Tag Archives: book covers

Freefall Cover

Hey 3.5 readers.

My next installment of BQB’s Twisted Shorts is about an average schmuck who goes skydiving for the first time, only to find his primary and backup cords aren’t working.

With 5 minutes before he hits the pavement, he needs to figure out how to save himself, if he can. Also, foul play is suspected, so will he be able to figure out who sabotaged his parachute and why?

Here it is. The cover for BQB’s Twisted Shorts – Volume 1 – Issue 5 – Freefall.

I think this is the best of the 5 covers. The other 5 were great but this, wow, I mean, if you’re browsing through a bookshelf and see this cover, you want to open it up and find out what happens to this guy, don’t you?

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Vote for Your Favorite Cover – How the West Was Zombed

Hey 3.5 readers.

How the West Was Zombed was my first finished book draft, the one that started it all.

Finally, I’m getting it a cover.

So, vote for your favorite.


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Vote for My Zomcation Book Cover Contest


Zomcation is the best book ever written about an ex-soldier guilted by his depressed, divorced sister, social media addicted niece and hipster nephew into taking a vacation to an amusement park dedicated to a cartoon wombat only to end up fighting hordes of zombies when a Doomsday cult infects the park’s soda supply with a zombifying virus.

I can smell the literary awards now.  Mmm.  Smells like chicken.

Please vote for your cover here.

And please, really vote.  I’m having a hard time making up my mind.

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State of the Bookshelf – BQB’s Production Schedule

Hey 3.5 readers.

So, I’ve developed a bad habit.  Whenever I feel down, I commission a book cover.

It’s ok.  I’m gone to be done at three for awhile.

The other day I went back, looked at Zomcation, and realized that yeah, it’s pretty funny.  It’s also 50,000 words I rattled off in a month, leaving me to realize if the plot takes place in the present, there isn’t much to research, and it’s just a goofy project, the words come faster.

So I turned the 99 Design artists loose again.  Here’s my latest poll, please vote.

Here’s where my mind is:

THIS YEAR – Finish and publish BQB’s Writing Prompts, Zom Fu and Zomcation.

NEXT YEAR – Finish and publish three of my Zombie Western Books.

YEAR THREE – Depends how the books are doing but I would like to work on some of my mysteries.  We’ll see if anyone is clamoring for sequels.

At any rate, I’m not going to start anything that hasn’t already been started.  Whatever has started so far will be finished before a new idea is worked on and this is difficult because, believe me, I have so many ideas.

It’s time I’m getting short on.  It’s do or die time and I need to start churning out books if I’m ever going to have some time to enjoy being a self-publisher.

Plus, I need to throw my NWA style pool party.  Also, I have to save the world with my writing in order to stave off the Mighty Potentate’s invasion.

Thank you for listening, 3.5 readers.  Let me know if you have any advice or if you think any of my half written works deserves to be moved up in the production schedule.

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Help Me Pick a Book Cover for Zom Fu

Zombies + Kung Fu = Zom Fu!

Dragonhand, the vile master of the Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite, uses his kung fu skills to rip out the brains of his enemies, then eats them in order to gain the knowledge they hold inside.

Will Junjie be able to save the day before Dragonhand eats the Emperor’s brain?

Find out in Zom Fu!

But before you can find out, a) I have to write it and b), you have to help me choose a book cover.

I know which one I am leaning towards but I require your assistance 3.5.

Vote for your favorite cover here!

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State of the Bookshelf – 12/8/16

Hey 3.5 readers.

Time for a State of the Bookshelf address.

First, check out the 3D cover of my upcoming book:


You know 3.5, I have to say it.  This book cover is a small victory for me.

Maybe one day I’ll share my trials and tribulations but suffice to say, I’ve been through some shit.  I’m ambitious.  I try hard.  I work hard.  Yet inevitably, for as long as I can remember, I always end up landing flat on my face.

Life has always been like Lucy holding that football.  There have been many times where I, in a Charlie Brown-like manner, would assume I was about to make it (i.e. kick that football) only to have life (or Lucy) take the football away leaving me (just like Charlie) flat on my ass.

