5 Years!

Evershades was released 5 years ago today!

It hasn’t sold a million copies yet … I’ll let you know when I hit that milestone 🙂

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‘Evershades’ by Dale Spiller: Another look inside

If you enjoyed the first sneak peak, here is another look inside the pages of ‘Evershades’:

   “Oh wow,” said Bret as Mike brought the truck to a halt a couple of hundred metres away from a large lake that had a small island in the middle of it. The island seemed to be completely covered with huge alligators. However it was hard to tell as they were quite a distance away.
   “Is it OK to get out?” asked Tom.
   “Yeah, as long as you stay away from the bank you will be fine,” replied Marvin.
   “Come on then,” said Tom as he more or less pushed Bret out of the cabin.
   Mike got out of the truck with his gun. “Come on Marvin, let’s go and make sure everything has gone to plan.”
   “Remember guys, stay away from the edge of the water,” said Marvin as he walked off.
   Bret looked at Tom. “I wonder what they mean by that.”
   “Stay away from the water’s edge or you will get eaten by an alligator.”
   Bret shook his head as he grabbed his video camera from his bag. “Not that, the bit about making sure everything is going to plan.”
   Tom frowned. “Stop being so bloody paranoid, will you? Just look around, how cool is this? I mean, tourists get excited about visiting the Everglades and seeing one or two alligators if they are lucky…”
   “This is a farm,” interrupted Bret. “Of course we are going to see a lot of alligators.”
   “Shut up and do some video.”

   Bret stood filming the lake from what he and Tom thought was a safe distance away. “Look at the size of the bastards.”
   “Hey Bret, don’t swear on the video – I will be showing that to my mum at some point.”
   Bret ignored Tom’s comment. After all, it was his camera. “I cannot believe the size of them. They really are massive.”
   “I know,” replied Tom. “Fuck coming face to face with one of those.”
   Bret pointed the camera at Tom. “I think you need to apologise for your bad language.”
   Tom looked at the camera and went to say something but a sound from the water stopped him. “Did you hear that?”
   Bret nodded as he stood frozen to the spot.
   “Keep the camera rolling and follow me,” whispered Tom.
   Bret did not follow.
   Tom turned around and beckoned Bret with his hand.
   Bret shook his head. He really did not want to go anywhere near the edge of the lake.
   Tom waved again.
   “Just come back here,” whispered Bret as he looked around for Mike and Marvin. They were nowhere to be seen.
   “No, I want to see what it is.”
   “Probably a fucking great big alligator, hence why I am staying here. I would like to keep all of my limbs.”
   “Whatever, I know that there is not an alligator quick enough to catch me. You can stay there and be a girl but I am going for a look.”
   ‘Bloody hell,’ thought Bret. He knew there was no way that he would let Tom go on his own so, despite thinking that it was extremely unwise to even think about going near the water, he followed. “Wait for me, you idiot.”
   “Be quiet and keep the camera rolling.”
   Suddenly there was the sound of more water splashing.
   Tom and Bret looked at each other and slowly crept up to the heavily grassed bank of the lake. Both of them poked their heads over to look at what was causing the commotion. But even before they could focus their eyes, a giant alligator leapt out of the water.
   ‘Fuck,’ thought Bret as they fell backwards. Fortunately the alligator had missed its target, though not by much as Bret got to smell its breath as it snapped at him.
   The alligator fell back into the water but immediately tried to scramble up the bank. Clearly it was not done with trying to get a piece of either of them.
   They quickly got up off the ground.
   Bret grabbed the camera. “What do we do now?”
   “Bloody run!” shouted Tom.

The above extract is copyright © Dale Spiller 2013.

Click here to buy your copy of ‘Evershades’.

Evershades © Dale Spiller 2013

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Marketing for Self Published Authors – some useful links

As a self-published author who is still very much trying to figure out exactly what I need to do to sell my book, I thought I would share a few of the links which I have found useful.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the sites that I have looked at, but these are the ones that have struck a chord so far:

  • 89 Book Marketing Ideas – as the name suggests, this is a rather long list of possible ways to improve awareness of your book. There are a lot of points that may not be applicable to your particular market, but I found a few things that I hadn’t previously considered.
  • Goodreads – this is a community of book lovers. The website gives authors, (either self-published or otherwise), a number of opportunities to promote their books. This includes allowing you to publicise book-related events and giveaways. You can also sign up to have your book reviewed, as well as join in with discussion groups.
  • David Gaughran – David has a great blog and gives lots of useful information for self-publishers. He covers various aspects of publishing such as formatting, covers and  marketing.
  • Lindsay Buroker – I must admit I have only discovered this site very recently, but it includes a lot of Lindsay’s personal experiences of e-book publishing. I’m going to be visiting regularly from now onwards.
  •  A Blue Million Books – Amy Metz has a great list of ways to market your book, including details of a large number of websites that offer free book listings.

If you have any other links that you have found helpful, please share them by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

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Summer holiday reading – what’s your favourite?

With summer now officially upon the Northern hemisphere, it is time for many people to pick their holiday reading material.

One benefit of living in Australia is that I can sit outside at pretty much any time of year. That means my reading material doesn’t really have seasonal influences but when I do travel overseas I know that I will need something to keep me amused during a very long journey. I usually find myself gravitating towards titles that will guarantee a laugh, or which have been recommended by others. After all, if my wife also likes a book then we get double the benefit from the purchase. One of our favourites over the years has been Bill Bryson – he has a very amusing way of writing and we both still find his book about Australia hilarious, even though we’ve read it multiple times and have been to quite a few of the places mentioned.

