Tag Archives: books

A Self-Publishing Milestone – Johnny B. Truant’s Fat Vampire Becomes a TV Show

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

You know who really got me into self-publishing? A trio of super cool dudes by the names of Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright. Johnny, Sean and Dave of “The Self-Publishing Podcast.”

I started blogging in 2014 with the idea that I’d try to write a novel and submit it to traditional publishers. Then I started seeing a lot of bloggers talking about self-publishing. Before I knew it, I was down the rabbit hole and found this podcast that was very funny, all about three friends following their dream of self-publishing success, sharing the lessons they learned, the mistakes they made and interviewing others who had done great things all without assistance from the gatekeepers of the publishing industry.

Their best-known non-fiction work, which doubles as their mantra, is “Write, Publish, Repeat” in which they make the case for writers to put in the work. You need to publish…a lot. Readers are hungry but they have access to so much free material that you have to put a lot out there before they start parting with the moolah.

Over the years (I think they began in earnest in 2012) they have published a ton of books. So many that I always wondered, given the sheer volume of their catalog, how the heck hasn’t one of their books been Hollywood-ized yet?

Well…their big day in the sun is here. Johnny B. wrote a comedy horror series called “Fat Vampire.” I believe this was one of his first books. It follows the plight of Reginald, an overweight man named Reginald who in life, really wanted to lose weight but couldn’t and thus suffered all the indignities that come with being plus sized.

And then he gets a vamp bite. Now a vampire, he falls in with a league of typically sexy brooding vamps. Alas, as those who know vamp lore will tell you, how you were as a human when you were bitten will be how you always are as a vamp. Poor Reginald will live forever but he can never lose weight. He is forever trapped as a fat vampire. Even though he rises through the ranks and proves himself worthy, he will forever be poked fun of by the other vamps for his fatness.

I noticed the book got a new title. “Reginald the Vampire” will be played by Spiderman’s BFF actor Jacob Batalon on SyFy. It seems the whole crux of the series is a chubby dude who wants to change but is forever locked into his chubbyness and the lack of respect from his peers that comes with it no matter what great victories he achieves so I hope they will at least grasp that.

But anyway, this is a victory for the SPP dudes, one a long time in the making. Very well deserved and proof to the rest of you self-publishers out there that you can do it.

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“But BQB,” you say. “I’m trying to save money because gas prices are higher than a clone made from a mix of the DNA of Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Woody Harrelson.”

Good for you! Then you shouldn’t be spending money on books. You should be getting this free book instead:

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I’m Number 1! I’m Number 1!

My short story, “The Phone Did It” about one man’s cell phone that commits crimes in his name while he sleeps, is the number 1 free technothriller on Amazon today.

Ha! Eat your heart out, Dan Brown!

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FREE BOOK!

Get your free copy today:

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Shop Buddy Cover

Hey 3.5 readers. Well, it’s here. The cover for my upcoming novel, Shop Buddy. It’s about a recent college grad who can’t find the job he wants, so he gets by working for an online shopping service. One of his customers puts in strange orders – rope, chains, knives, a chainsaw and so on. He and his ex-girlfriend who also works for the service (in fact, she’s his boss) get suspicious and unravel the mystery of what said strange customer is up to.

SIDENOTE – I went grocery shopping for the first time in I can’t even remember yesterday and I have to say, I need to go do my actual shopping more because online shopping/delivery just isn’t cutting it.

My complaints about online shopping (which mostly get worked into the novel in one way or another)

A) How is it possible in today’s information age that the website says the store has something and then the shopper gets me and tells me they don’t have it? Supply chain issues aside, every item has a barcode right? So can’t some tech genius hook those barcodes up to the site and when the last one is bought, make it say OUT OF STOCK when you order it? Ah, but there’s the rub. That thing was probably the thing you wanted the most and if you knew they didn’t have it, you wouldn’t have placed the order in the first place. If they made things go out of stock on the website they’d get less orders.

B) Every so often, I get a result that makes me question my faith in humanity. In the book, the main character ruins a child’s birthday party. Charged with shopping for and delivering a birthday cake, the company’s wonky algorithm tells him to buy and deliver a box set of Oingo Boingo’s greatest hits. This becomes a running joke throughout the story i.e. customer asks for a jar of pickles, algorithm tells the shopper to buy a velvet painting of Einstein fighting a velociraptor, customer asks for cat food, algorithm tells the shopper to buy an autographed photo of Abe Vigoda.