I wonder if Charles Schultz ever realized how he captured a brilliant metaphor to explain how people can only try and fail so many times before they give up.  Maybe that’s why Charlie is so lovable.  He kept trying to kick that football even though defeat was certain.

I often wonder why I don’t give up, why I keep Charlie Brown-ing it.  But lately, I think I’m Langston Hughes-ing it:

Dreams – Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Yeah, there are many more practical things I could be doing than blogging and writing, especially when my many attempts at kicking life’s football have left me shouting, “Uggh!” before rolling over and over again through the air then landing on my butt.

Yet, what’s the alternative?  I’ve got to hold onto the dream because Langston is right.  Without dreams, life is a field of barren snow.

So I must keep giving Lucy the chance to pull that football away to avoid a snowy life, if that makes any sense.

All this is a very longwinded way of saying that I don’t feel like the football was pulled away from me in this respect.  I got off my butt, I did something, I set up a design contest, I talked to some designers and I got a pretty sweet cover.

I started out a pessimist.  I thought it wouldn’t work out.  But it did.  Lucy let my toe briefly tap the ball and that’s a step in the right direction.

3.5 readers, I hate to set an arbitrary date but I really need you all to become 3.5 million readers by 2020.  That’s more or less the last year where I could conceivably use my prospective book writing moolah to throw a wild, lavish party ala that party scene in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.

Yeah.  I know.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself.  I’m not sure people could get excited enough about books to support an NWA style party in the name of books.  (You have to see the party scene in that movie to know what I’m talking about).

But at any rate, that’s my gauge for success.  Malibu mansion to throw NWA style party in to celebrate my writing career by 2020.  If it happens in 2021, that’ll be too late.  The millions coming in 2022 or 2023 won’t matter.  Give me millions in 2025 and I’ll just smile and nod and then donate it to charity or some shit because by then I will have lost my ability to care.

Malibu NWA style party to celebrate my book career by 2020 or bust!  And you all 3.5 of you are invited.

Hey, by the way, before I go back to yeti captivity, you nerds have put me over 2000 followers.

Thanks for listening, 3.5.  The state of the bookshelf is strong.


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Vote For BQB’s Book Cover

Come on 3.5 readers, your favorite nerd needs you.

Check out the designs proposed for my upcoming book on 99Designs.

You don’t need to vote over there if you don’t want to. I just need you to let me know what you think about the covers and which one you choose and why in the comments on my fine blog here.

I’m facing a real Sophie’s Choice here, 3.5 readers. I literally feel like how Sophie must have felt when the Nazis demanded that she choose between her children.

I mean, OK, maybe it isn’t that bad, but still.

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Help Me Choose a Cover for Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts


The results of my 99Designs book cover contest are in, 3.5 readers.

I don’t want to say anything.  I want you to feast your peepers on these designs cold and tell me what you, as a potential purchaser, would think when you see these designs.

Which one would should I choose and why?  Tell me what you’d think of the book based on the various designs and any other comments you find helpful.

I’ll share my thoughts later but I want to hear what you have to say without hearing anything from me to bias the results first.

Check out the designs here then tell me what you think in the blog comments here at Bookshelf Battle.


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How the West Was Zombed – BQB’s Mockups of Chapters 64 and 65

Hey 3.5 Readers.

BQB here.  As you all know, I’m a perfectionist.  I need everything to be one-hundred percent genuine.

If you read Chapter 64 and Chapter 65 of my Zombie Western novel, you know that Becker, a damn werewolf, charged at Miss Bonnie.

In turn, Miss Bonnie shot Becker in the head with a silver tipped bullet.

Slade opened the front door to the church, pulled Miss Bonnie out of the way in the nick of time, but alas, Blake was not so lucky.

In the last few moments of his life, Becker kept running, only to fall and crush Blake under his massive werewolf weight.

But that’s ok because Blake was a douche.

