Dominion of the Damned by Jean Marie Bauhaus

Book News: Dominion is Back, and All my Indies are Everywhere!

Dominion of the Damned by Jean Marie BauhausWhat I thought was going to be a quick project that would take a couple of months at most but ended up taking about as long as an actual pregnancy has finally reached fruition: the brand new, revised and updated edition of Dominion of the Damned has finally arrived. And I think it was worth the wait.

If you’re new around here, Dominion is my post-apocalyptic novel depicting what would happen if a zombie outbreak happened in a world in which vampires secretly existed. From the vampires’ perspective, this would be akin to a mad cow disease outbreak on steroids occurring at the same time as the blight from Interstellar killing off all vegetable matter. In other words, their choices would be reduced to take drastic action or starve. They choose drastic action, and humanity pays a steep price for those actions.

The novel centers on Hannah Jordan, a newly orphaned nursing student burdened with the responsibility of raising her infant brother, and her fight to keep them both alive in this terrible new world. Along the way she makes both enemies and allies and also finds love in unexpected places.

I first published this novel in 2012, and although it was well received with enthusiastic reviews and reader reactions, as I read it last year while gearing up to finally write the sequel, I realized that my writing style had matured since then, and I didn’t want there to be a noticeable difference between this book and the next. So I set out to give it another polish and then turned it over to my husband, who is a freelance editor, for what I expected to be a quick proofread. But then he found even more stuff that needed to be tightened up or smoothed over, so it took longer than I’d counted on. And then we had to move, and then holidays, and life, and so on.

But he finally got the last of the edits done last week, and since there weren’t actually that many, it didn’t take that long for me to comb through and apply them. And now the revised edition is finally here, all new and improved, and I can cross that project off my list just in time to start revisions on the sequel, praise the Lord and hallelujah.

If you previously purchased a Kindle copy of Dominion you should be able to log into your cloud library and download the new version, if it didn’t get automagically pushed to your device. It includes a first look at the sequel, so you might want to grab it just to read that, if you didn’t already see it when I sent it to my newsletter last fall.

If Dominion is new to you, you can find links to all the retailers currently carrying it here.

In other book news…

Yesterday, all of the indie books I had re-enrolled in Kindle Select expired, so as of today they are no longer available in Kindle Unlimited. But I once again put them in the queue for wide distribution, so in a day or two they’ll be available at all the major ebook retailers in addition to Amazon.

You can find all the links to all the books here.


Counting this new edition of Dominion, that’s three books released in three months. I hope that’s enough to tide y’all over for a while, because I’ve got three more books in the queue that need to be revised and edited (including a novella that I’m about two-thirds finished drafting), so I’ll be taking a break from publishing anything new during the spring quarter to focus on getting these books ready to release over the back half of the year.


Looking Forward to an Ambitious New Year

If there’s one word that I could use to describe 2017, it’s unsettled. Chaotic would be another good one. It was a year full of disruptions, from moving and everything involved with that, to emergency oral surgery (my husband, not me) to our dog’s illness and a flurry of vet visits. Looking back, it feels like I didn’t accomplish much, even though moving and downsizing our home was in and of itself a pretty major undertaking. I easily forget that I launched two books in 2017, and also wrote a third. But it took me all year to write that third book, which feels ridiculously slow.

Which is why it feels more than a little bit crazy for me to set a goal of writing not just one, but three(!) new books in 2018. But this year is starting from a much more settled place, and barring any more major disruptions (which I wouldn’t rule out entirely; after all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the only thing that’s certain in life is uncertainty, and things rarely go according to plan), I don’t think it’s an unrealistic goal. At any rate, here is my rather ambitious writing and publishing To Do list for 2018:

  • Revise Bound Spirits and turn it in to my publisher
  • Handle subsequent publisher edits
  • Launch that book in August
  • Write and publish a non-fiction book on book marketing for people like me who really, really hate book marketing
  • Outline the final two books in the Restless Spirits series and draft the next one
  • Outline the rest of the Dominion of the Damned trilogy
  • Write and publish the second book in that series by end of year

That looks like a lot, and that’s not even counting the fact that I still need to make slight tweaks to all of my indie books and publish them on other platforms now that they’re no longer enrolled in Kindle Select, or the fact that I still hope to send out at least one short piece of original fiction to my mailing list each month. But over the last couple of months I’ve settled into a routine that has let me be pretty productive, and I should be able to write about 2,000 words of fiction every morning and still have plenty of time in the afternoon for blog posts, freelance articles and other non-fiction projects.

