Monthly Archives: April 2015

How Self Publishing Gave Me the Motivation to Write Again

Hey 3.5 Readers,1371251154-2

Bookshelf Q. Battler here.

Many years ago, when I was a young BQB, I gave up on writing.  Sometimes I wish I hadn’t.  Other times I understand why I had to.  My position on the subject changes with whatever mood you happen to find me in.

I quit because the motivation factor just wasn’t there.  To develop a quality piece of writing takes so much time, energy and effort and the payout?  Well, let’s just say the likelihood of winning that coveted traditional publishing contract deal seemed akin to my chances of winning the lottery.

So I pursued an average life instead and in many respects, I can’t complain.  However, the rise of the self-publishing industry has really provided me with the motivation I need to pick up my pencil again.

Today’s technology has given rise to an emerging self-publishing industry.  From the comfort of their own homes, people are putting out books that rival what major publishing houses are putting out.  If you’re willing to put the work in, you can build a platform, develop an audience, seek out the assistance of editors and artists, and get your work into the hands of readers.

That just wasn’t an option ten years ago.  I wish it had been.  Those were the days when little was impossible for a plucky young BQB as long as he had a can of Red Bull.

Three guys who are kicking ass and taking names in the self-publishing game?  Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright aka Johnny, Sean and Dave of “The Self Publishing Podcast” – check it out at (they’re available on iTunes).

I’ve learned so much from their book “Write.  Publish. Repeat” and from listening to their show.

The upside of self-publishing?  You’re in control.  Your success does not hinge on being one of the beautiful people who can charm an agent or a publisher into swinging open the gate to the Castle of Success for you.

The downside? Same as the upside.  You’re in control.  You need to figure out how to hire an editor, how to hire a cover artist, how to build a platform, how to promote yourself and more.  Johnny, Sean, and Dave put that info out there in a fun (and often hilarious) format.

To spend all my free time writing a novel when the only chance of its publication rests on me being the needle in a haystack picked up by an agent?  It just seemed like a waste.

But now that technology has put our writing  careers in our own hands?  Sign me up.

At this early stage, I have no idea if I’ll ever make it, but the self publishing industry has at the very least resurrected my dream, one I gladly work on whenever I get a rare free moment these days.

Bravo on your third anniversary of podcasting, Johnny Sean and Dave.  They did a special primetime show this evening and it was a blast to watch them work their magic live.

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Self Publishing Podcast in Primetime

Johnny Sean and Dave doing a special 8:00 pm primetime live show in honor of their three year anniversary.

They did not get each other flowers.

Check it out.  They’re on now:

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And Now a Special Message from A Bunch of Hot Action Star Chicks

By:  A Bunch of Hot Action Star Chicks, Special Guest Contributors to the Bookshelf Battle Blog

A Bunch of Hot Chicks With Guns - Special Bookshelf Battle Guest Contributors

A Bunch of Hot Chicks With Guns – Special Bookshelf Battle Guest Contributors

Hello.  We’re a bunch of hot action star chicks.  We can literally say anything right now and you’ll listen, especially if you’re a man, because a) we’re hot and b) we kick ass.  Checking us out allows you to live out your impotent male fantasies of a) being a tough guy and b) getting to hang out with hot chicks.

Since we no doubt have your rapt attention, due to the fact that we’re a bunch of hot action star chicks and you’re a man, we feel the need to take advantage of this opportunity to inform you of the following important issues, which you will totally listen to, because as previously mentioned, we’re a bunch of hot action star chicks, and you’re a drooling man:

1)  Global warming is a dangerous issue and requires more attention from our world leaders.  But action begins at home.  Are you recycling?  Are you shutting off your lights and other electronic appliances when they’re not in use?  Are your making sure to not run the faucet?  Think of all the water that can be saved if you’d just shut the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth instead of allowing it to run until your done.  A little common sense can go a long way to help Mother Earth.

2)  As a society, we must do more to help our fellow man.  We all talk a big game but honestly, talk is cheap and doing something about it is better.  Contact your local civic organizations today as there are likely many volunteer opportunities that will allow you to give back to your community.  Remember, when you take a shift at your neighborhood soup kitchen, you’re not just passing out a hot bowl of minestrone, you’re also dishing out hope.

3)  Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life is going to drop on this blog like a hot potato on May 15.   Mark your calendars and clear your schedules, because you know you’re going to want to read it.

In conclusion, we, a bunch of hot action star chicks, would like to thank you for taking the time to read to read BQB’s blog.