I haven’t received anything on the level of Oingo Boingo’s greatest hits or an Abe Vigoda autograph (I’d actually like an Abe Vigoda autograph) instead of what I ordered but there have definitely been times when I ordered, say, an apple, and got something where I just put it on the counter and scrutinized it, saying to myself “How…why…what…how on earth did they see “apple” and think I wanted THAT?”

Pre pandemic, I think these delivery services worked better because the shopper would actually come into your house, put the stuff on the counter for you, and review any discrepancies to your face. Now, they just do a gangland style drive-by where they whip all the bags at your front door while NWA classic hits blare on their speakers. By the time you open the bag and realized they got you a macroni statute of Bette Midler (cue Seinfeld) instead of your tub of egg salad, they’re half way down the block. If they actually had to look you in the eye, they woudn’t make such bizarre subsitutions.

I will say this of yesterday’s in person shopping experience:

A) Often shoppers would text me and say they’re out of this they’re out of that and I’d wonder if they really are out of something or if this is just a lazy shopper. Sometimes I’d curse the inflationary times we live in when my shopper texts me, “They were all out of cookies” and I’m like, “Damn it! It’s like we lost a war!” (Fun fact we actually lost 2 major wars in ten years but that shouldn’t prevent me from getting cookies. It’s not like I’m the Secretary of Defense after all. That guy should be sans cookies for losing wars.)

B) When you’re in store, you see stuff you wouldnt think to look for on the site. Maybe this is good because you’re getting more stuff or then again maybe you are spending more then you would. Then again that extra you are spending would just go to a tip to a guy who is just going to toss the bags at your front porch in an early 1990s style Boyz in the Hood esque drive by. “Break yoself and take yo potato salad, fool!”

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FREE BOOK!

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Merry Christmas, 3.5 Readers

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

Tis the season for looking back and reflecting and with my overall goal of becoming a super awesome big time fancy writer, I have to take stock of how far I advanced toward that goal.

This year, I published three books:

In January, I put out “The Second Death” about a fame seeking weirdo who seeks long lasting infamy, the kind that survives long after his demise.

In February, I published a collection of six short stories – “BQB’s Twisted Shorts: The Complete First Volume.” Werewolves, superheroes, sabotaged skydivers, wacky conspiracy theorists and more.

And finally, in March I published “The Phone Did It.” This one popped into my head at random and I felt it was inspired. It’s about a salesman with an unusual product, an automated cell phone that knows you so well, it just does whatever you would have done anyway. Ahh, but what if said salesman has demented thoughts that he would have never acted on without a soul-less mobile device willing to do the dirty deeds for him?

Funny, I published three books in the first three months of the year. I hoped I would keep it up and publish one book a month but unfortunately I stalled out by April. The key seems to be to publish very short books, approximately 100 pages or so. The longer the book, the longer it takes to publish. Even so, 3 books in a year is pretty good and here’s hoping I can add to my BQB Amazon catalog in 2022.

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How Many Free Books This Year So Far?

15967

I just wanted to make a note of that so I wouldn’t have to add up the monthly totals again. Pretty cool, but I’m not sure how I only have 3.5 readers after giving away so many free books.

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I’m Number 1! I’m Number 1!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Just a fun note. Thanks to a Freebooksy feature, my short story, Freefall is as of this post:

1 in 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads

1 in 90-Minute Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Short Reads

2 in Single Authors Short Stories

Sorry, I didn’t know it would make the text that big when I cut and pasted it. Also, it is number 91 Free in the kindle store, which if my memory serves, I believe that is the first time I ever cracked the top 100 free.

In total, I was able to give away 1,055 free copies in one day of this fine book about a man who guys skydiving only to discover his primary and backup ripcords have been sabotaged.

As a bonus, 6 copies of my other books were sold. The proceeds were big enough that I can supersize my next taco. I know, sometimes it is frustrating…you give away 1,000 books and only sell 6…but I’ve noticed that when you do a promo like this, the reviews and ratings tend to trickle in over the next few months, which I assume means people grab up a free copy, then let it sit on their virtual shelf until they get around to reading it. At any rate, at least 1,000 copies are out there.

BTW, as some free self publishing advice, it really is all about the cover. I have done 2 freebooksy features for most of my books (a few I have only done 1). For all, I noticed a good return the first time, and a declining return the next time, which I assume a lot of people who use freebooksy grabbed it before and weren’t as interested the second time around (though the returns were still enough to make it worth buying a second feature.)

But this second go around for Freefall, the returns were still high, which tells me people see this poor schmuck holding his cut ripcord and want to find out what happens. Do you want to find out what happens? Grab your free copy!

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