The real question is, do I have the stamina to keep that up all year? I guess we’ll find out. I’m kind of counting on the likelihood that it will increase with steady practice. I’m also planning to keep up a steady pace here of one post a week (not counting newsy posts), but if I need to slow things down here to keep up my book writing pace, then so be it.

Since I’ve set such a high bar for myself in the writing department this year, I’m embracing a low-bar lifestyle when it comes to everything else. Outside of writing and publishing goals, my only other resolution, if you could call it that, is to be sure I don’t neglect my health by letting self-care fall by the wayside. In fact, if I have an official word for 2018, it’s health. That includes not just physical health so I can keep up my stamina, but also spiritual, emotional and marital health. So while those will all be priorities I’ll also be doing the minimum necessary to keep myself and my marriage in a good, healthy place and saving the rest of my energy for the writing.

This is, of course, all part of a two-year plan with the end goal of being completely done with both Restless Spirits and Dominion by the end of 2019 so I can move on to other things in 2020. But those of you who love those worlds still have plenty to look forward to for the next couple of years.

Happy New Year, guys! I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to make this a great year. And I’d love to hear your goals, resolutions, One Word, etc. in the comments!

New Cover Reveal, and Changes A-Comin’…

As of today I’m just short of 60,000 words along on Ghost of a Chance. I’m going to try my best to finish Act Two this week. It’s getting there…

As I start rolling toward the end of my current WIP and having a little more breathing room in my schedule, I’m turning my attention in my spare time to Dominion of the Damned, for which I have plans. Plans which include a brand spanking new book cover–and here, my pretties, is the official cover reveal for the new edition:


As you can see, that’s a paperback cover. Yes, that means I’ll be issuing a paperback version once again. I had pulled down the original paperback after I realized I’d made several amateurish formatting mistakes (I know a lot more about book interior formatting now, having been doing it professionally for a while now) and always intended to redo it and put it back up. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m also giving it another editing once over, which is currently in process. So far I’ve found a number of minor issues that will be fixed in the new edition.

Barring a sudden deluge of freelance work requiring me to drop everything else, I’m hoping to get the edits and e-book re-formatting done this week, and get the new edition of the e-book online by early next week at the latest. The paperback will take a bit longer. Once those are out of the way I’ll also be looking into producing an audiobook version.

As you can also see, the cover says “Book One.” That means that there WILL be a Book Two. I know I’ve been bandying about talk of a sequel for years now, but apparently this is the year of getting long-talked-about sequels written, because I am hereby officially committing to getting Book Two: Revolution (or, possibly, Uprising) published sometime next year.

Soooo… that’s happening. What else?

Oh! Yes. You can also see that I’m going with my initials on the cover instead of my full name. So that’s a branding decision I’ve made — I’m going to be publishing my lighter, cleaner, more family-friendly (and, eventually, Christian non-fiction) writing under my full name, and my darker, more PG-13 and R-rated stuff under my initials. So that’ll help you decide which of my books match up best to your sensibilities.

Also! New author photos! The fantastically talented photographer I’m married to shot new portraits of me last week, and there are so many winning shots that I’m having a hard time narrowing them down. Once I do that (and we get them processed), those will get posted here and all of my other authorish online spaces.

I’m going to be continuing to tweak my author branding in the months running up to the official launch of Restless Spirits, and that’ll probably include a website overhaul. But nobody really cares about that, do they?

So that’s some stuff to look forward to until I start putting out actual brand new fiction again — which will hopefully happen this year, once Ghost is in the can.

An Honest Look at Self-Publishing

I almost wrote this post several months ago, or a version of it anyway. This was right after my Kickstarter went down in flames and I was feeling a little defeated and lost as to where to go next, and it was coming out a bit whiny, so I scrapped it. Since then, I’ve taken a tumble over the wall into the land of traditional indie publishing, which has given me some perspective, and more thoughts, and now I think I’m ready to write them down properly. So here goes.

