The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Category: Self-Publishing Page 3 of 7

Lawd Have Mercy! Also, a New Cover for Restless Spirits

Guy-friendly cover of Restless Spirits by Jean Marie BauhausProject: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and featuring Will Rogers and Tom Mix.

Writing stage: Researching, world building & plotting

What got done: Over the weekend I did a little more research into Tom Mix, and rounded out my cast with a couple of invented characters, including my requisite genius inventor and another BDD super agent, Madeline “No Mercy” Mercier, who will act as a foil to Betty. The part of Mercy will be played in my head by Sophie Okenedo (Queen Liz X to all you Whovians). And if you’re so inclined, you can see my whole dream cast, as well as research links and inspiration for costumes and setting on my RADIUM TOWN Pinterest board.

Today I used my writing time to publish the new cover I created for Restless Spirits over the weekend, which has gotten hearty approval from the guys who’ve weighed in. Upating the cover for the e-book versions on Amazon and BN.com was simple enough, but CreateSpace was quite a bit more involved. I also made minor modifications to the books themselves, including updating the cover credits on the copyright page and adding a link to buy Dominion to the end — a simple “No duh!” selling tactic that was nevertheless lost on me until I read a tip on it somewhere last week. A natural sales person, I am not.

C25K/UFYH: You know, we had all these lovely warm days in January and February, but now that spring is actually here, it’s cold. Yesterday we even had some snow. So the C25K thing is on hold until it warms back up and stays that way. As for UFYH, I didn’t do much over the weekend, but today I bagged up all the trash and recycling and took it out to the bins, and also bagged up all of the errant shopping bags that would take me far too long to fold and put away.

And of course I gave Sasha her meds. She’s feeling a lot better since the antibiotics and vitamins have kicked in, but there’s another suspicious place on her stomach where it looks like the cancer might have spread. We’re also giving her Interferon, and the hope there is that it will boost her immune system to the point where it will be able to kill the cancer, or at least keep it in check, without draining all of her resources. Poor kitty. She’s only 10, which isn’t exactly young, but it’s not old enough to have to contemplate saying goodbye yet, either. I think she’s tough enough to get through this, though, and I still expect that she’ll be around for several more years.

Cooking: Last night I cooked up the big spaghetti squash that I picked up on Friday, and used some of it as a noodle base for a Thai-peanut stir fry that I cooked up last night using ground chicken, shredded cabbage and a frozen stir fry veggie mix. It wasn’t exactly Pad Thai, although it tasted close enough, and it was a bit Sandra Lee what with the frozen veggies, but it was delicious all the same, and with the spaghetti squash I didn’t miss the high glycemic noodles at all. When I do cook I always make a big batch, so that’ll do for dinner for the next few nights; and the leftover squash is put away to serve as a pasta noodle replacement later this week.

Later: Client stuff. I need to keep my head down and get stuff done.

On the Versatility of Spaghetti Squash. And Some Minor Publishing Plans.

Today is groceries & Bible class day, so no time for writing. The grocery shopping’s done, and I stocked up on vegetables in an attempt to get myself back on the low GI wagon. I bought a big spaghetti squash to stand in for all the noodles I’ve been eating lately, and I actually picked out some recipes from my Low GI board in Pinterest and lined up a menu for the week.

I’m mostly looking forward to making (and eating) this Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai (or at least, my own version of it). For the leftover squash I picked up some pesto mix and I’ll just toss it with that and some chicken and Parmesan and pretend it’s pasta. This avacodo, cucumber and tomato salad is on the lunch menu. Hopefully this week will remind me that vegetables can actually be delicious and cleanse all that starch and sugar out of my system so I’ll stop craving it so much. Of course, not looking at Pinterest so often would also help with that.

Later: lunch, then client projects, then Bible class and giving Sasha the rest of her meds. Then we’ll get in bed and watch Justified. We started the first season last night. So far it looks like a keeper.

