Category Archives: Self Publishing

BQB’s Production Schedule

This year has been a tough one.  As you all know, I’m an ageless fictional character who is forever a young, happening dude.

However, my friend the Alleged Man turned 38 and that has been hard on him.  He is realizing that the window for him to do all he wanted to do in life is getting shorter so if he’s going to do something he’d better do it.

So I’m taking a page out of his playbook.

At this time I have three completed first drafts: 1) Toilet Gator 2) Zom Fu 3) How the West Was Zombed.

Actually, Zom Fu has a few chapters left but it is substantially done.

I think at this point I have to put what is written above what is not written and get these three polished and published.

How the West Was Zombed worries me most.  It began as the first book in a series but as time went on I pictured it as book three.  But at best I think I can get like one draft of a book written a year and I don’t want to wait 2 more years so I think I will release How the West Was Zombed as Book 1 and then if people like it I will change it to Book 3 and release the first 2.

Or perhaps I’ll divide the series into “Zombie Westerns” and “Zombie Western Prequels.” Zombed can be the first book of the Zombie Western Series.  Later, I’ll write Remember the Zombamo and that can be the first of the prequels.

It could be better to wait and put them all out at once but I just don’t think I have the time to wait anymore.  If this self publishing thing is going to happen it must happen soon.

What say you, 3.5?

 

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How to Make Big Money in Self Publishing

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Hey 3.5 readers.

I’ve been studying the topic of self publishing a long time now.  I don’t want to call myself an expert, but I have figured a few things out.

Specifically, I have come up with an amazing system that you can use to be super, filthy, mega rich.  Make boku bucks and stay at home, doing what you love – writing!

Write faster.  Write better.  Write smarter and better yet, get rich while you’re doing it!

I know. It sounds too good to be true but, would your old pal BQB steer you wrong?  I don’t think so.

Anyway, enough out of me.  If you want to learn how to get rich quick in the world of self publishing, click here.

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99 Designs Expands Its Book Business

Hey 3.5 readers.

Came across this interesting PR Newswire press release.

99 Designs has been providing authors with the ability to hold book cover design contests for a long time.  Now they’re branching out into book layout, typesetting, interior book design, basically.

Could be a boon for self-publishers.  I know I tried Adobe one time, gave up on trying to figure it out, and came to the conclusion that if the inside of my book was ever going to look good I was going to have to hire someone to do it.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Do You Want to Write a BQB Writing Prompt?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

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I’m in the home stretch of BQB’s 101 Writing Prompts book.

In the book, I invite readers to write stories based on the prompts and publish them on their blogs and Tweet me the links.

If anyone is interested, I’d love it if anyone wants to choose a prompt and blog their response.  Maybe the first week the book is out I could put your prompt based writings right here on this fine blog.

Anyone who wants to partake of my prompts, let me know.

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Glengarry Glen Ross: Self-Publishing Edition (Or, Always Be Self-Publishing)

BQB’s EDITORIAL NOTE:  3.5 readers, I heard a rumor you guys are struggling with your self-publishing ventures lately, so I invited a special guest speaker to come in and motivate you.  Please welcome a young Alec Baldwin in his prime.

Blake:

Let me have your attention for a moment!  So you’re talking about what?  You’re talking about…(puts out his cigarette)…bitching about that book launch you shot, some son of a bitch reader that doesn’t want to read your book, somebody that doesn’t want to read what you’re writing, some broad you’re trying to screw but she won’t screw you because writers never get laid and so forth.  Let’s talk about something important.  Are they all here?

Williamson:

All but one.

Blake: 

Well, I’m going anyway.  Let’s talk about something important.  (To Levene) Put that coffee down!  Coffee’s for self-publishers only.  (Levene scoffs).  Do you think I’m fucking with you?  I am not fucking with you.  I’m here from downtown.  I’m here from a primo e-book sales site.  I’m here on a mission of mercy.  Your name’s Levene?

Levene:

Yeah.

Blake:

You call yourself a self-publisher, you son of a bitch?

Moss:

I don’t have to listen to this shit.

Blake:

You certainly don’t, pal.  ‘Cause the good news is you’re fired from my platform.  The bad news is you’ve got, all you got, just one week to regain your jobs as self-publishers, starting tonight.  Starting with tonight’s word count session.  Oh, have I got your attention now?  Good.  ‘Cause we’re adding a little something to this month’s self-publishing contest.  As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado.  Anyone want to see second prize?  Second prize is a box of steak knives.  (Holds up box of knives).

Third prize is you’re fired.  You get the picture.  You laughing now?  You’ve got words.  That fuck who wrote the dictionary went to a lot of trouble to get you those words.  Think about the right word combinations and write them!

