FROM THE DESK OF BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER
World Renowned Poindexter, Reviewer of Books, Movies and Cultural Happenings, Champion Yeti Fighter, Blogger-In-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog
It’s finally here!
Tomorrow, my serial story, Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life begins. I hope you’ll join me every day for a new bite sized hunk of prose designed to fit easily into your busy schedules.
(People who aren’t busy? Feel free to read it twice!)
What is the meaning of life?
Read the story and find out. In this post, I’d rather answer:
Why did I write this story?
From an early age, I wanted to be a writer. Perhaps you’ve read my first novel, “Attack of the Killer Mutant Fish,” a valiant attempt for a ten year old.
Then I grew up, entered into the real world and decided a career as a writer was an unlikely outcome. I wouldn’t consider “lottery winner” as a viable career option so why would I put untold amounts of time, money and effort into preparing a manuscript just so it could be filed in the traditional publishing world’s proverbial slush pile?
Let me put it this way. If you want the “break into traditional publishing” experience, just pay a transient hobo fifty bucks to give you a kick in the nether regions. You’ll spend less time, effort and money for a similar result.
DISCLAIMER: The Bookshelf Battle Blog does not recommend you pay a transient hobo to kick you in the nether regions.
I settled into a humdrum lifestyle and though I’m blessed in many ways, I often wonder “what if?”
What if I had kept up with my dream of becoming a writer? Would I have made it? Would I have become a household name with my books on everyone’s shelves?
Flashforward to last year. In March of 2014 I, Bookshelf Q. Battler was drowning my sorrows at Taco Bell (Mmmm…burritos) when it dawned on me:
Stop wishing you’d been a writer. You aren’t old. You aren’t dead. The technology exists. If you want to be a writer, then be a writer.
And with that, I became a writer again.
Now I just need some readers.
Perhaps you’ve heard I have 3.5 of them. That’s a good start, but I’d like to make it 3.5 million.
Either way Aunt Gertie will be one of them.
I’ve always looked at platform building as a slow war of attrition, a numbers game that crawls at a turtle’s pace.
A couple of blog followers today. A handful of twitter followers tomorrow. A few drops in the bucket everyday will eventually lead to a nice full pail.
This summer, I’m going to attempt to fill a lake.
For the past few months, I’ve been working on two projects:
1) Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life – it will begin tomorrow.
2) Project X – Still not ready to give you the title, but rest assured of its awesomeness.
These serials will alternate. It will be BQB for awhile, then Project X, then they will continue on a rotation all summer.
My goal is to leave you wanting more.
For a nerd with a busy lifestyle, it is hard to find time to cram this work in. Much of it is done late at night, often leaving me exhausted and wondering if it’s worth it.
It’s my dream. Of course it’s worth it.
Welcome to the Summer of Bookshelf, where I’ll hone my craft, entertain and inspire you, and ask that you give me your honest feedback about how I can improve.
Goals for the future? This summer will lead to an expanded audience, I finish up a Fall/Winter’s worth of posts thus completing the “One Post a Day for a Year Challenge” and a fire in my belly gets stoked to the point where I’ll make an honest effort to enter the ebook market in 2016.
I’ve always been a results oriented kind of guy. The more I see coming in, the more effort I’ll put out.
But why a story about a nerd with a magic bookshelf?
Because I am a nerd with a magic bookshelf.
Last year, it was hard coming up with a theme for a book blog. There are so many of them. I wanted to be unique.
It came to mind that maybe I’d be the nerd who’d pose his books next to his toy collection:
And from the outset, the theme was that “the books themselves” were fighting one another for limited shelf space:
Ye, addeth to the Great Scrolls of the Bookshelf Battle, that on March 12, 2014, the Bookshelf Battle did begin.
Since the invention of the printing press, books have been battling for spots on shelves all over the globe. With limited shelf space, available competition can be fierce. Recently, I remodeled my office and added a brand new bookcase. Now I must fill it with brand new books. Join me as I review the latest bestsellers of the day, with the occasional classic thrown in.
Which books will be deemed worthy of being on my shelf? Tune in every week to find out.
– First post on the Bookshelf Battle Blog in 2014
But as the one post a day challenge took over this year, the idea of anthropomorphic books fighting in a reckless manor seemed silly, whereas the concept that small characters could exit the books and go to war against each other over limited shelf space seemed much more reasonable.
Hey, it seems more reasonable to me, anyway.
Meanwhile, I went from being a random blogger to becoming Bookshelf Q. Battler, Owner of the Magic Bookshelf, Caretaker of a Bunch of Tiny and Unruly Book Characters, Proprietor of a Blog with 3.5 Readers, Lord of Bookshelf Battle Headquarters, Master of Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog, Sworn Enemy of The Yeti, and Colleague of Alien Jones.
In other words, the excitement in my life has grown exponentially over the past year, all thanks to this blog.
So to finally answer the question of “Why did I write this story?”
Over the past year, we’ve seen this blog morph from one geek’s hobby to a character based online world.
Did you ever watch Pee-Wee’s Playhouse as a kid? You know, before Paul Reubens’ total disgrace?
(I mean, holy crap, I know that computers weren’t all that big back then but didn’t the guy own a VCR?)
Do you remember how Pee-Wee would waltz into his playhouse and talk to his viewers with the help of various characters?
That’s kind of how I see the Bookshelf Battle Blog – one nerdy character (i.e. Bookshelf Q. Battler) surrounded by other nerdy characters (Alien Jones and The Yeti), with the following exceptions:
1) This blog’s geared toward adult nerds who love books, TV, movies and popular culture.
2) Oddly enough, it also has a second audience in the tweed wearing literary chin stroker community as I do often discuss the classics.
3) It’s a bit more high-brow than Pee Wee, though I guess that’s not saying much.
4) There’s none of…well, you know what Pee Wee did. (Hey, why’s everyone leaving? Weirdos).
This story will pull the blog together, entertain the 3.5 readers who’ve been following along so far, and eventually serve as an explanation to those who will wonder what this blog is all about tomorrow.
Tomorrow – that legendary day when I will have a whopping 11.7 readers.
As always, thanks for stopping by.
Good times are ahead. Comment on the stories. Tell me what you liked. Tell me what you didn’t. Ask questions. Provide criticism. I have a thick skin. I live with a Yeti that hates me.
Come back tomorrow and join in the fun!
Bookshelf Q. Battler
Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Nerd on top of the world image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.