Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sisters Grimm Announcement

 
Hello everyone! I'd like to make an announcement:
 
 

We are taking submissions for a fairy tale anthology, Sisters Grimm, beginning on Halloween 2017 until New Year's Eve 2017. Accepted submissions are requested to be between 250-1000 words. We are looking for dark fairy tales. Think Brothers Grimm. To be true to the title, we are accepting submissions from females only for this anthology. Each accepted piece will feature original artwork by Jessica Gadra and an original musical score by Nathan Moran. Due to the unique nature of Ubooks, each story, while part of the anthology, will stand on their own. Have a breakaway hit? You alone will reap the reward. Send completed tales to: submissions@blackandwhitepublishingco.com  
 
I can't wait to read your tales!
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: September 2017

First Wednesday of the Month

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, making it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on. It’s a great spot to shout your insecurities to the world. To realize you’re not alone. I’ve been part of this group for years now, so it feels like I’ve pretty much laid it all out there. But some insecurities just don’t seem to go away. Like the fear of rejection. I haven’t submitted anything to an agent/press for a long time, so I thought I was over this one, or removed from it, anyway. But then I got a stinger. A few weeks ago I submitted an application to participate in a conference as a publisher. It’s the first time I’ve done it from the other side of the table. After some time I received a rejection. The same dull pounding came back. A rejection? Why? Because our publishing company is too small, too new, and frankly too out there. And then I remembered why I left the traditional publishing world in the first place. Too cookie-cutterish. Now I know that sounds like sour grapes, and maybe part of it is. But part of it’s not. I kinda like being too out there. How about you?
 
 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Five Year Goal Review: August 2017

Last Friday of the Month

It’s here again: The last Friday of the month. Which makes it time to review some goals. For those of you who are new to this site or don’t know, I particiapate in Misha Gerrick blog challenge: Five Year Goals. I tend to need accountability when I commit to something, and this offers me that. Thanks to Misha for putting this on each month. If you’d like to join us you can. Here’s the link.

My goal is to run a world-class publishing company. I’m a little over two years into this thing and so far it’s going good. We’ve just added another illustrator to the mix: Jessica Gadra. You can check out her work at: www.jessicagadra.com . She is amazing. She specializes in pen and ink with watercolor fairytales and that’s what she’ll be doing for us. Her first project will be The Gift by Liz Daniels. Look for it in January. And while I’m excited about that, I’m even more excited about another opportunity that having her on the team has created. A long time now I’ve wanted to do a fairytale book. I’m not talking the happy, sweet kind, no think Brother’s Grimm. Dark. I’ve written a few myself but it never felt like enough. And I didn’t have any cool illustrations…  

Drum roll please…

Beginning October 31, 2017—Halloween—Black and White will begin accepting submissions for a Ubook fairytale anthology to be released the following Halloween: Sister’s Grimm. We’d like the stories to be true to those roots: gritty, dark fairytales—but like all good fairytales there has to be a moral at the end. The tales should be between 250 and 1,000 words. And the authors need to be women. Sorry guys, have to stay true to the title. Each selected story will have an original musical score by Nathan Moran and original illustrations by Jessica Gadra. This is going to be awesome! For those selected, a contract will be offered, which includes payment of 25% gross of all revenue received. (And the cool thing about Ubooks is that each story is a separate video, so if yours is popular, you get all that revenue. It’s not divided among all the authors of the anthology.) Submissions will close on 12/31/18-New Year’s Eve. Email your tales to: Submissions@blackandwhitepublishingco.com

I can’t wait to read what you’ve written!


Friday, July 28, 2017

Goal Review: July 2017

Last Friday of the Month

It’s Five Year Goal review time. Thanks to Misha Gericke for putting this on each month. If you don’t know, this is a group of motivated people who have gone out on a limb and spoken a dream to the world. And review it each month, again, for all to see. My dream is to have a world-class publishing company.  I feel very ridiculous saying that. Who makes their dream that big? I guess I do.

   How it’s going: Good. Right now I’m waist deep in a project that I’m super excited about. I’m turning my first novel, The Newstead Project, into a Ubook. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the process, that doesn’t sound like anything special. Ubooks are incredibly labor intensive, so this project of mine is going on a year in the making. There are 12,544 frames in this book, each one hand made. 120 chapters, each one timed and spaced and set to music by yours truly. The goal is to have it completed on September 3, exactly seven years from the day I started writing it; which leaves me a little over a month to pull this thing off.  Do you think I can do it? Here’s hoping.

   See you in August with an update,
 
 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG: June 2017

First Wednesday of the Month

Welcome. It’s IWSG time again. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up here.