You can’t finish writing a book with the words you’ve been given then you can’t write for shit.  You ARE shit, so hit the bricks pal and beat it because you are going out!

Levene:

The words are weak.

Blake:

‘The words are weak.’  The fucking words are weak?  You’re weak. I’ve been in the self-publishing business for fifteen years.  That’s right.  I went back in time and told myself to start self-publishing before any of this shit was even invented.

Moss:

What’s your name?

Blake:

Fuck you!  That’s my name.  You know why, Mister?  Because you wrote your novel tonight on a bargain basement, second hand Dell and I wrote my novel on a state of the art, top of the line Mac Book Pro.  That’s my name!

(To Levene) – And your name is “you’re wanting to self-publish but you’re too chicken shit to get off your ass and do it.”  You can’t play in a man’s game.  You can’t close out a book.

(To Everyone) – Because only one thing counts in this life!  Get readers to read your books!  Do you hear me, you fucking losers?

(Blake points to a blackboard.  Two sets of letters are written on it:  “ABS” and “ADIY.”)

Blake:

A-B-C.  A-always, B-be, S-self-publishing.  Always be self-publishing!  Always be self-publishing.

A-D-I-Y.  Always Do It Yourself.  Stop waiting for those traditional publishing pricks to give you the keys to the golden kingdom because it’s never going to happen.  Are you going to do it yourself?  I know you are because it’s fuck or walk.  You self-publish or you hit the bricks!

Do it yourself!  Who else are you going to do it for?  Christ?  Take action.  Get out there!

You’ve got the readers coming in.  You think they came in to get out of the rain?  The guy doesn’t come to your online book sales page unless he wants to read.  He is sitting out there waiting to give you his money!

Are you gonna take it?  Are you man enough to take it?  (to Moss) What’s the problem pal?  You!  Moss!

Moss:

You’re such a hero.  You’re so rich.  Why are you coming down here just to waste your time on a bunch of bums?

(Blake takes off his gold watch and shows it to Moss).

Blake:

You see this watch?  You see this watch?

Moss:

Yeah.

Blake:

This watch costs more than your car.  I made $970,000 on self-publishing last year, mostly on one book that had a really descriptive scene about a giant pair of titties.  How much did you make?  You see, pal, that’s who I am.  And you’re nothing.  Nice guy?  I don’t give a shit.  Good father?  Fuck you.  Go home and play with your kids.

(To everyone) – You want to self-publish here?  Finish writing a book!  You think this is abuse?  You think this is abuse, you cocksuckers?  You can’t take this, how are you going to take it when your book gets a one star review?

You don’t like it?  Leave.  I can go out there tonight with the words you’ve got and write myself fifteen thousand books.  Tonight!  In two hours!  Can you?  Can you?  Go and do likewise!

A-D-I-Y!  Get mad!  Get mad, you sons of bitches!  You know what it takes to sell books?

(Blake pulls a set of brass balls out of his brief case and dangles it in front of his crotch).

Blake:

It takes a set of brass balls to sell books.

Go and do likewise, gents.  The money’s out there.  You pick it up?  It’s yours.  You don’t?  I have no sympathy for you.  You wanna go out on those word count sessions tonight and rack up big counts then those words are yours.  If not, you’re going to be shining my shoes.

Bunch of losers sitting around in a bar.  (Speaks in a sad tone).  “Oh yeah, I used to be a self-publisher.  It’s a tough racket.”

(Blake takes a stack of index cards out of his briefcase).

These are the new words.  These are the Glengarry words.  And to you, they’re gold.  And you don’t get them.  Why?  Because to give these words to you would be to just throw them away.

These words are for self-publishers.  I’d wish you good luck but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it.

(To Moss) – And to answer your question, pal.  Why am I here?  I came here because the book sales site asked me to.  They asked me for a favor.  I said, ‘The real favor?  Follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.’

(Blake heads into interior office).

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BQB Update on Design Contest

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Hey 3.5.

BQB here.

VGRF waved some smelling salts under my nose and I’m up and about again.

Still a little sad I had to open my wallet. I really do hate doing that. She wasn’t lying about ordering off the dollar menu and the grease traps and so on.

It’s only been a couple hours and someone has already submitted a pretty cool design. I mean, I want to wait until the end of the contest to see what the other designers have to offer but I’m just impressed with the power of the Internet.

Do you millennials have any idea how good you all frigging have it when it comes to becoming creative these days?