A Bunch of Hot Action Star Chicks

Bunch of hot action star chicks photo courtesy of a license.

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Game of Yetis – Part 7 – House Yeti

PREVIOUSLY ON GAME OF YETIS – Lord Alien of House Jones crosses the Narrow Sea after the Khaleesi tweets him a question about how to train dragons.

(By the way, did you know Alien Jones loves to promote Indie Self Publishers?  Read all about it in his latest “Ask the Alien” column.)


Lord Yeti and his banner yetis crossed the icy tundra to meet the white walkers on the field of battle.  Prior to engaging in sword play, the leaders of both parties decided to hold the following parlay:


WHITE WALKER:  Errrghhh!

LORD YETI: Roar roar!

WHITE WALKER:  Ergh. Errgh?

LORD YETI: Roar! Roar. Roar.

WHITE WALKER:  Ergh.  Ergh?


Sorry, here’s the English translation:

LORD YETI:  Why do you white walkers approach Yetifell as though you are prepared for war?

WHITE WALKER:  We wish to breach The Wall and march to Shelftopia so that we may steal all of Lord BQB’s Dew of the Mountain!

LORD YETI:  We’ve already stolen it!  It’s in my castle as we speak!

WHITE WALKER:  Oh.  Can we have some?

LORD YETI:  Of course.  Any enemy of Lord BQB is a friend of mine.  However, Lord BQB no doubt marches for Yetifell, so you must help us protect my castle from his attack.

WHITE WALKER:  Agreed.  Can we watch Scandal while we wait?

LORD YETI:  Why wouldn’t we?

I know.  It's a bear.  It was the only large dumb furry animal the HBO GOT sigil creator had.  The Yeti has complained vigorously.

I know. It’s a bear. It was the only large dumb furry animal the HBO GOT sigil creator had. The Yeti has complained vigorously.

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Avengers this Friday

Yeah.  I’ve got nothing today.  Too busy planning out “The Summer of Bookshelf.”

But to comply with the one post a day challenge rules, here’s Iron Man on my shelf again:

Tony Stark you lazy bastard.

Tony Stark you lazy bastard.

I hate to cast Jon Snow and Ned Stark aside, but I think I’ll just leave Iron Man as the blog header at least for this week.

Who’s ready for the Avengers 2?

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A Special Message from Dr. Hugo Von Science


Dr. Hugo Von Science

Dr. Hugo Von Science

Guten Tag, Herr 3.5 Readers!

It is I, Dr. Hugo Von Science!  Perhaps you recognize me from my many wunderbar inventions:

  • Teflon Pants – for those exceptionally messy jobs
  • Teflon Underpants – see above
  • The Colon Roomba – patrols your intestines, sucking up excess food.  As soon as I gain FDA approval, you’ll never see another overweight person ever again!
  • EMPC Grenades – Similar to the Electronic Magnetic Pulse Grenades that knock out the enemies’ electronics, these do the same thing but they also deafen the Army’s opponents with a vigorous blasting of Cher’s greatest hits.
  • The Two Jump Pogo Stick – Literally get anywhere in the world within two jumps.  We’ve lost many test chimps but we’re confident we’ll figure it out by 2018.
  • The Incredible Exploding Chinchilla – You laugh, but when we drop a thousand of these bad boys out of a plane with tiny parachutes, the enemy won’t know what hit them.

And last but certainly not least:

  • The X57 Planetary Smashing Death Ray – to be placed on the moon in order to hold the Earth for ransom and…woopsie!  I’ve said to much.

Anyhow, I’d like to say a few words about my former student, Mr. Bookshelf Q. Battler, who took every class I taught at the Advanced Science Institute.

In fact, BQB’s assistance was instrumental in securing a patent for the Incredible Exploding Chinchilla.  We were able to secure all legal rights to the invention, thus stopping those lesser bastards at Science Tech from their foolish plan to develop exploding ferrets.

Exploding ferrets.  Like that would ever work.

BQB is a wise man, an intelligent man, and a generous man.  In fact, he spotted me a portrait of Andrew Jackson just to say all this.  That’s just the kind of guy he is.

But what you really need to know is that his epic story, Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life is coming to your computer screens on May 15.  It’s going to be a blog serial, meaning every day throughout the summer, he’ll post a bite size chunk of his adventure tale right here on

The best part?  He’s doing it for free!  (Which makes sense because between you and me I suggested to him that he should spot you all a portrait of Andrew Jackson if he wants anyone to read it).