After a lot of research, some deep thought, and trial and error, I published my debut novel, Restless Spirits, in 2011. I followed that up the next year with Dominion of the Damned, which was intended to be a trilogy. After that, life got kind of bumpy for a while, and instead of doing what I probably should have done, immediately writing and publishing the next Damned book (as opposed to the next damn book), I floundered, letting myself get distracted by those aforementioned life bumps and shiny new ideas. Knowing that I needed to build up my publishing offerings to have any real hope of sustainable sales, I put out some shorter works, i.e. a couple of novellas and a short story collection.

So that’s my first–and probably biggest, mistake: not building a strong foundation.

At any rate, I definitely qualify as a self-published author. I also do freelance work (mainly editing and book formatting) to help other self-published authors produce their books. All of which is to underscore that I don’t have a traditional publishing axe to grind–in fact, self-publishing helps me make my living in more ways than one. But I feel like self-publishing has a tendency to be romanticized, or seen as the magic bullet to making all your publishing dreams come true.

And I’m here to tell you, it’s not the easy road. Far from it.

There’s a tendency to think that if someone has a good story, all they need to do is put it out there on Amazon and the readers will come. But that’s not the case. I’m going to risk sounding immodest by saying that Restless Spirits and Dominion of the Damned are both good stories. Sure, I’m biased, but they’ve both got a respectable number of positive reviews telling me I’m not delusional to think so. But sales, while greater than zero, have been far from what I’d hoped they’d be. Once in a while I get a royalty deposit that’s big enough to order a pizza or fill the car up with gas, and that’s a really good month, is what I’m saying.

These books also have pretty good production value. They’re well edited, and while I did the covers myself, I have a background in graphic design, and I put a lot of hours into studying book cover design and what tends to sell best in my genres. They might not be the greatest, but they’re far from the worst.

So what’s the problem? Apart from my error in not immediately continuing my series, as best as I can diagnose it, I believe it’s that I’m terrible at marketing myself.

Don’t get me wrong. Some people have found phenomenal success with self-publishing. Many more self-pubbed authors have developed comfortable and respectable mid-list careers. The biggest difference between them and me, as far as I can tell, is that they’re a lot better at marketing and getting people excited about their books. They also have more time and money to invest in book promotion than I do.

My point is, self-publishing isn’t for everyone. If you’re trying to decide whether or not it might be for you, these are factors you should take into consideration.

Does this mean that self-publishing is no longer for me? Honestly, I don’t know. I thought it was six months ago, but since then serendipity (or as I like to call it, Providence) put Restless Spirits in front of the right person and now I have a multi-book publishing contract. But it remains to be seen whether traditional publishing is a better fit.

I will say that the main thing that tipped the scales toward me signing the contract is the help that the publisher will provide with marketing. They won’t do everything, and will expect me to do a lot on my own that I didn’t even think to do before, but I’ll have an unseen hand behind me, pushing me to step outside my comfort zone and get it done. I expect that this will be a big help. I really hope I’m right about that. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The other benefit I’m finding to having signed a traditional contract is that it’s keeping me motivated and focused. With self-publishing comes a lot of freedom, and sometimes too much freedom is crippling. I could write whatever I want whenever I want, but knowing that led to decision paralysis and jumping around from project to project without finishing anything. Now I have a legal obligation to stay focused on this one book (and then write the next one) until my contract is fulfilled. For someone who does best with structure, this is certainly a plus. But some people might find this too stifling.

If you’re on the fence about self-publishing, the advice I can offer (out of my admittedly limited experience) is this: if you just want to be published, to have a book (or e-book) to hold in your hands and show your family and friends, or to point to your cover on Amazon and say, “I wrote that!” then go for it. However, if your dream is to have an honest-to-God writing career that actually brings in at least a substantial portion of your income, you should approach this as a business decision, and approach self-publishing as a business. Create a business plan that includes how you’ll handle book production costs, and that also includes a marketing plan, and be honest with yourself about whether or not it’s realistic and sustainable. If not, give traditional publishing another try. Self-publishing isn’t going anywhere, and it will still be there when you’re ready.

The Kickstarter for GHOST OF A CHANCE is live!

