Daily Archives: April 17, 2015

State of the Bookshelf – 4/17/15

Ladies and gentlemen, loyal 3.5 readers, and Aunt Gertie – Machovka-Writing Thank you for joining me in this, my latest “State of the Bookshelf” report.

Before I begin, I’d like to point out that as of this post, I am 5 followers away from meeting the Yeti’s demand of 4000 Twitter followers.  I’m sure those 5 stragglers will come my anyway any moment now.

For those new to the blog, Bookshelf Battle Headquarters was invaded in March by “The Yeti.”  The Yeti believes everyone should live a bland, boring life and is therefore my arch enemy, as I am on a mission to spread badassery to the masses.

You folks cared about me so much that you only allowed me to struggle in the clutches of a foul abominable snowman for a month and a half until reaching his ransom demands. That’s not sarcasm.  I appreciate the follows.  I thought you people would just leave me to the Yeti’s devices forever, so a month and a half isn’t bad.

Now, onto the State of the Bookshelf.

I’m in the middle of a one post a day for 2015 challenge.  Let’s check the stats:

2014 (Started in June, did not really begin blogging in earnest until June and then only did it once in awhile, occasionally letting weeks or more go by with nothing):

VIEWS: 4,658

VISITORS: 3,264

2015 (As of April 17, 2015, after approximately 3.5 months of blogging once a day, and often more than once a day):

VIEWS: 8,531

VISITORS: 5,055

ANALYSIS:  I think the obvious takeaway is that blogging regularly works.  In a little over one quarter, I’ve doubled the views I received last year, and I have close to 2,000 more visitors. Ultimately, I’ve beaten the pants off of my 2014 results and the year is far from over. Are these stats good?  I have no idea.  If you know about website stats, feel free to enlighten me please.  Any advice is helpful.

PROS:

  • I’m building an audience.  At least I hope I am.  The whole goal of this has been to build a following that I can (no offense) one day sell books to.
  • I’m flexing my writing muscles and learning new things everyday.
  • It makes me happy to have a creative outlet, albeit a small one.

CONS:

  • With the daily posts, I can barely find time to work on said book.  This is a real chicken vs. egg scenario.  I’m building an audience with no book to sell them, but I need an audience before I shell out all the money needed to polish a book and make it professional looking.  (Oh yeah, and I also need to write it).
  • I hate to admit this one, but there are times when I feel I am sacrificing quality for quantity.  Once in awhile, I’ll look over posts and see errors I missed and feel mortified.  I consider myself a professional, or at least am striving to be one.  I’m not the type of author who is like, “What?  Give me a break!  It’s just a typo!”  No.  I’m the author who says, “I’m sorry.  I failed you, noble reader.  Please direct all well-deserved wrath my way.”
  • Unfortunately, when you’re pushing out daily content in a rapid manner, those mistakes are inevitable.  If you see one, let me know.  Don’t worry about being rude.  My skin is thicker than an alligator’s hide.

On that last point, I’m considering this a building year. At my core, I’m a businessman.  I know we don’t like to mix “business” and “art” but I have a tendency to take a business-like approach to all life’s activities.

In short, I put out what I get in.

Say you want in on the lemonade business.  Do you buy an entire lemon orchard and rent a store the size of a Wal-Mart?  Do you hire 500 employees?  Do you produce 1,000 tanker trucks full of lemonade?

I dunno about you, but I’d probably start with a few pitchers and a card table at the end of my driveway.  I’d hone my lemonade making skills, be encouraged by neighbors who find my lemonade to be delicious, and work toward scraping a few bucks together for a small storefront.

That’s my longwinded way of saying that this year I’m building the Bookshelf Battle audience. Next year, the audience (I believe) will be here and I’ll have to shift my focus from quantity to quality.  That will mean blogging less, spending more time on fewer but higher quality posts and get my butt in gear on that long dreamed of novel. And (keeping my fingers crossed) maybe even investing a few bucks in the blog.

Top idea on my mind?  Getting some artwork of The Yeti, Alien Jones, and Yours Truly, Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Next year I’ll be shuffling through this year’s posts, revamping and polishing the ones that have made the cut and building a portfolio that will hopefully increase traffic.  Meanwhile, the posts that were just daily filler will have to go the way of the dodo.

Thank you for being patient with me.  Put up with occasional lameness this year and this site will blow your socks off with an industrial hairdryer in 2016.

Let me leave you with one final “Pro vs. Con.”

