The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: editorial schedule

So Long, 2013. Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya.

So, 2013 kinda blew, and I can’t say I’m sad to see it in my rear-view mirror. I spent a lot of time doing the things I thought I was “supposed” to do–looking for a “real” job, doing low-paying and unsatisfying work to keep the lights on, marketing the heck out of a web design business that is becoming less and less viable as a business model (seriously, how does a small studio compete not only with the big design agencies, but also with all of the pre-made themes and cheap/free DIY solutions out there? The answer: not very well), and it didn’t get us anywhere. Well, the lights did stay on. And I did experience some personal growth, which you can read about here. But otherwise, 2013 was pretty useless.

Especially from a writing standpoint. I mean, it wasn’t entirely void of accomplishment; I did write some short stories, and experienced some much-needed growth in that area. But I didn’t write any of the novels I’d hoped to write this year. Heck, I didn’t even make good headway on one. It wasn’t just that I didn’t have the time, I simply didn’t have the energy. For a while there, it was like I forgot how to write. The story-telling part of my brain just ceased functioning, and when I did try, everything was crap.

With all of that in mind, for the New Year, my biggest goals are, one, to not allow myself to get distracted from the things that really matter. Instead of wearing myself out doing things that feel dutiful and responsible that aren’t really generating any income anyway, I’m going to try out this wacky theory that keeps getting put forward by successful people that if you focus on doing what you love, success will find you. And you’ll be a lot less cranky in the process.

The other big goal is simply to develop a daily writing routine and stick to it. Even if it’s only, like, 50 words a day. But it has to be fiction. Blogging and freelance writing don’t count.

I do have other goals. For one, I’m going to experiment with new ways to grow my fan-base (I’ll be doing a post in the next few days about how you can help with that) and increase book sales (because the more books I sell, the more time I can free up to write new ones).

This is also going to be a year filled with editing. You should see some new books coming out this year, but they’ll be books I wrote years ago and never finished (or started, in some cases) revising , as well as last year’s slew of short stories and flash fiction, starting with Shiny. I might also experiment with serializing one of those unpublished novels, but I’m still working out the details on that.

As for books in my “to be written” queue, that still includes the untitled Restless Spirits-adjacent-but-not-a-sequel paranormal romance, the other two to three books in the Damned series, the steampunk western Radium Town, and a Restless Spirits YA prequel that might become a series. If I can get just one of those drafted this year, I’ll be happy.

The keyword this year is “Focus.” And if y’all know me at all, you know what a huge challenge that is for me; but new years are all about challenging yourself, right?

Right. So what are your big goals for 2014?

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!

Writing & Publishing Plans for 2013 And Beyond

2013 looks like it’s going to be an interesting year for my writing and publishing agenda. I fear that it’s not going to be a very productive or eventful year; not because I don’t have any projects in the works, but because work is threatening to keep me too busy to market my books or write and publish new ones. Needless to say, this is frustrating, and also somewhat ironic. Out of all of the things I know how to do, writing fiction is the only one that I actually want to have as a lifelong career, and yet it’s the one I’m able to devote the least time to, because as of yet it brings in the least amount of income. It’s hard to justify setting aside something that does pay the bills to make time for something that doesn’t, you know?

Heavy sigh.

I do, however, have writing and publishing goals. I don’t know if I can call them 2013 goals, because it’s doubtful that I’ll be able to get to all, if any, of them this year. I have no fewer than four fully-formed novels in my head currently, all of them vying to be my next project. These include the aforementioned Radium Town, my Weird West Steampunk horror adventure; a romantic paranormal thriller that’s sort of a follow-up, but not really a sequel, to Restless Spirits, although it might have some cross-over; and the next two sequels to Dominion of the Damned, which, surprise, is actually a trilogy.

I keep going back and forth on which one to focus on next. Both common and business sense seem to dictate that I should stick with the Damned series until it’s done, while that world is still fresh in my mind, and also to appeal to all of the genre series fans, of whom there are many. And part of me wants to keep going, but part of me also really wants to take a break from that world. There are legitimate reasons for focusing on each of the others, too. I’m considering just powering through the rough drafts for each of them and then going back and editing them in turn, but that will pretty much guarantee that I spend all of 2014 editing and revising, and probably won’t have a new book come out until late next year at the earliest. Although I suppose I could always work on short stories if I need to write something fresh and new.

At any rate, I am hoping to pull my Faeries in Hollywood novel, The Hero Factor, out of the trunk and dust it off and polish it up for release later this year. And I’ll also be finishing and polishing Eucha Falls for e-book release in the next month or so. So it’s not like 2013 will be entirely void of new releases.

And in light of the fact that self-publishing is a lot of work (really, if you’re still on the fence about self-publishing, I’m tempted to advise you not to do it if you don’t have a budget for hiring people to edit, design your cover and layout, help out with marketing, etc. because it cannot be overstated how much work goes into this stuff if you DIY it), I’m also considering alternative routes to getting my books out there. I’m not ready to jump back on the traditional-publishing wagon yet, but I am thinking of maybe submitting to some small press indie publishers, just so someone else can do all of that other work and I can focus mainly on the writing.

I’m also thinking about entering Dominion into a couple of contests. There’s the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, which seems basically to be American Idol for indie writers; and the IndieReader Discovery Awards, which doesn’t guarantee a publishing contract for the winner, but looks like great exposure regardless of whether I won. The latter contest has an entry fee large enough to be potentially prohibitive, though, and the former looks like a lot of time and work just to prepare my entry, and as things currently stand I don’t know if I’ll be able to make the time to prepare an effective pitch. So we’ll have to see.

At any rate, that’s more or less what I’ll be working on for probably at least the next two years. Do you have an opinion on which book I should write next? Feel free to share it in the comments.

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