Damn it, when I was your age, I had to walk up a hill both ways in blizzard conditions just to get to a computer and when I did I still didn’t have a book cover because no one was selling book cover design services over the damn Internet.

Shit. The Internet back then made your computer make a noise like a screeching cat and you could only be on it for five minutes lest you tie up the phone line.

I look forward to sharing the results of all the designers when they come in and together we will make a good choice, 3.5 readers.

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NaNoWriMo 2016

Halloween is over, 3.5 readers.

I know. It is such a fun time for the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

But Count Krakovich and Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian must retire to their respective lairs.

November 1. It is now National Novel Writing Month.

Are you participating?

Feel free to tell your resident nerd all about it.

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Barnes and Noble Lets Self-Published Books Into Stores

Happy Monday, 3.5 readers.

Wait. Are Mondays ever happy?

Interesting article in The Columbus Dispatch.

Barnes and Noble, which has allowed self-publishers to sell their books on their site to Nook users (Nook being B + N’s version of the Amazon Kindle) will let self-publishers sell books in their brick and mortar stores.

According to the article above, there is a catch, namely, that the author must have sold 1,000 books in the past year.

On the surface, it sounds like a great development for the self-publishing community.

I’ve yet to self-publish, but I’ve read (on blogs) and heard (on various podcasts) that there are a number of self-publishers who are iffy on Nook, they just don’t see the sales that they see on Amazon or other sites.

Still, getting your book in a bookstore…that’s the dream of every author, isn’t it?  Might as well reach out and grab it while bookstores are still around.

My gut tells me this is a recognition that print media is rapidly going the way of self-publishing.  More writers are bypassing the traditional publishing run around by building their blogs, their social media, their online fan base and as that continues, physical bookstores will need to get print copies of those self-published books into their stores to keep sales up.

That’s my take on it. I can’t think of any other reason why they’d do it.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

If you are a self-publisher, will you try this out?

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Happy 200th Self-Publishing Podcast

Hey 3.5 Readers,

BQB here.  Just wishing Johnny, Sean and Dave of the Self-Publishing Podcast a Happy 200th Episode.

I discovered these dudes around Christmastime 2014 and have listened to their show every week ever since.

The best description I can give is it is like having three very funny self-publishing professors teaching you a weekly lesson.

I knew very little about self-publishing before I began listening to them.  I’ve yet to start my own self-publishing business but I don’t think I would have ever had an inkling about how or where to begin without these three.

They’ve inspired a lot of people and I think if there is ever a “How Did Self Publishing Become So Popular?” documentary, there will have to be at least an hour on this trio.

Keep up the good work guys!

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Movie Review – The Martian (2015) (And What It Does For Self-Publishing)

“You do the math. You solve one problem. And then you solve another. And then another. Solve enough and you stay alive.”

– Mark Watney, The Martian

An astronaut trapped on Mars.  A daring rescue mission.  Matt Damon.  Jeff Daniels.  Jessica Chastain.  Kate Mara.  Sean Bean.  Kristen Wiig.  The list of top actors on this movie is too long to keep rattling names off but the biggest star of all?

SCIENCE!

Yes, in an age where people want more explosions, sex, and what the hell, explosive sex, Alien director Ridley Scott made a movie that not only entertains but educates.

Put on your spacesuit, 3.5 readers, and let’s talk about what this movie does not only for science, but for the world of self-publishing.

The Martian – Twentieth Century Fox

OK, first of all, let’s address the proverbial elephant on the sofa, the gorilla in the barcalounger, if you will.

But BQB!  Aren’t you trapped in the middle of the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

I sure am, 3.5 readers.  Luckily, I’ve got Alien Jones’ plutonium powered space phone and the Esteemed Brainy One managed to stream it for my group of survivors last night.  It really lifted our spirits, because as you may have heard, we’re currently riding out the zompoc in Price Town, one of the last three stores still open at the nearly abandoned East Randomtown Mall.

HOW BIG WAS THIS MOVIE?

A “friend” of mine sent me an e-mail to let me know that this movie was so big that he’d never seen a line so long at the theater he usually goes to before.  The poor chump ended up stuck in that damn front row spot.  You know, the one where you have to keep your neck craned skywards for two hours and you have to look to the left when a character on the left is talking and a character on the right is talking.

What a jackass.  Guy probably should have taken into account how popular the movie would be and gotten there earlier.

Either that or he could have skipped the popcorn and soda.  God knows that fatty doesn’t need it.

Oh sorry, I shouldn’t speak ill of my friend on my blog.  Good thing only 3.5 people read this.

THE PLOT

A storm causes a team of astronauts to abandon their mission on Mars.  One of their teammates, Mark Watney, is impaled, presumed dead, and abandoned.

