Monthly Archives: January 2021

Movie Review – News of the World (2020)

News…of the World!

BQB here with a review.

Of all the jobs in the Old West, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) has the coolest. He is the world’s first social media platform/news aggregating service. In other words, he wanders from town to town, reading articles from newspapers to townsfolk in exchange for their donations. In these pre-Netflix days, assembling to listen to a man read from a newspaper was apparently the height of entertainment.

During his travels, Kidd comes across a busted up wagon. An African American soldier has been attacked and hanged. His charge left to fend for herself? Johanna, a young white girl in Native American garb. She had been raised by the natives who attacked and killed her family. She speaks no English and her native family is the only family she has ever known.

Kidd takes it upon himself to go on a long trek to return the girl to finish the soldier’s mission and return her to her last known relatives, though it is a harrowing journey for sure. Kidd must fight his way through a vast assortment of Old West a-holes, from a pseudo-warlord trying to carve out a slice of Reconstruction era America for himself, where he serves as a type of cruel king, to a band of vile perverts who want to kidnap Johanna and sell her into a life of forced prostitution.

The captain, old, tired, and feeling as though he wasted his life and missed out on time with his wife to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War, would prefer to live his remaining years in solitude, doing most of his talking during his rousing news readings, only to reflect quietly when he is alone on his failed goals and lost dreams, his wish for a family of his own that never came to fruition.

He’d rather remain stuck in his rut, but he is the only one in this harsh world who cares enough to see the child gets to safety, and the skills needed to do so. His greatest adversary in all of this? Johanna herself, who is trapped between two worlds, unable to trust anyone, often running away, leaving her old caretaker with no choice but to chase after her.

Overall, the movie is Oscar bait. A history piece with some insight into the Reconstruction Era South. The Union Army weren’t fans of the Southerners they were sent to keep watch on. The Southerners felt likewise. In short, everyone was quite angry, yet against this backdrop, Kidd yearns for a sense of personal peace.

The plot is more or less just Kidd has to get the kid to safety, but has to fight a collection of a-holes to do so. Tom Hanks, Hollywood’s Mr. Nice Guy, carries the film, as Kidd is a character guided by morality. He could have pawned the kid off on any number of lawmen, church folk, etc. but knows he will be unable to live with himself until he completes the mission.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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BQB on Freebooksy

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

I bought a Freebooksy promotion, which ran yesterday, and wanted to tell you all about it, seeing as how it was a good experience.

It was for Freefall, my short story about a man who goes on a skydiving trip, only to jump out of the plane and find that his parachute has been sabotaged:

In the past, I have had moderate success with Facebook ads. Sometimes they would translate to 10 or 20 free copies. At times, I have given away approximately 100. That was the highest and I thought that was something.

Yesterday, thanks to Freebooksy, I gave away a mind boggling 1,337 copies in one day!!! Ergo, I am sold on their services. When you buy a promotion, you can plan it for a specific day. They will list your book as free on their website for the day and will send it in their email to their subscribers for that day.

Makes sense, right? If you use Facebook ads, you might reach a lot of people, but out of those, maybe a handful will actually click on the link, and an even smaller amount will actually bother to get a free copy.

Meanwhile, Freebooksy subscribers are serious readers with a passion for the written word. They have signed up for these emails so they can be notified when it is time to snatch up free books. Thus, unless something changes, I foresee myself focusing on Freebooksy in the future as my go to site for advertising when one of my books is free.

Of course, we want to transition to the point where we actually get paid. Rarely happens to me, but I am still relatively new to self-publishing. Part of the problem is you have to collect the so-called “social proof” i.e. you have to rack up positive reviews. I did receive one positive review yesterday thanks to Freebooksy. I thought maybe I’d receive more but one thing I have noticed is sometimes people will get a free copy and then they’ll come back a week, or two or a month later and buy a book or leave a review or a rating. It takes time for people to read your book. They grab your book when it is free but then it might sit on their virtual shelf for awhile before they find time to read it.

I did notice a number of people on Goodreads listed it as a book they have or have read or want to read, etc.

Overall, a positive experience so far. As of this morning, the free copies have tapered off to 48 for today as of the time of this post, but that’s still a lot more in one day that I am used to.