The insecurity I’m focusing on this month isn’t so much about good things or bad things, it’s more about yes vs. no. I used to be so good at only saying yes to things I really wanted to do. That mentality freed up so much time. But now I’m in a strange place. There are so many good things to say yes to. Yes to kid's summer soccer camp, because of course they’ll want to do that, right? And yes to swimming lessons--heaven forbid they drown—and yes to another animal (or two)—they’re so cute—who could say no? And yes, yes, yes.

And now my life is too full to breathe.

This happens every once in a while to me and I have to sit down and wipe the slate clean and start over, which is hard. It would’ve been easier to say “No” in the first place. How do you tell someone you changed your mind about that adorable lamb they’re holding onto for you? Okay, maybe I’ll get the lamb. But then something else has to go. Do you see my dilemma? How do you choose between so many “good” things?

Help!
 
 

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 2017: FIve Year Goal Review

Last Friday of the Month

Today is the last Friday of the month, making it time to review some goals. A little over a year and a half ago, I joined this wonderful online community (waves hi to Misha and others) which not only allows me to visit this goal monthly, but also provides such wonderful encouragement. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or if you’d like to join in, you can find out more/sign up here.

My goal, initially, was to write the next great American novel. About six months into this five your project, I changed that goal: to running a world-class publishing company. I’m not arrogant, I promise; not delusional. I know the impossibility of what I just wrote, both things, actually. But I also know I serve a God who somehow makes the impossible happen. And that’s what I’m counting on.

With that in mind…
Today, just now, I found out that both of my goals have been blessed. The Newstead Project, my first novel, just won the Author’s Circle Novel of Excellence for paranormal novels. I’m blown away! When I submitted it for consideration, I did so out of personal love for this story. I am beyond thrilled that others have some book-love for it, too. With that in mind, I’m pleased to announce here, for the first time, that I’ve been working a little over a year on making The Newstead Project the first full length Ubook novel. It will be released this September. This will bring the story to a much deeper level, with a streamline voice and mood-stirring music. I can’t wait for you to experience it.

I said doubly blessed, didn’t I? Jellyfish Jones, Black and White Publishing Co.’s first ever Ubook won as well. I am pleased to announce that Jellyfish Jones just won the Author’s Circle Children’s Book of the Year. This one wasn’t such a surprise. The story is superb, the illustrations charming, and the original musical score by Nathan Moran was perfectly done. Not to mention the narration (nudges daughter Hannah, who did a wonderful job). It has always been my goal to publish only that which is excellent, and I am thrilled to see that that excellence was awarded today.

So, how is it going? Well, we’re not World-class yet, but I’d say we’re on our way.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG: May 2017

Today is the first Wednesday of May, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up here.

First Wednesday of the Month
May and September have always been full of meaning for me as a writer. I began this whole writing adventure on a warm September day, and saw that adventure reach it’s fulfillment a year and a half later in May, when my first novel was published. For that reason, I try to publish my very best, my very favorite pieces in the months of May and September. And this May is no different. Two days ago my email subscriber list received Haunted, first published as part of the anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here, in Ubook form. It will be released to the general public on Monday, May fifteenth. This story is very personal to me, and is probably the most important piece I’ve written, or will ever write. I finished it in less than a day, which is nothing short of miraculous. So why bring it up here, when we’re supposed to be discussing our insecurities? Because along with Haunted being my most important story, it was also the most difficult to let be published. It may be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It’s a laying of myself out there in a way I cannot take back. Frankly, it’s going to piss a lot people off. But that’s okay. I’ve made peace with that. It’s a story that needed to be written, and no matter how deep my own insecurities may be concerning that, it wasn’t a story about me. It was about him. It always has been. If you’re interested in reading it for yourself, check back here on the fifteenth, or go to setbooksfree.org on or after that day. But be warned, it will haunt you.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press for including Haunted in the anthology. It was a brave thing to have done.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Release of The Open Book

 
 
Liza has called and The Open Book has responded. Now only two questions remain: Was it a good idea for the three of them to be in one place? And what if Liz wasn't the one who planned it that way? Read it here.


And a previously released favorite:
 
 
 
 
On Meadowbrook farms live three sheep, fifteen chickens and two little girls with their parents. So begins this delightful tale by Liz Daniels where playhouses come in all shapes and sizes, but don't necessarily last forever. Read it here.
 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 4


 
Day 4

 
Sometime after I turned forty (don’t get any ideas—it was only four months ago J),  my philosophies changed. Before that, everything had been about the future. Saving for the Future. Planning for the future. Getting things in order for the future. And then, like a light had flipped, I realized I was living in it; the future I mean. I started enjoying my life. Now, I’m not saying I’m blowing all the money I’ve saved for retirement, but I am living life. Every six weeks I do something. It might be a weekend trip with one of my kids, a massage, or a writing retreat in the woods. Whatever it is, I’m not waiting for later to live.