Weekend plans: I need to give my current book listings some attention and make sure all my author profiles everywhere are up to date, and I need to add some content to the pages of this here blog. I might do a new cover for Restless Spirits, since my graphic design skills have improved so much since the last cover, and also because I’ve been told by male readers that they loved it but were reluctant to read it because the cover is too “romancey.” I’m also thinking about experimenting with changing my pen name from my full name to just J. M. Bauhaus to see if that helps to lure in more male readers (and isn’t it a shame that that’s even something I have to consider in this day and age? Sigh. Boys.), but that might cause me to lose my reviews on Amazon, so we’ll see.

A New Look and a Publishing Plan (and a Dash of Panic)

So I FINALLY made the time to design and build myself a proper custom blog theme, and I’ve gotta say, I’m in love with it, if I do say so myself. If you’re reading this on LiveJournal (or in a reader), you should click over and give it a look-see.  My goal with the design was to capture the whole “dark fantasy verging on horror with romantic overtones” thing I’ve got going on in most of my writing, with a heaping helping of turn of the century Art Nouveau to help tie in the eventual turn I plan to take toward steam punk. Also, this pin was a big inspiration.

I also set up some new pages toward the goal of making this look like a real author site, all official-like, but I haven’t got any content on them yet. I’ll be filling those in over the coming weeks.

With that out of the way, and also in the FINALLY! department, I’ve developed an editorial schedule for my upcoming books up through 2015. The goal is to release two books a year over the next three years (counting this one), and also to write two books each year. I’m not sure yet exactly how I’m going to pull that off (Camp Nano and November’s NaNoWriMo will surely play a part), but that is the goal, and the schedule is as follows:

2013

Publish: Eucha Falls (by late spring/early summer) and The Hero Factor (by the end of the year).

Write: The still untitled paranormal suspense follow-up to Restless Spirits (not a sequel, but loosely related) and the first sequel to Dominion of the Damned. Not necessarily in that order.

2014

Publish: Dominion 2 and the paranormal suspense.

Write: Dominion 3 and Radium Town.

2015

Publish: Dominion 3 and Radium Town.

Write: Some things yet to be determined. Possibly the YA fantasy I outlined a year or two ago. Possibly a Hero Factor sequel or spin-off. Or possibly something new that hasn’t yet occurred to me.

So why am I saving Radium Town for last, considering most of the people I’ve spoken with about my pending projects have been the most enthusiastic about that one? For one thing, because I have a lot of research to do before I’m ready to get started on it; but also because I think I might try going the traditional publishing route with that one, and it would be nice to have some solid sales numbers behind me to help entice an agent and/or publisher, and I think probably finishing my series is the best route to accomplishing that. I guess we’ll just have to see.

At any rate, as I have officially entered the final month of my thirties, it feels good to have at least this much squared away and have some direction as I transition into my OH HOLY HECK I’M ABOUT TO BE FORTY YOU GUYS!

Other Writer Wednesday: Indie Spotlight on Christopher Nuttall

This week’s Indie Spotlight falls on Christopher Nuttall’s science fiction series, The Empire’s Corps.

You Should Never Speak Truth To Power…

The Galactic Empire is dying and chaos and anarchy are breaking out everywhere. After a disastrous mission against terrorists on Earth itself, Captain Edward Stalker of the Terran Marine Corps makes the mistake of speaking truth to power, telling one of the most powerful men in the Empire a few home truths. As a result, Captain Stalker and his men are unceremoniously exiled to Avalon, a world right on the Rim of the Empire. It should have been an easy posting…

Well, apart from the bandits infesting the countryside, an insurgency that threatens to topple the Empire’s loose control over Avalon, and a corrupt civil government more interested in what it can extort from the population than fighting a war. The Marines rapidly find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of political and economic chaos, fighting to preserve Avalon before the competing factions tear the world apart. They’re Marines; if anyone can do it, they can.

The battle to save the Empire starts here.