Oh! Freefall also ended up being ranked #2 in 90 minute Literature and Short Fiction reads, #2 in Single Author Short Stories and #2 in 90 Minute Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Short Reads. It is now #131 in the Free Kindle store.

That last one? I have to assume if you can make it into the Top 100 Free, you’d get a lot of free book grabs, so if you 3.5 readers want to grab your free copy and put me over the top, I would appreciate it.

Seriously, what else were you going to do today? Cut your toenails? Wash your hair? Mow your lawn? You can take less than one minute to grab a free copy and be able to go to bed tonight secure in the knowledge that you actually achieved something awesome, i.e. you helped Bookshelf Q Battler inch his way toward the Top 100 Free on Amazon.

Thanks for listening, 3.5 readers. Oh and if you are a self-publisher and were wondering about the cost, it cost me $90 and I consider it $90 well spent. You can go to Freebooksy.com and see the prices for various genres, some of which are lower. It’s a good deal. If you want to do it for one of your books, I’d recommend going to their site to make sure the day you want isn’t already sold out, and then pick a day and set your book to be free on that day and voila, free books.

Will you have similar results? Eh, I can’t say for sure. I mean, look at that cover. It is pretty awesome. And the story is pretty great too, if I do say so myself. You still need to bring your A game to your writing and book production but I would assume you’ll still see an uptick in free copies.

Thank you, Freebooksy.

One more note – Freebooksy also offers Bargainbooksy, where if your book is priced low enough (I forget how low it has to be) then you can also buy a promotion on that. I haven’t tried that yet. I generally find it is like pulling teeth to get people to actually buy books, though I heard a rumor it does happen if you keep putting the time and effort in. Maybe I’ll try that someday. If you have tried Bargainbooksy and want to share your experience, please do so in the comments.

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GET A FREE BOOK – FOR FREE!

I’m Crazy BQB and my prices are insane! My book “Freefall” is priced to move!

ZERO percent interest! ZERO percent APR! ZERO money down! Just click the link below and GRAB YOUR FREE COPY TODAY! BAH HA HA!

Yes, my price on this book is so low that if it were a limbo stick, a rattle snake wouldn’t be able to limbo under it, that’s how incredibly low my price is! My price is so insane I’d better confirm my reservation at the funny farm! BAH HA HA!

But seriously, 3.5 readers. This is a good, short story about a man who goes skydiving only to find out his parachute has been sabotaged. He’s only left with a few minutes to figure out how to save himself and whodunnit.

So, if you could grab a FREE copy, I’d appreciate it. If you want to read it too, that’s even better and if you want to read it AND leave a review, that’s even more better, better-er? Whatever. Get a FREE COPY FOR FREE BECAUSE IT IS FREE!

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The Second Death – Latest BQB’s Twisted Shorts Cover

Hey 3.5 readers.

The sixth installment of BQB’s Twisted Shorts is on the way. This short story will be about a man who is obsessed with “The Second Death” i.e. the concept first introduced in Thomas Hardy’s poem, “The To-be forgotten.” – namely, the idea then when your body goes, that’s your first death, and then when the last person who remembers you dies, that’s your second.

Sad, no?

Some subtle dark humor on the cover. Everyone at the funeral is glued to their cell phones, having forgotten the deceased already.

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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and GET A FREE WEREWOLF BOOK!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Some thoughts:

#1 – Merry Belated Christmas. Sorry I did not stop to wish all 3.5 of you a Merry Christmas when it was Christmas. I have been busy. My bad. I hope it was a good one.

#2 – Happy New Year. I wished you a Happy New Year on time.

#3 – GET A FREE WEREWOLF BOOK!

Yes, one of BQB’s Twisted Shorts, “Quarantine” is totes free. That means you don’t have to spend any money. You probably just spent a lot, what with running up your credit cards to buy all those expensive gifts and gadgets that your loved ones didn’t need and honestly, aren’t going to make them appreciate you anymore anyway.

So, get yourself a FREE book. Remember, it’s free. Just go to the link below, get your free copy and if the mood strikes, feel free to leave me a review.

FREE! HA HA HA! TOTALLY FREE! MY PRICES ARE INSANE I’M GIVING THESE BOOKS AWAY!!!
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