Tag Archives: indiebooksbeseen

And Now a Message from Alien Jones

Hello.

The Esteemed Brainy One enjoys the dog days of summer...pantsless.

The Esteemed Brainy One enjoys the dog days of summer…pantsless.

Alien Jones, the Esteemed Brainy one here, reminding you to “Ask the Alien” a question and get plugs for your books and blogs in my answer right here on the Bookshelf Battle Blog, bookshelfbattle.com.

Help me get Bookshelf Q. Battler’s writing career up and running so my boss, the Mighty Potentate, will release me from this mission.

“But Alien Jones,” you ask.  “What are the pros and cons of asking you, an alien, a question?”

PROS:

  • You help your planet become one answer smarter.
  • You help promote self published authors and strike another blow in the Mighty Potentate’s war on reality television.  You thought reality tv was harmless, didn’t you?  But now a reality tv star is running for president.  Next thing you know it’s Secretary of State Kardashian.  Don’t say you weren’t warned, 3.5
  • You’ll get a free plug and maybe even gain a new reader or two.  I’ve helped 20 indie authors already.
  • The Mighty Potentate won’t vaporize me.

CONS:

Literally, nothing.  Why are you humans so quick to look a gift alien in the mouth?  A representative of a hyper intelligent species wants to share all the mysteries of the universe with you and you’re all still like, “Well, I dunno, let me kick the tires on this one and get back to you.”

So ask me, Alien Jones, a question today.  You can ask away on twitter.  Tweet @bookshelfbattle #AskTheAlien and our resident Blogger in Chief will forward your question to my ship.

Or, just leave it in the comments here.

“But Alien Jones, where else can I, a mere human, get in touch with you?”

If you can reach BQB on his other social media, go for it.

Here he is on facebook.

Here he is on Google Plus 

And finally, here’s the World Renowned Poindexter on Wattpad.

And finally, you might ask, “Alien Jones, how long will it take for you to answer my question?”

Normally, I try to answer questions in the order they’re asked.  I used to bunch several questions into one column, but now I like to give each author a column all their own.  That doesn’t mean that repeat askers aren’t welcome.  They are.  And if you’re one of the 3.5 people out there without a book to push, feel free to ask away.  I like to help indie authors promote their works, but you don’t have to have something to promote in order to ask away.

Thank you, Earthlings.  Continue your normal functions of duck faced selfies and scratching yourselves at inopportune times.

Alien Jones, signing off.

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Future Ideas for Pop Culture Mysteries

Happy Sunday, 3.5 Readers.

Delilah K. Donnelly, BQB's exceptionally attractive henchwoman...er, attorney.

Delilah K. Donnelly, BQB’s exceptionally attractive henchwoman…er, attorney.

Here’s the deal.

In my personal life, I’m busier than a porcupine at a pin cushion convention.

If I get an hour a day to write, I consider myself lucky.

That’s why blogging works for me.  Every day, a short daily post, and then I move on.

That’s also why Jake, Ms. Donnelly and I are doing so well with Pop Culture Mysteries.  Ms. Donnelly delivers, Jake reports, I post.  Who could ask for anything more?

Here’s some ideas for the future.  Since you’re my 3.5 readers, you tell me if any, all, or none of these are appealing:

#1 – A Spin-Off Site

I’m mulling over the possibility of creating a spin-off Pop Culture Mysteries site.  Already secured the site and everything.  It’d be all Jake all the time.

PRO:  Jake gets his own digs.  More Internet presence for the Bookshelf Battle goodness.

CON:  It’s been an uphill battle in the snow with no shoes on to get people to feast their peepers on this site.  The idea of splitting visits and views among two sites rather than just bring them all here worries me.

But if I did create a spin-off site:

#2 – Both Sites Work Together 

As said above, I have less free time than a cat a yarn ball factory.

Jake and I would set up the Pop Culture Mystery posts here on bookshelfbattle.com.  You, the 3.5 readers, would give us advice, feedback, criticism, ideas to make them better.

In fact, as the gumshoe and I consider directions the various plot lines of the series will take in the future, we can already see some things we’d like to change in what’s been posted so far.

(Jake and I have still yet to meet in person.  Ms. Donnelly handles all our correspondence, of course.)