No Worse Enemy (The Empire’s Corps)

Six months ago, Colonel Edward Stalker and his Marines were abandoned on Avalon, left to fend for themselves as the Empire withdrew from the Rim. Since then, Avalon has been isolated from the settled universe…until now.

As a mysterious pirate organisation attempts to take over Avalon, the Marines find themselves struggling against a shadowy figure with dreams of power, while a young civilian is kidnapped and press-ganged into a pirate crew. They’re fighting to preserve something of the Empire’s order in the wake of its departure, but the pirates appear to have far greater resources and a plan that seems unstoppable.

The Empire is gone. What will take its place?

 

Both of these books, as well as other books by Christopher Nuttall, are available for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Learn more about Christopher and check out free samples of his work at The Chrishanger, and while you’re at it, be sure to check out Chris’s blog and Like his Facebook page!

Other Writer Wednesday Open Thread – with CORGIS!

Well, I thought I had a spotlight author lined up for today, but he never gave me his info. So here are some corgis pulling a tiny sleigh.

Corgi Sleigh

And while we’re at it, go ahead and have an open pimp thread.

Other Writer Wednesday: Indie Spotlight on Athanasios

This week the spotlight shines on Athanasios, dark fantasy author and fellow Holiday Blog Hop participant. Click here to visit his Hop giveaway page — and be sure to enter my giveaway if you haven’t done so already!

BIO

Athanasios works in Montreal as a graphic/video artist, illustrator & writer in dvd production & film. He has been crafting Predatory Ethics: weaving in factual & rumoured history for over ten years.

Athanasios has been interested in religion & faith since childhood. This led to studying a bewildering variety of beliefs from pagan, wicca, judaism, christianity, islam, to hindu, buddhism, shinto, luciferianism & much more. The interest created its own momentum & brought Mad Gods. It was followed by Commitment and then I Am Eternal.

All three are part of the Predatory Ethics saga and in 2012-2013, In Whom To Trust and I Am Eternal 2: Vampires and Indians will continue Predatory Ethics.

Dominion Launch & Holiday Blog Hop!

Today is a big deal. Today, my friends, marks the official launch of Dominion of the Damned! Which means that you can now buy it (and if you have an e-pub device or prefer an actual book, I’ll let you know when it’s available in those formats, which it will be. Soon! Check back tomorrow)! But!

But one lucky reader can win a free copy, along with their very own version of the cute little guy pictured down below. Keep reading to see how.

For today also marks the beginning of the IWU Holiday Blog Hop! Which means that if you click here, you can learn how to win some SUPER AWESOME PRIZES, including your very own KINDLE FIRE, and an Amazon gift card, and more FREE BOOKS than you probably have time to read this year! And if you click here, you can find a list of all of the authors who are participating this week, ALL of whom are doing giveaways of their very own! That is a LOT of chances to win free book-related stuff! This is a good week to be a book-lover, you guys!

It’s also a really great week to support small businesses–i.e., indie authors and publishers–with your holiday shopping.

Grr! Arrgg!

As for my giveaway? As mentioned above, you can enter to win a virtually signed, electronic copy of Dominion of the Damned in your choice of Epub or Mobi format, along with your very own amigurumi zombie doll, hand-crocheted by yours truly. The zombie is approximately 4″ tall and will have his own unique set of “injuries”, and will come with a tag that is also signed by me.

You’ll receive one entry for each action that you complete below, via Rafflecopter (just click the link if the widget isn’t showing up). So the more actions you complete, the more entries you can earn. The winning entry will be chosen at random, and the winner will be announced this Friday, December 14th, as well contacted by e-mail or direct message. Which means that you have until midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning to enter.

So may the odds be ever in your… er, I mean, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Indiegogo Campaign Results

My Indiegogo book pre-sale campaign wrapped up the other day, and for those following and learning from my marketing efforts, I thought I’d share the results, along with a few observations.