Whatever you do, be sure to read the part where I, the illustrious Dr. Hugo Von Science make a brief cameo in this stinkenheimer of a story.

By the way, I also hear mumblings that BQB has yet another series dropping on this blog on June 1.  I have no involvement in that one because he’s thus far only been referring to it as “Project X.”



PROJECT X – June 1

It may or may not involve exploding chinchillas.  You know what?  Just assume there won’t be any exploding chinchillas in Project X and then you will be pleasantly surprised if there are some.  (Or surprised if there aren’t any, if you’re one of those namby pambies who can’t appreciate a good exploding chinchilla.

Finally, I just want to point out that BQB’s strongest subject has never been math.  He claims as some kind of a joke that he only has 3.5 readers but he just told me his blog has around 900 followers.

Such a poor math student.  That reminds me – due to poor calculations, BQB’s first one hundred chinchilla test subjects did not even explode.  It was only when I pointed out to him that he forgot to carry the one was he able to explode chinchillas at a fast and furious pace.

Either way, if you haven’t followed the Bookshelf Battle Blog, now’s the time to do so because you’ll be able to take in free serialized stories on this blog all summer long.

And who knows?  I might return to talk more about scientific happenings of a scientific nature.

Danke schön,

Dr. Hugo Von Science

Head Scientist

Advanced Science Institute of Science University

Mad scientist photo courtesy of a license.

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Game of Thrones – 4/26/15 – Season 5 – Episode 3 – “High Sparrow”

Oh that wacky Tyrion.  Always getting himself into a pickle.

  • I’m enjoying the Varys/Tyrion road trip.  Mormont says he’s taking Tyrion to see the Queen.  Guess he doesn’t realize that’s where the imp was going anyway.
  • Arya’s tired of sweeping the floor, not realizing that’s some kind of “Mr. Miyagi” type stuff she has to do in order to become a faceless man.
  • The whole thing with Sansa marrying Ramsay is odd. (After all, Roose murdered Robb and Catelyn) We can only assume Littlefinger has something up his sleeve – somehow this will lead to the Boultons getting their comeuppance.  However, are the Boultons so stupid that they’d invite a revenge seeker into their midst?
  • Seems obvious Cersei will have the High Sparrow appointed as High Septum, finally giving her the strong ally she needs.
  • There was a wedding and no one died!

What did I forget?  Discuss!


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Game of Thrones Tonight!

Are you Team Khaleesi?  Have you taken sides with Cersei?  Are you still holding out hope that the Stark children will land a Hail Mary Pass?

Do you want to take up a sword for Stannis?  Do you think that Jon Snow knows more than nothing?

Or are you keeping your fingers crossed that Hodor will become the ultimate dark horse candidate for the Iron Throne?

Stop by tonight after Game of Thrones S5 Ep 3 and chat with Bookshelf Q. Battler, Blogger-in-Chief.  Toss out your observations, formulate your conspiracy theories, and what the hell, plug your blogs!

Can’t wait that long?  Read the latest installment of BQB’s epic fantasy parody – “Game of Yetis.”

Yes, in the latest episode, Alien Jones (Lord Alien of House Jones) makes an appearance.  He’s always answering questions on the Bookshelf Battle Blog and now he’s making a trip across the Narrow Sea to answer questions from the Khaleesi.


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Ask the Alien – 4/26/15 – Iggy, Jennifer, and Daniel Waltz’ “The Water Travelers”

By:  Alien Jones, Intergalactic Columnist, Most Intelligent Being in the Universe


AJ’s Relatives, Orcs, and Sci-Fi Gary

Alien artifacts and diseases!



Sigil of House Jones

Greetings Earth Losers!  Alien Jones here beaming copious amounts of knowledge through the Bookshelf Battle Compound and straight into all of your computerized devices which, though they may seem highly advanced to you rubes, are actually considered children’s toys in most other parts of space.

Who has a question?  Come forward and declare your inquiry!

BQB:  Hey AJ.  It’s me.  Bookshelf Q. Battler.

AJ:  Oh Cripes.  Not many takers this week?

BQB:  Well, you’re the one who told me to stop bribing the winos.  But seriously, I have a question – what is the best song ever produced?

AJ:  Ahh, that is an excellent question but I could not possibly answer it.  There are so many, where would I begin?  Do I limit the field of inquiry to a particular genre?  To a group of artists?  To a select time period?  To a single planet?  The realm of possibility is so vast that…

BQB:  I’ll save you the “trouble.”  It’s Trouble by Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson.