And here it is:

Only one pledge so far, but that’s a start. But I need a lot more pledges than that to show me that enough people actually want to read this book to make it worth my while to write it. If it doesn’t get at least half-way funded, then that’ll be the end of any Restless Spirits series or sequel (and if it doesn’t get fully funded, then even if I do go ahead and write it, it won’t be coming out any time soon).

So if you want to read this book as much as I hope to be able to write it, head on over to Kickstarter, check out the incentives to see if there’s anything you want to pledge on, and most importantly, use those Sharing buttons to help me get the word out! You can also share this video or post a smaller widget on your blog, if you’re inclined to do so. In fact, if you do do that, post the link in the comments below and I’ll put your name in a hat to win a complimentary signed copy of this book if it gets successfully funded.

Let’s do this! Woo!

The Restless Spirits novelette is finished. And has a cover. And a title.

And here they are:

So now I need to edit it, send out the ARC to my mailing list and plan the launch. I’m toying with the idea of sending out the ARC unedited, but the last time I did that someone gave away their copy to somebody who left a review complaining about the errors–despite mentioning in the same review they knew it was an unedited ARC. So that’s making me a tad gun shy.

At any rate, I’m planning to launch the Kickstarter this weekend, but I’ll let it run for three months, so I don’t need to rush to get this out there before it’s presentable. I also need to plan my incentives, write up my campaign copy and shoot and edit a video for it. So it’s going to be a busy week.

Best get to it, then.

Weekend Recap, Tea & Creativity, and Goals for February 16-21

Today is a snow day. Although work-at-home types like me don’t really get to take snow days, do we? If we did, instead of writing this in my office I’d be camped out on the couch with my crochet/knitting bag marathoning Gilmore Girls on Netflix… which is pretty much how I spent yesterday, come to think of it.

What’s weird (well, not “weird” so much as “typical for whacked-out Oklahoma weather patterns”) is that just two days ago it got up to 70 degrees and my husband and I spent the better part of Valentine’s day enjoying our backyard. We finally fired up our new fire pit (acquired a couple of weeks ago; before we could use it we had to obtain sand to line the bottom, a useful bit of info that they don’t bother to print on the box to save you a return trip to Home Depot) and enjoyed the sun for a good long while before heading inside for homemade pizza and a movie (we had talked about possibly checking out a new (to us) Thai place, but we were both so tired we decided to take a rain-check on that).

And then less than 48 hours later… Bam! Winter, biznatch!

It actually arrived shortly before we turned in last night, and I kept getting woken up throughout the night by the sound of ice and sleet hitting the windows (and, at one point, thunder). So I’m really having to push hard today to get past the urge to wrap myself up like a burrito and do what’s necessary to lay the foundation for a productive week.

Which brings me to this week’s goals:


  • Write on the novel every day.

(I’m not attaching a daily quota. At this point, any words that get added are big progress.)

(I finally started reading this last night. Hopefully I can get through it all this week, but it’s pretty info-packed, so we’ll see).


  • Catch up on my editing queue so I don’t have to tell would-be clients that there’s a two-week waiting list.


  • Complete various financial paperwork that needs to get done
  • Stick to my low GI/GF/DF diet all week long
  • Do our taxes
  • Keep up with Tea & Creativity

This last thing, Tea & Creativity, is something I started doing last week — taking a break in the afternoon to get off the computer, brew some tea, and spend the time it takes to drink my tea before it gets cold making art. So far, because I’ve always wanted to learn to draw, this has involved doodling (see below), but it’s by no means limited to that. I expect at some point there will be haiku or song lyrics or other types of verse, and possibly also dusting off the various musical instruments I never have time to practice anymore.

Coffee & creativity. #doodling while husband shops at Gardner’s.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Feb 13, 2015 at 9:16am PST

Although the point of this is just to have fun and relax and not worry about who will see it, I’m posting the results of my sessions on Instagram, and you’re welcome to join me there. If you do, let me know — we’ll start a hashtag.

Note that I left off exercise and cleaning goals. Trying to keep it simple this week. The house is just too cold to get motivated for either, plus the editing and taxes are going to keep me so busy that trying to fit in workouts and housework will just add unnecessary stress. I expect that once this cold spell is over, though, the weather will stabilize enough for me to start a regular walking routine, and hopefully also get motivated to do some spring cleaning.