PRO:  We live in a brave new world where technology allows writers to hold the fate of their careers in their hands.

CON:  Years ago, I accepted the fact that success as a writer was akin to success at winning the lottery.  Those people who threw caution to the wind and made the pursuit of that ticket their life’s work are admirable but the idea that a nobody like me would trot off to NYC or LA and sweet talk big wig media types into selling my writing was about as likely as Fast and Furious 7 winning an Oscar (although it totally should!)

It was easy to say, “Well, I’m not one of those beautiful people who can go to a cocktail party and schmooze publishers and agents into thinking I’m a genius, so I guess it’s the average life for me!”

I can’t say that anymore.

When I look in the mirror, I see the man who’s standing between me a successful writing career.

And that guy’s really pissing me off lately.

Thanks a lot, technology.

Writing graphic courtesy of Machovka on openclipart.org

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Game of Yetis – Part 5 – House Bookshelf

Previously on Game of Yetis:

PART 1 – House Bookshelf – Lord BQB hides out from the War for the Iron Throne, coming up with various excuses as to why he’s been unable to assist various claimants to the throne all the while positioning himself to declare allegiance to whoever emerges as the victor. Alas, a complication in his plan arises when a band of Yetis under the control of Lord Yeti abscond with his supplies of snacks and Dew of the Mountain.

PART 2 – House Yeti – Lord Yeti of House Yeti, the ruler of Yetifell, a territory North of the Wall, where abominable snowmen love to frolic because it is ridiculous cold, mocks his son Yetyrion, calling him a dwarf because he is 6’5″ (which is really short for a Yeti).

PART 3 – House Bookshelf – The usually not so easily rattled Lord BQB is enraged when he discovers that his supply of Special Edition Code Red Dew of the Mountain has been stolen by dirty yetis in the employ of Lord Yeti of House Yeti. Unable to purchase an army of eunuchs because Daenerys Stormborn bogarted them all, he turns to his trusty banner men. Alas, they were only in it for the Dew of the Mountain and now Lord BQB must fight this battle alone.

PART 4 – House Yeti – Lord Yeti is aghast when he spies white walkers on their way to Yetifell.

And now Game of Yetis continues…

“This journey has been agonizing, Maester Monty.  I’m not sure if I can put up with this any longer.”

Maester Monty wiped beads of sweat off his brow and stopped to rest.  The old man was out of breath and felt feint.

“I didn’t say stop, Monty,”  Lord BQB said as the Maester set down the rickshaw he’d used to carry his Lord from the shores of Casterly Rock all the way to Riverrun.  “I’m just saying, you know, all of these bumps along the road.  They’re very unsettling and causing me to spill my…what did you say this clear, tasteless liquid was called again?”

“Water, sir,”  Monty replied as he heaved the handles of the rickshaw onto his decrepit shoulders and marched forward.

“Blech,”  Lord BQB as he took a swig from a jug.  “Disgusting.  We must recover my Special Edition Code Red Dew of the Mountain without delay.  Mush, Monty, Mush!”

“Mushing sir,”  Monty replied.

They continued along the King’s road for hours until a question popped into Maester Monty’s mind.

“My Lord, if I may be so bold, why have you never married?”

Lord BQB bit into an apple and winced.

“Yuck,”  Lord BQB said, ignoring the question.  “People really eat these things, Monty?”

“Indeed sir.  They’re considered most healthy.”

“The shame of it, Monty,”  Lord BQB said.  “The dirty yeti eating my slim jims while I’m forced to waste away on water and apples like a flea bottom beggar.”

“Yes, but the question sir?”

“Oh yes,”  Lord BQB said as he stared at the setting sun.  “If you must know, Monty.  I am partial only to a particular type of woman…one that is difficult to locate.”

“Elaborate, sir?”  Monty asked, as he struggled to not collapse under the rickshaw.

“I like big women.”

“Oh my lord,”  Monty said.  “Surely there are many fine corpulent ladies throughout the Kingdom that you might choose from.”

“No no no,”  Lord BQB said as he tossed the apple core at Monty’s head.  “I don’t mean big in that way, though this Lord has nothing against a bit of junk in the trunk as it were.  No, Monty, I prefer women tall in stature.  My whole life I’ve waited for a beautiful extra tall amazon to sweep me off my feat, provide me with all of the love and care that I deserve, and most importantly, be willing to hack my enemies to pieces.”

“That will be a tough woman to locate indeed, my Lord.”

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