For a lot of our friends who live in colder climates, picking books to take on their annual summer holiday used to be quite an important shopping trip. Since the introduction of the Kindle and other e-book readers, they can now do that shopping from the comfort of their lounge room and, if they want, can take multiple books on their travels without requiring excess luggage. I often wonder if that has made their selection process any easier as they aren’t as restricted to only taking one or two novels. Although a lot of e-books by famous authors cost basically the same as the paperback version, there are plenty of alternatives out there at lower prices making the options even greater.

That fact, combined with my own experience as an independent author, means I am going to investigate at least one ‘unknown’ writer for my next trip. How about you – what type of summer holiday books do you love?

Evershades © Dale Spiller 2013Evershades’ is a fiction novel. Suitable for ages 18+, it is available as a paperback or an e-book for Kindle, Apple iPad and Apple iPhone.

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The great e-book pricing debate

One of the hardest things about publishing my first novel, ‘Evershades’, was deciding what price the e-book should sell at.

As an independent author using CreateSpace to publish the paperback version of my book, it wasn’t hard to determine a price because the print costs basically dictated what it had to be if I wanted to earn any royalties. Publising the e-book edition through Kindle Direct Publishing was another matter altogether. How do you price an item that costs nothing to make?

The first thought was to price at the lowest level of US$0.99. I thought that making it ‘cheap as chips’ would attract the largest possible audience, such as those looking for something to read on the train or airplane who were willing to take a chance on not having heard of the author before. However, as my wife pointed out after having a look at the listings of e-books already in that category, would the $0.99 price tag make people think that the content wasn’t actually good enough to be priced higher?

I read a few blog posts and articles on various websites which suggested that an e-book the length of ‘Evershades’ could be priced at $2.99 or even higher. That sounded good to me as pricing at that level would let me earn KDP’s highest royalty percentage. But then again, if I put myself in the shoes of a potential reader, would I be willing to risk $2.99 or more on an e-book written by an unknown when I could go to the supermarket and buy a cheap paperback for the same price? Unless I was purely dedicated to e-book purchasing over building a physical library of hard copies, the answer was probably not.

In the end, after much debating in the household, $1.49 was decided upon as being a comfortable position at which my e-book might not look ‘too’ cheap, but at which it could also be construed as being worth a gamble without wasting money that could be more gainfully used.

So far the e-book has been the more popular choice for those that have purchased ‘Evershades’, but I will admit that not as many copies have sold as I would like. From that you can correctly presume that I am not writing this blog post from a tropical beach with a large cocktail sitting on a table next to me. Oh well.

I would be very interested to hear if others have had the same problem with deciding on the pricing of their own e-book, and whether the amount you settled on is working for you. If you are sitting on the tropical beach because you got it right, let me know.

Evershades © Dale Spiller 2013

Evershades’ is a fiction novel. Suitable for ages 18+, it is available as a paperback or an e-book for Kindle, Apple iPad and Apple iPhone.

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What do the readers think? The importance of book reviews

How often do you leave a review for anything? I must admit that I usually only think about leaving a review when I want to complain or let others know that I have received not-so-good service. I’ve actually written very few because most of the time there is nothing to complain about. In the past I certainly haven’t documented my thoughts about any book as it simply hasn’t crossed my mind to do so. If I have enjoyed a particular read then the best I have done is to casually mention it to friends and family.

Now that I am a newly-fledged “independent” author I find myself wondering what my readers are thinking when they get to the last page. I wish there was a way that I could discover what every single one of them thought of my book and, with that, I have realised the importance of reviews. They are the opportunity for the reader to talk to the author, even if it is a one-sided conversation.

The great thing about the internet is the vast assortment of methods through which readers can leave their ratings and reviews. Amazon, Goodreads and LibraryThing are just a few of the sites which allow you to make comments on books, plus of course there are the ever-present social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter. I’ve recently started the process of leaving reviews on both Goodreads and LibraryThing for the books I have read  – I expect that it may take me a while but I’ll get there in the end.

My own novel, ‘Evershades’, has been out for a little over a month. To date I’ve been lucky enough to receive three reviews on Amazon UK and all of them have been good (phew!). I do realise that it probably won’t be long before someone doesn’t enjoy ‘Evershades’ as much as I would like them to, and I think that I am prepared to accept their comments gracefully. (Though I do reserve the right to slam a few doors when it does happen, and I hope my wife will understand enough not to say anything about it.)

So, whether you are reading a book by an independent author or by someone famous, take a few moments to pass on your thoughts in whichever way is easiest for you. Remember to be honest, fair and constructive with any criticism and I’m sure that it will be appreciated.

Evershades © Dale Spiller 2013

Evershades’ is a fiction novel. Suitable for ages 18+, it is available as a paperback or an e-book for Kindle, Apple iPad and Apple iPhone.

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Connect with ‘Evershades’ and Dale Spiller

‘Evershades’ by Dale Spiller is now listed on both Goodreads and LibraryThing. Add the book to your reading list today and then be sure to post a review.

In addition to the above, you can connect with Dale Spiller on Facebook. Please head over and say hi!

 Evershades © Dale Spiller 2013

Evershades’ is a fiction novel. Suitable for ages 18+, it is available as a paperback or an e-book for Kindle, Apple iPad and Apple iPhone.

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