Check back on Friday to see how it all goes this week. In the meantime, do you have any goals to tackle this week, big or small? Any words of encouragement to help me meet mine? I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments!

Weekly Plan Follow-up: February 9-13, 2015

bullet-journalI’m still liking my bullet journal. I wasn’t able to experiment with it this week like I wanted to, but in its basic form, it got the job done.

I didn’t meet all my goals this week, but it seems I never really do. Let’s look at how I did.


  • Write at least 250 words per day on Ghost

HA HA! No. I think I managed a little over 300 words on Monday and over 400 on Tuesday, and nothing after that.

Nope, but I did finally finish Stephen King’s Dark Tower series last night. So I guess I’ll read LGD before I start in on another novel.


I got the big things that were making me twitchy crossed off my list, and I can take the whole weekend off with a clear conscious, so mission accomplished. Hallelujah.


  • Stretch/work out at least 3 times this week (one down, two to go)
  • Vacuum the house
  • Wipe down sinks and maintenance clean 15 minutes/day

Ha ha ha ha!

  • Look into whether we can afford to get me health insurance before the deadline
  • Complete various financial paperwork that needs to get done


  • Finish my crochet bunting (pieces are blocked — just need to assemble)
  • Stick to my low GI/GF/DF diet all week long
  • Vote in Tuesday’s local election

In my defense, I didn’t sleep that great this week, either. Also, Matt found reasons to go run errands every morning this week, save Monday, and all that going has left me worn out. Morning errands also make it really difficult for me to get focused and find my groove the rest of the day, too. If I had my way, we’d go do that stuff in the afternoons/early evenings after all the work is done, but he likes to get to places as soon as they open and beat the morning rush. And to be fair, traffic in the afternoons/evenings is a biznatch (don’t tell Tucco we said that) (oh yeah we also found time to watch Better Call Saul and so far it’s great).

How did your week go?

Game-changing Resources for Indie Authors,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpgI’ve been trying to keep my topics here more general because I know not everyone who visits my blog are writers, but sometimes I feel compelled to share certain things for the sake of the writers who I know do read this here blog (note to writers: if you want me to post more writing/publishing content, holla!). For example, I recently stumbled across a couple of resources that I think are going to be game-changers for me when it comes to marketing and selling my indie books.

The first of these is Nick Stephenson and his concept of Reader Magnets (hat tip to Joanna Penn). This is not necessarily a new concept, but he lays out the precise steps involved in using freebies to build your mailing list for dense people like me who have trouble figuring it out on their own (and he does so for free). Funny thing is, there are only two steps–maybe that’s why I had so much trouble figuring this out on my own. It’s too dadgum simple.

At any rate, I implemented these steps a couple of weekends ago (hence why Restless Spirits is now perma-free), and already I’ve added more than 10 new mailing list subscribers, without doing anything else. That might not sound like an impressive result, but considering it took me over two years just to get 30 people to sign up on my own, that’s a pretty big deal.

I also signed up to Nick’s free video course, Your First 10K Readers, a series of three videos explaining how people find books on the various online bookstores. Video #2, which explains how to leverage keywords on Amazon, was particularly helpful at increasing the Amazon rankings for Restless Spirits. The third video pretty much recaps the first two and then goes over the Reader Magnets steps, so at nearly an hour long, you can probably skip it if you’re busy and not miss very much.

Finally, in order to make Restless Spirits perma-free, I had to first distribute it for free everywhere but Amazon, and then wait for Amazon to price match it. Since you can’t list your books for free by going directly through Nook Press, Kobo, etc., I used Draft2Digital to distribute it. This is not really that new of a service, but I haven’t used it in the past because I was under the impression that it’s a paid service. And it is, sort of; they keep 10% of the royalties you earn through them. But they also track sales on all of your non-’zon sales channels, and you can publish free books through them at no cost.

This is exceedingly useful, as before the only way to do this was via Smashwords, which, if you’ve published there, you know is a PITA. Plus, D2D recently added Tolino to their distribution channels, which is the largest online bookseller in Europe next to Amazon–and as far as I know, D2D is the only way to get your books listed there if you’re in the US.