Am I going to fully rely on you 3.5 readers?  No.  In the future, I hope to retain the help of an editor.  But, for those interested in self-publishing, this is a chance to see how the sausage is made.

The posts on bookshelfbattle.com would essentially be rough drafts.

After Jake and I get the time to flush them out (with your feedback), I’d post the polished posts on the Pop Culture Mysteries spin-off site to be preserved for the ages.

Which brings us to:

#3 – Seasons, Arcs and Books

Multiple posts would be put together on the spin-off site as seasons.  Each season would follow Hatcher through different story arcs.

And each season would end a book that would be sold on Amazon (perhaps even other book distribution platforms in the future).

For example, we’re in season one right now.  It’s an introductory season where we are learning who the characters are.  I hope to end it with… Mr. Devil Man (read a sneak peak of the first chapter here).

The books would be stand-alone, meaning a) you could buy it, read it, and understand it without ever having read the site posts but b) hopefully book readers would enjoy it enough that they’d go in search of more Bookshelf Battle goodness by visiting the sites (this one and the spin-off), thus increasing platform traffic.

I foresee a lot of audience interactivity:

  • Self-publishing nerds advise Jake and I here on the Bookshelf Battle Blog.
  • Mystery nerds enjoy Jake’s stories on the spin-off blog
  • Book nerds enjoy Jake’s books sold on Amazon.
  • I enjoy the profits because Ms. Donnelly is one hell of a lawyer and Jake doesn’t bother to read the fine print.

Speaking of…

#4 – Putting Money Into This

Relax.  I’m talking about my money.

I don’t want to knock self-publishers, writers and other artists who rattle their electronic tin cup to ask for donations.

Some people have accomplished great deeds doing that.  The Veronica Mars and Super Troopers 2 campaigns being examples that come to mind.

Personally, I find it icky so I’m not going to do that.

I look at this as a business and if it’s to go forward I need to put some skin in the game.  What does that mean?  I don’t know.

Enlisting some editing help, character artwork, images etc.

In business, the best strategy is to put out based on what’s coming in.

In other words:

  • You build a lemonade stand.
  • Everyone on your street stops by.  You make a second pitcher of lemonade.
  • Everyone in your neighborhood comes over.  You make a third pitcher.
  • Everyone in town wants your delicious lemonade.  You dump the stand and rent a storefront.
  • People in the next town over drive all the way over just to sample your tasty lemonade.  Time to invest in a second location.
  • People just can’t get enough off that sweet yellow stuff (shut up, I’m talking about lemonade).  You need to start selling franchise rights because…profit!

What you don’t want to do:

  • You build a lemonade stand.
  • Aunt Gertie says it’s the best lemonade she’s ever hand.
  • You drain your bank account, take out a high-interest loan from a loan shark, and set up a bunch of lemonade stores on the hope that people will come only to be left with a bunch of empty stores, moldy unused lemons, and two broken legs. (Damn loan sharks).

That was my longwinded way of saying that the first season or two will look like they were produced on a modest budget, but if people like the work, I’d gladly put book proceeds towards making future seasons better.

The biggest criticism of self-publishing is that it often looks cheap.  That’s somewhat understandable because these are often works produced by people on a budget, not big time studios with cash to burn.

But there’s a difference between cheap and crappy.  It’s possible to put out respectable work on a budget.

Cheap doesn’t mean your work has to look like it was packaged by a bunch of carny folk.

Take The Simpsons. The first shorts that appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show were cheap to be sure, but they made people laugh and convinced FOX to dump some money into it.  Here they are, still kicking after 26 years.

It’s all a carefully choreographed dance.  I can’t put a ton of my own money into it now in the hopes it will pay off big time later. If it doesn’t, my bill collectors aren’t going to buy “sorry, I spent all the money on my private dick” as an excuse.

But the more eyes that end up on the sites and books, the more old BQB’s wallet can be pried open, even if moths will fly out.

#5 – Conclusions 

All I’m really asking is:

  • Does this strategy sound good or bad?
  • How have Jake and I done on the series so far?  Does it seem like something worth putting more work into?

As always, thanks for listening, 3.5 readers.

Copyright (c) 2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.

All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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