The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: marketing

Now taking commission orders on Halloween knits, and other fall-related blather

Heads up: I’m currently taking orders for Halloween and the holidays for Marzipan Pie. There are a lot of great knit and crochet kid costume ideas on this Pinterest board, but you’re certainly not limited to those ideas. Or to stuff for kids, for that matter. Just let me know what you want and I’ll let you know if I can do it and quote you a price. And I promise not to use any of the yarn from the cat pee bag.

The new novel, which currently has the working title Panic, is still in the outline phase. The NEW new novel, i.e. the Restless Spirits sequel, is still in the germinating ideas and jotting down notes phase. And Midnight Snacks is still with the beta readers. I’m planning to do a cover reveal for that one soon, but I still need to move the cover file off of the old laptop, which is a PITA.

I’m currently working in my craft room, in the rocker which is more comfortable than I remembered (though not enough to make me change my mind about wanting to replace it). Lately it’s been easier to get the creative juices flowing in this room — another reason I’m glad I finally took it back from the cats.

This week, I’ve been working on decluttering the living room and putting out the fall decorations — of which I have pitifully few. But now that I’ve got my craft room back, I’ve got plenty of plans to make more. I’ve also started hanging pictures on walls — something we’ve done pathetically little of in the SIX years we’ve lived in this house — but my first go at that ended in tragedy when my attempts to straighten a picture holder I’d just hung caused it to fall and break a hand-painted ceramic egg commemorating our wedding that my aunt made for us. Don’t tell my Aunt Faye, it would break her heart. It certainly broke mine.

Anyway, there’s a stack of frames here in the craft room that either already have photos that I want to hang or that will be repurposed for photo collages and other crafty “art” so we can finally get stuff on the walls and look like we actually live here. There’s also a stack of awesome Serenity propaganda-style posters somewhere that I need to dig out and put up and stop waiting until we can afford to have them framed.

I’m hesitant to write this down lest I jinx it, but I think I have finally achieved a pretty good balance between freelance work/writing fiction/home care/self care/having a life. I’m at a point where I want to look for ways to “work smarter not harder,” i.e., finding more lucrative work instead of just more work. Of course, it would also help to be more diligent about marketing and selling my books, and sideline businesses like Marzipan Pie that help fund my yarn addiction certainly can’t hurt. To that end, I’m thinking about setting up a dedicated website for MP instead of just relying on the Facebook page (which needs a makeover, anyway).

I’m also thinking about ways to expand my fiction audience, like maybe getting audiobooks made, and submitting short stories to online markets. And, of course, writing more books. I really need to get around to finishing setting up my own book shop here on this site, too. Oh, and I also need to set up a separate website for my editing and publishing services, because just having a page for it here on this site isn’t working.

And that’s a lot of thinking “out loud” in that last paragraph. I need to remember that this is my most energetic time of year, and while I need to take advantage of it while I can, I also need to be careful not to write checks that my S.A.D.-afflicted future self won’t be able to cash.

Lessons In Book Promotion

I don’t really have a plan for promoting Restless Spirits beyond simply telling everybody in my social circle about it. After all, it’s the vanguard, sent out to raise awareness of my name and writing and hopefully generate some good feeling toward both in time for Dominion of the Damned to take Amazon by storm, and if it made a little extra money in the process, that’s just butter on the toast (and so far it’s earned enough to buy us a large pizza. Ka-ching!). Since DotD is the book I’m currently pinning the majority of my hopes and dreams on, I was going to save all of my marketing energy for its release.

But that’s still a few months away, and it will be kind of hard for RS to win me any new readers if, y’know, nobody actually reads it.

So I’ve been trying to do at least one thing a day to get the word out about it. So far, this has mostly involved telling people I kinda-sorta know: here on LJ, on Twitter, on Facebook, on my other blog, etc. So far, this effort has managed to convince about one person a day to buy the book. That might sound like a pitifully small amount to you, but I’m just thrilled that it’s selling, period. It’s making me want to put in the work to get the word out to more people. And wouldn’t it be helpful to experiment with promotion techniques to see what works best and develop a solid plan for Dominion?

The problem is, I’m out of ideas. As I tweeted the other day, even though I don’t generally consider other writers that I follow on Twitter to be d-bags for constantly promoting their books on there, that doesn’t stop me from feeling like one if I mention mine more than a couple of times. Not just a couple times a day — a couple of times, period. Clearly, I need to get over this. I don’t have the time to set up a blog tour — essentially, soliciting book & writing blogs to either interview me or let me write guest posts promoting my book. I also don’t have time to participate regularly in forums, and I’m back to feeling like a total d-bag if I just pop into a forum I rarely-to-never post in just to drop a link to my book.

Pretty much, this “one promotion thing a day” model is all I can fit in with my various freelance jobs, attending my health issues and assuring my husband that I haven’t forgotten he’s alive. Oh, and the actual writing.

Part of me thinks I need to suck it up and figure something out–maybe at the very least hunt down the rare book review blog that deigns to review self-pubbed e-books and send them a free copy. But part of me thinks that the best “marketing” I can do is just to get more of my writing out there, and that I’m better off keeping my head down and writing as much as I can, as fast as I can.

I think it’s obvious that I have a lot to learn yet about the promotional end of being an indie author. And I’m not going to learn it by sitting around here blogging.

I has a LiveJournal novel

Or at least I will, when it’s finished, but you can go ahead and friend it now if you’d like to read the cleaned-up version:

Friend it, link it, help me generate buzz. These three things would be muchly, muchly appreciated.

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