There was a lot of science involved in this scene.  Newton’s laws of gravity and such.  I needed to sketch it out to see if it all worked on paper and low and behold, it all added up.

Check it out:



Nope I didn’t have a kid draw this.  This was all me.  OK, so here we see a stupid werewolf who is running.  Miss Bonnie has a gun (I felt the need to make a note of that because some have suggested, if you can believe it, that my artistic skills are lacking).

Everybody’s a critic.

Meanwhile, as you can see to the right, Blake and Gunther are arguing with each other, not paying attention to their surroundings.



Here, we catch our first real life glimpse of the macho stud muffin that is Marshal Slade. As you can see above, he grabs Miss Bonnie and pushes her out of the stupid werewolf’s path just in time.



And finally, we see the untimely demise of the group’s agitator, Martin Blake.  He was too busy getting the last word in during his argument with Gunther to pay attention to the oncoming werewolf and alas, ended up being crushed underneath the hairy remains.

You can see Blake’s head sticking out.  The rest of Blake’s body is crushed underneath the stupid werewolf.

Doc, a believer in the curative properties of cocaine (because it was 1880) offers Blake a sip of his Miracle Cure-All but it is of no use.


  • Clearly, this all checks out and none of it is far fetched at all.  If anything, this all seems so plausible I now live in fear that I might get crushed underneath a stupid werewolf.
  • Miss Bonnie looks way too happy during all of this.
  • Damn Slade is sexy.  No wonder he has chicks fighting over him and shit.
  • Doc is truly a dedicated medical professional.


Money is tight around BQB Headquarters but luckily, this exercise has made me realize that I am a gifted artist.  I can save a bundle on what I was going to shell out on a cover illustrator and just design the book cover on my own.

Thank you for reading How the West Was Zombed, 3.5 readers.  If there are any other chapters you’d like me to illustrate, let me know and I’ll put pen to paper.

Shit, I’m so good at this I might turn this entire thing into a graphic novel.

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Ask the Alien – PBBPB of “Paperback Beauty Pageant” – What’s Your Favorite Snack Food?

Greetings Earth Losers.

I'm covering my lack of bits and pieces with a guitar so PBBPB won't laugh at me.

I’m covering my lack of bits and pieces with a guitar so PBBPB won’t laugh at me.

No.  You know what?  I won’t even call two of you Earth losers this week, for when Bookshelf Q. Battler put out a notice that my illustrious overlord, the Mighty Potentate, was going to vaporize me lest someone ask me a question for this week’s column, two of you nobly stepped forward and put yourselves between His Potentosity’s vaporizing cannon and my tiny green body.

And they say chivalry is dead.

Pandora Spocks stopped by to inquire what my favorite X-Files episode is.  I’m going to get back to her on that one because that show was more or less a documentary of the Mighty Potentate’s 1990’s era efforts to colonize Earth and impregnate a skeptical female FBI agent.  I need to consult with the Potent One to see what he does and doesn’t want you humans to know.

So this week, I’m taking a question from PBBPB of the Paperback Beauty Pageant.

Ahh, the book cover.  That often shortchanged yet oh so important part of the publishing process.  3.5, you could write a tale so eloquent that it makes Shakespeare’s collective works look like a pile of stinky crap and yet, if it’s packaged with a cover that looks like it was drawn by weirdoes, no one’s going to bother reading it.

Sure, you might argue, “I’m a writer, not an illustrator!”  And while that’s true, the cover is usually taken by the reader as the first sign as to whether or not you’re taking your craft seriously.  Do you, as an author, understand the burden of keeping an audience happy?  You might fail, or more likely, some of your readers will love what you do and others will despise it, but the key question answered by the cover is whether or not you are at least making an effort to entertain your readers.

That’s why I stand by Bookshelf Q. Battler.  No matter what, he’s at least trying to entertain people.  (Oh, and also, you know, the MP says he’ll make with the vapey vape if I abandon him so there’s that.)