AJ:  You can’t just say that a song is the best song ever produced, why that’s….

BQB:  Sing it.

AJ:  No I couldn’t possibly…

BQB:  You know you want to.

AJ:  It would be indignified…

BQB:  Do it!


BQB:  DON’T YOU COME IN THINKIN’ YOU BALLIN….it’s so great isn’t it?

AJ:  It really is.  I stand corrected.  This song is the best song ever composed in the history of the space/time continuum.

BQB:  Makes Beethoven look like a pile of crap.

AJ:  We shall sing it during the commercials on Scandal night!

BQB:  Damn straight.  But first, you have a question…

Daniel Waltz, author of “The Water Travelers” asks:


Have you ever water traveled?

Oh Daniel, I see what you did there.  You worked the title of your book series into your question.  Good show!  For BQB’s 3.5 readers, I’ll note that your site provides a description of your latest installment, The Curse of Senapin. Here’s an excerpt:

“For the past six months, Aaron and Madi have been waiting to receive word from Yerowslii. But, when the King of Upitar is taken captive by Senapin forces, Aaron and Madi must flee their hiding place to rescue him. Although skeptical of it, they are accompanied by a disloyal ally, Ugine.”

Daniel Waltz, The Water Travelers

Bookshelf Q. Battler and I can relate.  On our joint missions to make the Earth a more intelligent place, we’re often accompanied by The Yeti and he’s the most disloyal and ugly ally I’ve ever seen.

I was quite impressed with your book trailer:

BQB:  My socks were knocked right the hell off, AJ.  At first I was like, “Twenty one seconds?  That’s too short…”

AJ:  Yes, but “Adventure finds those who are brave enough to take the first step.”  That’s all you need to know.  If I had emotions, I’d be moved.

BQB:  Plus it’s read by someone who sounds like he could be a friggin’ Lord of the Rings wizard or something.  Very awesome.  Makes me want to rush right on over to Amazon and buy a zillion copies…

Now, at first I thought Daniel was just trying to find out if I like to water ski or snorkel or something (which I do) but he’s actually referring to a power discussed in the book that allows travel between another world and Earth through water.

To answer your question, no.  I don’t need to.  I’m a duly designated officer of the Intergalactic Space Force and as such I have a vast array of ships at my disposal, so there’s no reason to get my pants wet.  (When I bother to wear them.  I usually don’t because, you know, I’ve got nothing down there so what’s the point?)

Your book is very prophetic though because certain species have been “water traveling” for years.  In fact, there’s an entire planet where anchovies rule like kings, love like queens, laugh like jesters, and live like jacks.  Then they water travel on over to Earth and end up as a dinner entrée topping.  Don’t you feel bad now for putting them on your pizza?

BQB:  I don’t think anyone put anchovies on their pizza anymore AJ.  I think they just keep one can around for the random weirdo who wants a fishy pizza.

AJ:  Sounds like something The Yeti would be into.

Thank you for your question Daniel.  May your career as an author travel farther than the vast reaches of the cosmos.

Until next week, this is Alien Jones, signing off.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Submit it to Bookshelf Q. Battler via a tweet to @bookshelfbattle, leave it in the comment section on this site, or drop it off on the Bookshelf Battle Google + page. If AJ likes your question, he might promote your book, blog, or other project while providing his answer.

Submit your questions by midnight Friday each week for a chance to be featured in his Sunday column. And if you don’t like his response, just let him know and he’ll file it into the recycling bin of his monolithic super computer. No muss, no fuss, no problem.

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Guest Submissions

As previously mentioned, the Summer of Bookshelf is coming soon.  BQB will be churning out the 1371251154-2content at a fast and furious pace determined to win the writer’s battle along with his ongoing bookshelf battle.

One of two serialized stories will be “Bookshelf Q Battler and The Meaning of Life.”

I’m thinking about seeking guest blog posts in which writers answer the question – “What is The Meaning of Life?”

My story will be broken up into small chunks, easily consumed on a daily basis throughout the summer.  Occasionally, it would be great to break it up with some guest submissions vis a vis this illusive question.

I haven’t decided the parameters yet and am still thinking it through, but in the meantime, it would be great to reach out and get initial reactions.

If you’re interested, let me know in the comments.  If enough people show an interest, I’ll make another post explaining it all.

As always, thanks for reading.  You’re all the bees knees.

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