Whoops!  He’s still alive, but the the Red Planet is so far away that NASA won’t be able to get help to him any soon.

THE SCIENCE

One of the biggest challenges for a writer is to a) explain to the reader how a character is going to extricate himself from a sticky situation with enough detail so as to not leave the reader feeling cheated and yet b) not go overboard to the point where the reader feels like dozing off.

Enter Andy Weir.  The Martian is based off of Weir’s novel of the same name.

A computer programmer, Weir made all sorts of calculations, estimates, and scientific conclusions on how, in theory, an astronaut trapped on Mars could live long enough to find a way back home.

“I’m going to have to science the shit out of this,”  Damon, as Watney, says.

And science the shit out of it, he does.  Literally.  He uses his own shit as fertilizer for potato plants.  Potatoes then become Mark’s only form of sustenance and I’m willing to bet he reached a point where he never wanted to see another french fry ever again.

Aside from the potato plants, I don’t want to go into too much detail on the science angle.  A)  To do so would be to provide you with too many SPOILERS and b) some of it my brain was too feeble to understand and other parts I did understand but am not sure I could explain it correctly.

Suffice to say, there’s a lot of brainy people involved.  NASA scientists on the ground work on a rescue plan while Watney on Mars works on his own survival.

For any kid out there interested in science, this film provides role models to look up to, not just in the form of the astronauts, but the people – technicians, engineers, specialists, scientists, etc. working to bring their colleague home.

Science, kids.  It’s the way of the future.

WHAT DOES THIS MOVIE MEAN FOR SELF-PUBLISHING?

The Martian started out as a free serial on Andy’s blog.  He as just a guy who really loved math, science, and space.  So he took his passions and funneled them into a project to entertain his blog readers.  (I bet he had more than 3.5 of them.)

As he explained in an interview with Johnny, Sean and Dave of the Self-Publishing Podcast, he put the novel on Amazon at the request of some of his readers who preferred an e-reader format over reading it on a blog.  Not out to make any money and not thinking it would go anywhere, Weir put his novel on Amazon, priced it at 99-cents, and let his blog readers know it was available.

The novel took off and the rest was history.

By the way, I recommend listening to Andy’s SPP interview as it is an inspiration to anyone interested in self-publishing.  Success doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly didn’t for Andy.  He started blogging way back in 1999.  A sixteen year journey to the big screen!

Keep plugging away, 3.5 readers/writers.  Success might seem so far away as to be pointless, but then again, you’re already ahead of those who gave up.

I’ve sought out opinions as to what this movie means for self-publishers.  Andy’s novel was originally self-published before he was approached by a literary agent and sold it to a big publisher.

Does this mean the general public will look at self-publishers in a whole new light?  That if one man was able to take a project on his blog and turn it into a blockbuster film starring Matt Damon and other stars, might that not cause people to pay more attention to self-published works?

One person I spoke with answered no.  His reasoning was the majority of the movie going public doesn’t really care who wrote a book or how the book was made.  They just want to be entertained and thus this won’t do a lot to bring attention to self-publishing.

Technically, I think he’s right, but therein lies the rub.

As self-publishers, our WHOLE GOAL is to provide a piece of entertainment crafted so well that no one notices it wasn’t made by a team of big shots.

Because at the end of the day, when you turn on the TV, do you pay that much attention if a show is on NBC, CBS, or Showtime or do you just pick and watch shows because they grab your attention?

Have you ever said, “Well, I’ll never watch THAT film because it was made by Fox and Goddamn it, this is a Sony household!”

Have you ever walked into a bookstore, strolled over to the clerk, and said, “Excuse me, will you point me to the Random House books because I’m ONLY a Random House reader and I’ll never allow a Penguin book to sully my eyes!”

No.  No one cares who was behind a piece of entertainment so long as it is entertaining.

And that, my 3.5 readers, is what I believe this movie does for self-publishers.

It gives their collective souls a boost.  Andy Weir becomes another Hugh Howey to look up to.  “If that guy did it, then I can do it too!”

After all, when Andy got his start, his readers weren’t saying, “Ugh!  This book was not put out by a traditional publishing house?  No thank you!”

They were saying, “An astronaut who gets trapped on Mars and has to figure out how to survive?!  That sounds so cool!  Sign me up!”

When you’re in the clothing store, do you check the label on that shirt that caught your eye?  Nope.  You’ll just buy it because you like it.

Write cool stories, 3.5 readers and if they’re entertaining enough, people won’t bother to check the label.

Thanks 3.5.  I have to go fight the zombie apocalypse now.

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