What about you, readers (and writers!)? Are there any tools or resources you can’t do without? Have you gotten any good advice that turned out to be a game-changer for your own writing career? Please share your tips in the comments!

Rearranging the Furniture

I spent some time over the weekend tweaking this here blog and making the theme look a bit more custom. I spent a lot of time and needless energy last week worrying that I needed to build myself a brand-new “profeshunul author” website and trying to envision something I’d be happy with that tied my personality/interests in with the type of fiction I write — which, let’s face it, are kind of unmeshy, as far as vibe goes. But I’ve since come to the conclusion that a) with a few more tweaks, such as replacing that big image at the top with a slideshow to prominently hawk my books and services, this blog will do me just fine for the foreseeable future; and b) I really like this theme and think it actually does a pretty good job of meshing both vibes, so why create extra work for myself?

Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World - Kristen LambThis is, of course, all stemming from finishing Kristen Lamb’s book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, which has me all motivated to fix everything I’ve been doing wrong in marketing myself as an author. I also made some tweaks to my social profiles, and started developing a master plan to make this here blog more organized and professional and non-neglected.

In other news, this is day two of going gluten- and dairy-free. Well, mostly gluten-free. Last night I made stir-fry for dinner, and though I’d planned to use a pre-mixed, gluten-free spicy Thai sauce that needed to be used up, there ended up not being enough of it to flavor the whole dish (I made four servings, enough to feed me till the middle of the week), so I had to improvise and ended up using the gluten-containing soy sauce we had on hand. So I guess I won’t actually be free of gluten until that dish is all eaten up. Also, I’m not worrying about gluten cross-contamination so much as I am just avoiding it as an ingredient.

Anyway, I’ve felt pretty good all day. I had to write some content mill assignments this afternoon, and that usually leaves me feeling mentally wiped out, but check it out: I still have the mental capacity to write this blog post. If I’m already feeling this much better after only a day and a half, then I imagine this is all going to turn out to be a worthwhile endeavor. I really did miss the cheese in my spinach omelet this morning, though.

I also put down 500 words on the new new novel this morning. AFTER I walked a couple of miles and did some light yoga. So go me.

Have I mentioned here that I finally started writing the sequel to Restless Spirits? I can’t recall if I did. At any rate, I’m currently more than 1,700 words into it, so I guess it’s officially underway. If you care to track its progress, there’s a little word count widget down there in the sidebar.

So far it’s flowing really well. I’m not working from an outline, but rather kind of a vague idea of what needs to happen to get to the end. That’s how I wrote the first one, so it seems appropriate. If there’s time after posting this blog and checking in on my social networks, I might try to add some more words to it before dinner.

The new TV season has just gotten started and I’m already behind. It’ll be the weekend before I’ll have time to watch Once Upon a Time and Castle — though to be honest, I’m not in a big hurry to watch OUaT anyway. I just can’t work up any enthusiasm about what they had planned for this season. I’m probably the only person on the planet who still hasn’t seen Frozen, mainly because I just haven’t had the opportunity. I’d still like to see it, and I’m afraid this show is going to ruin it for me. I’m also really tired of the way they constantly pile on new characters while neglecting characters I already care about.

I haven’t seen the new Agents of SHIELD yet, either. Matt missed the last six or so episodes of last season, and for some reason we failed to get caught up over the summer, so we’re working on that now. I think we’ve got three more to go before we can watch the season premiere.

I have started Sleepy Hollow, as well as the new Ioan Griffuth vehicle Forever. The latter has promise, and the former is still my favorite show that isn’t Hannibal or Doctor Who.

And of course I’ve been following the new Doctor. Twelve is starting to grow on me. So is Clara, finally. They’ve done a lot to improve her character this season and I find I’m no longer pining for the Ponds, though I can’t really see myself missing her quite as much when she’s gone.

Oh! I also finally managed to retrieve all of my book cover files off of my old, defective laptop over the weekend, so expect a cover reveal for Midnight Snacks later this week, if I can fit that in around implementing suggestions from the beta readers and getting that book ready to publish.

Anyway, does the new TV season have you rejoicing? Tell me what you’re watching in the comments!