On his blog, PBBPB posts covers from old and lame sci-fi novels, usually published somewhere between 1950-1980.  From his writing style, he’s clearly gifted with a unique sense of humor, one that he uses to lambaste these covers and poke out their failures (as well as their nonsensical plots).

Some of my favorites:

The robot that’s spooning a spaceman. 

Inappropriately placed alien hand.

Metal monster has hots for space babe.

Self-publishers, let this be a lesson for you.  Do your research to find a designer with a proven track record of producing quality book covers, then dig deep into your pockets to pay him.

Otherwise, you might end up with a book cover featuring characters wearing nothing but leather lederhosen, because for some reason, people from the 1950’s to 1980 assumed that space was going to be lousy with people wearing nothing but German S and M bondage gear.

Now then, on to PBBPB’s question:

Mankind has enjoyed and suffered millennia within what is essentially a fish bowl. We look out at the stars which, though distorted by our atmosphere, speak volumes to us from distances likely untraversable in the lifetimes of ourselves or our posterity. Should we, as a species, encounter a traveler from a world who was able to bridge the gap between the cosmic backdrop and our planet, those millenia of history will come crashing down upon the poor being’s head, whether we intend it or not, through interaction and negotiation with us. It isn’t our fault, really, but we’ve only had ourselves to talk to for as long as we’ve lived, and have no operational context with which to engage in first contact. Given the vast differences in our experience, cultural and personal, I have to know—what’s your favorite Earth snack food?

I like it.  So many writers take themselves way too seriously.  This dude is a fresh change of pace.

You pose a question within a question here.

Humans do have a bad habit of envisioning themselves as the only beings in the universe.  You’re right, it’s not your fault. It’s all that you know.  In many ways, I envy you.  You get to go about your lives and focus on the mundane and the trivial without having to be preoccupied by constant Moloklaxon attacks as my species does.

Those Moloklaxons.  Truly, the a-holes of the cosmos.  Don’t even get me started.

Humans, think about it.  You sit on a giant ball in the middle of a vast sea of black nothingness.  Your scientists have determined and demonstrated to you there are other such balls throughout the void.

When you look at all these balls (stop laughing!), how does it not occur to you that there might be sentient life on another ball other than your own?

OK.  You know what?  Fine.  Just keep laughing at the word “ball.”  This is why you people are falling behind the rest of the universe.

Would an alien find it difficult to communicate with you?  Depends on the being.  A Moloklaxon would just eat you.

Meanwhile, I’m able to communicate with you just fine, but I’m a highly advanced being able to express myself in your language.

There are limits.  You can’t pronounce my real name so I have to go with “Alien Jones.”  And I refer to myself as a “he” even though I am junkless, just because your language doesn’t account for the possibility of a sentient life form that isn’t a man or a woman.

Sorry, but I’m too accomplished to allow myself to be referred to as an “it.”

Oh, and I do wish the Mighty Potentate had chosen a forum with more range than a book nerd’s blog that only draws in 3.5 readers, but who am I to question the Mighty One?

To get to the more important question, what is my favorite Earth snack food?

I am partial to funions.  They are delicious and the name on the bag does not deceive for they are made out of (or at least taste like) onions and they are fun.

The Mighty Potentate is partial to buffalo wings, so much so, that he once tried to shoot me out of a cannon directly into our world’s sun because I failed to bring him the requisite blue cheese sauce when I picked up an order for him.

It wasn’t my fault.  They always screw you at the intergalactic drive thru.

See?  We have some of the same problems you do, incompetent fast food workers chief among them.

Finally, my government mandated life partner, Alien Rosencrantz, is a big fan of chili cheese fries.  Luckily, we have very efficient metabolisms so they don’t go straight to his thighs.

You have to have an efficient metabolism when you don’t have a butt, after all.

Thank you for saving me from death by vaporization, PBBPB.  Your name has been added to the protected rolls in the event that one of the Mighty Potentate’s plans for Earth conquest proves successful.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle on Twitter, leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com, or stop by Bookshelf Battle on Google Plus. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, other project in his answer.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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