Because Indiegogo won’t let you set a goal lower than $500, that was my “official” goal; but my unofficial goal was only $250, and I beat that by $5. Sure, in my wildest dreams I hoped that it would take off and get over-funded and actually serve as a source of income this month, as well as covering additional promotional costs, but I didn’t really expect that to happen, and it didn’t. Still, it accomplished the primary thing that I set out to accomplish, which was to raise enough to cover the costs of finalizing the cover, so all in all I’m calling it a success.

It did offer a few surprises, though. Where I expected to sell a lot of e-books and thought I’d do well to sell one or two paperbacks, what actually happened was that I sold several of the signed paperback packages and only a few e-books. The majority of my funders were friends–no surprises there–but I did have a couple of strangers buy some copies. I will say that I had hoped for more participation from friends and family helping me spread the word by sharing the link with their networks, but, eh, people are busy, and writers, like prophets, are rarely appreciated in their hometown, so I didn’t really have high expectations in that regard. The ones who did pass on the link, though, have my heartfelt appreciation, and have moved to the top of my list of favorite people. Just kidding about that last part. Sort of. ;p

I think my biggest takeaway is that for this sort of campaign to be wildly successful, one needs to have an established fan base full of people who will not only spend their money on your work, but also evangelize it for you far and wide. I do not yet possess such a fan base. But I do, thankfully, have enough people who believe in my writing and are enthusiastic about it enough to support me in order to get a cover funded, and that’s a really good start.

So would I recommend doing an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign to a newbie indie author? It depends. If they’re looking for funding to write their book, then no. But if they have a small goal to match their small readership, I do think Indiegogo is an excellent way to take pre-orders in order to cover publishing costs. My main advice is to keep your goal small and your expectations low, and expect to do the main work of spreading the word yourself.

My other main takeaway is that I really need to find a way to get my work in front of more and different people, because I think pretty much everybody within the reach of my network has been told about it. To that end, I’ll be focusing the bulk of my marketing efforts from here on out on getting book bloggers and reviewers to review Dominion in the hopes of reaching new people. I know that there’s an audience out there for this book, and I believe it’s a sizable audience; despite the fact that there are people who are sick to death of vampires and zombies, there are also still plenty of folks who can’t get enough of either genre. Now I just have to get out there and find them.

Other Writer Wednesday Indie Spotlight: Juli D. Revezzo

This week, the Indie Author Spotlight shines on supernatural fantasy author Juli D. Revezzo. Juli has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century, in love of which she received a Bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of South Florida. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network. Learn more by visiting Juli’s website, and follow her on Twitter.

The Artist’s Inheritance

Trouble only a witch can solve…

Settling into a new home, Caitlin notices changes coming over her husband. When nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking–Caitlin knows something’s not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It’s the damned chair her husband’s carving, she’s sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces–the forces she suspects drove Trevor’s siblings to insanity and suicide?

Armed with a handful of allies–a coven of helpful witches–she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.

Available for the Kindle and in paperback.

 

House of Cards

You can’t escape Fate….

A young nobleman escapes the Reign of Terror in 18th century France to find himself dragged into an even worse fate–a hellish underworld wherein he is cajoled and put on trial by a demon tribunal for crimes he never committed. Can he thwart his fate, one worse than the guillotine?

Currently available for the Kindle.

 

Other Writer Wednesday: Open Thread

It’s the last Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means: open pimp thread! If you have a book (or anything, really) to promote, post your link in the comments.

And while we’re at it, I might as well post yet another link to my Dominion of the Damned pre-order-palooza over at IndieGoGo, which as of this writing is just $50 shy of the half-way mark with eight days left on the clock. I’m hoping to have the book finalized and ready to publish by the end of this week, and to start shipping out the pre-ordered copies next week. So place your order if you want to get the book in advance of the official release date, or get it in time or Christmas. You’ll also get a shout-out in the acknowledgments and get entered to win free signed paperback copies of all of my future books.

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