and now your first edition just became limited. Yay!

Now, about the other points people have raised:

At the moment, Lulu only supports PDF for downloadable eBooks, but I think they will let me sell other types of digital files if I don't put it into their eBook category. If I understand it correctly, I could make a .zip file that has html, .rtf, .txt, and as many native formats as I can successfully create (or pay others to create for me). If I'm right about that, expect to see that kind of offering – still for just $5 and still without DRM – as soon as I can pull it all together.

There's an audio version on the way, as well. I just haven't had time to record it.

33 thoughts on “in which sunken treasure is revised for a second edition”

  1. Wow, I’m first. This has never happened to me before. I want to thank my mom and dad, for always being so supportive….oh wait…sorry.
    Anyway, I guess its a good thing that you’ve gotten the feedback you did. Otherwise all of those things would be out there, making a bad name for you. I can understand how the first group of purchasers might feel, but hey, if you’re a fan of Wil, you know nothing like this is ever intentional. Speaking of which, I need to order my own copy. Sorry Wil, didn’t mean to wait so long, but payday only comes so often and I had to save up enough quarters :)
    Had to edit it, figures somebody would post before I got all this finished. Damn, missed again.

  2. Hey, would it be possible to just release the eBook as an “epub” release? They’re basically zip files with fancy xhtml formatting, and the format seems to be supported by a number of eBook readers – although I admit, I don’t know if it’s “native support”.
    There’s a free eBook collection software for Windows called “Calibre”, and it has the capability to turn plain text files to epub. (Incidentally, there’s homebrew for the Nintendo DS called DSlibris that can read the XHTML files (if you strip them out of the epub archive)… turning -it- into a nice little two-page eBook reader.
    *cough* Just something to think about. If there’s free software that can create these, I don’t think they would have DRM attached.

  3. For typos, it helps to read the entire document backward, word by word. Time consuming, but prevents that whole “brain filling in what it wants to see” thing. But hey, I catch typos in non-self-published books all the time. No one’s perfect.
    I just got my copy of Sunken Treasure in the mail and thought it was great. I love that you’re going to improve on an already great thing.
    More please. 😉

  4. I simply purchased the PDF version on lulu and emailed it to my Kindle. Showed up in just a few minutes and it looked awesome. Amazon may say that the Kindle will not support PDF files, but it did just fine with Sunken Treasure. There’s really not a need for any other version unless someone simply wants a .html, etc file. If you do release as a .prc file, it can be dropped on the Kindle with no conversion at all.

  5. You’re exactly right about the file types. Book projects and ebook projects both go through the same file conversion process on Lulu, which yields a PDF file at the end; this is also the file that’s sent to the printer.
    You can do a non-PDF file download by doing a digital media project instead. Choose the CD/DVD project if you go with a filetype other than a music file; you should still get the option to make it available as a download, and the CD/DVD wizard lets you upload software.
    As an aside, if you need an extra pair of hands to pitch in with pulling together those other file types, I’m willing. I’m no longer on their payroll, but Lulu’s still the best company I know, and every little bit of success helps. :)

  6. Wil, quick question; I’m about to deploy to Afghanistan, and I’m taking my Kindle with me, for something to do. Do you expect any Kindle-Editions of your book(s) to come out in the near future? If not, can i nudge-nudge you in that direction?!

  7. I thought Amazon had a service that will convert any file (PDFs for sure) into a Kindle-readable file for something like 10 cents a document. A friend of mine put my Lulu books onto his wife’s Kindle that way.

  8. First of all, thank you for your service. Stay safe, man.
    As for Kindle-ized versions: There *will* be a Kindle-friendly version of Sunken Treasure very soon, and though I have plans to do digital versions of Happiest Days of Our Lives, I don’t know how soon that will happen.
    My other books are out of my hands, unfortunately, but I think they are part of the Safari Bookshelf program.

  9. I know you published using lulu, but you might want to take a few moments to check out Booksurge as well. Booksurge recently got bought by Amazon, and I’m pretty sure they have “Put it on Kindle too” as an optional item, but it’s not automatic (at this time).
    Disclaimer: I work for CreateSpace, which is a self-publish-books-and-dvds-and-audio-cds-house, formed by Amazon combining Customflix and Booksurge. I work in the video side of the house, so I admit to not knowing much about the Booksurge side of the house, but if you were to self-publish a video dvd or audio cd, it would end up on servers I manage. Further disclaimer: I don’t speak for Amazon or CreateSpace and this comment comes with a money-back guarantee.

  10. Hi Wil,
    Completely off-topic, but I’ve been following you on Twitter and now I’m blocked. Since I’m pretty sure I haven’t been talking smack about you in third period study hall, I was just wondering what gives.

  11. I recently listened to the audio versions of “Just a Geek” and “Happiest Days…” back to back, and I have two requests for the audio version of “Sunken Treasure”:
    1: Use the mic you used on Just a Geek
    2: Use the audio compression you used on Just a Geek
    Your performance in “Happiest Days” was amazing as always, but there were times that it couldn’t be heard or understood because of those two factors.
    Needless to say, I’ll be buying the Sunken Treasure audio when it becomes available. =)

  12. I bought Sunken Treasure from lulu immediately after reading this. I got the pdf version, and I think it looks great. It is easy to read, typographically, and entertainingly.
    (I’m also having a blast listening to the DnD podcast on WotC, right now, in fact.)

  13. Kindle makes it pretty easy to publish your stuff via their DTP website:
    I understand the process is not perfect, but there it is. I actually wrote the how-to stuff for this site, but the tool wasn’t actually working at the time, so I can only hope it’s useful. :)
    Let me know if you need any help.

  14. Yay, yay, yay! Just this morning I decided I really needed a “Sunken Treasure” in print to go with the pdf. Now I’ll even get the new and better version! Well, when you’ve worked the changes in the world edition, obviously. :-)

  15. I think that unless you’re going to release a collection- leave the typos and such in the chapbooks. For me it felt so much more raw, and self-made, dare i say “indie”? ugh. Your truth is what draws people to you- let all the humanity come with it. The whole essence of the chapbook is its imperfection. Like with the moleskine travel books- they get bent, smeary, washed, etc. Let the final revisions come when you’re working the NYTBS circuit. Good on ya, though for continuing to polish and grow. You are great. ~D)

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