Until tomorrow.




 P.S.  I’ll be counting down over the next 17 days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:
*$100.00 Amazon gift card:



 

**The cover storyboard for Garden House:

***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
 
*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.   



Monday, April 3, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 3


Day 3

 

Today marks the first day of this venture where work and everyday life is taking its toll. Like most of you, I have a regular job, so I when I decided to do this, I knew Monday through Friday posting would be tough. But here it is.

Have any of you considered Kickstarter before? I know of some people who have used it for pre-release book promotion with reasonable success. The reason why I chose to use this particular platform is because I loved the indie feel of it. I loved how passionate other people seemed to be about the projects they support, and I’d love to get some of that passion in play for Ubooks.  Passion is always good.

Until tomorrow.


 








P.S.  I’ll be counting down over the next 18 days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:
*$100.00 Amazon gift card:



 
**The cover storyboard for Garden House:
***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
 
*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.   



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 2



Day 2

Welcome. I’m two days into this Kickstarter thing, and so far I’m as uncomfortable as I thought I’d be. Like I’ve said here hundreds of times, marketing just isn’t my thing. But I also know how really truly important Ubooks could be, both for books and the people who read them. So I press on. If you feel like spreading the word, I’d greatly appreciate it.
 
 
 
I’ll be counting down over the next twenty days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:


*$100.00 Amazon gift card:

 
 
**The cover storyboard for Garden House:
***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
Come back each of the twenty-one days for updates, exclusives, and stories.
Thank you all.
 
 
 


 


*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.   


 


 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 1


Day 1

It’s official! Today is the first day of Black and White’s Kickstarter Campaign. I’ll be counting down over the next twenty-one days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:


 

*$100.00 Amazon gift card:
 

**The cover storyboard for Garden House:
***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
Come back each of the twenty-one days for updates, exclusives, and stories.
Thank you all.
 
 
 


 


*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.   


 


 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Year Goals in Review: March 2017

Last Friday of the Month
Today's the last Friday of the month, making it time for me to review some goals. This is part of a project put on by Misha Gericke where you make a long term (five year) goal and blog each month about how it's going. My goal is to have a world-class publishing company. In five years. Dream big or go home, right? I'm a little over a year into this venture, and so far it's going well. *Ubooks are patent-pending. Black and White has signed some amazing authors. But the one thing we don't have yet is an audience. You know, the reason behind all of it. So with that in mind, beginning tomorrow I'm starting a twenty-one day Kickstarter campaign. Partially to raise funds to hire some new people to produce more Ubooks, but mostly it's to force me to market--something I hate to do. Probably the only time I've done anything close to an actual marketing push is during the last few Aprils when I posted some of my work during Arlee Bird's A to Z bloghop. So I thought I'd apply that same thinking to this. For twenty-one days I'll be posting daily on this blog/Instagram/Facebook to let people know about this new book format. I'm way out of my comfort zone here, so any help you'd like to give spreading the word would be much appreciated. Here's the link to my Kickstarter homepage if you'd like to share it: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/1409684295?token=65115878
 
Thanks again!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*For those of you who don't know what Ubooks are, they're books/stories on video feed, which allow them to be read without interruption. This (I feel) greatly enhances the story, allowing a reader to remain immersed in the story without the distraction of a page turn or a finger swipe. It also allows music/sound enhancements. The best part? They're completely free. All of our Ubooks can be read/viewed free of charge on Black and White's YouTube channel or at www.setbooksfree.org.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG: March 2017

First Wednesday of the Month

I don’t know about where you live, but here March is always synonymous with snow. Lots of it. Yesterday it was sixty degrees out and I was working in the garden. The weather people say all this warm weather is bad and we’ll be sorry later when the fruit trees are barren because a frost killed all the buds, and can you just imagine what this will do to our maple syrup production? All of that might be true, and maybe it’s not, but why worry about something you can’t control? Why not enjoy the good part of this mid-winter thaw?

That’s what’s on my mind today as I sit down to write this month’s IWSG post. (Thanks to Alex and co-hosts for putting this on!) It’s about enjoying where you’re at. Sometimes we’re on a really good roll. Sometimes our writing is just flying out, but deep down the fears linger—how long can this possibly keep up? It’s not normal to write four thousand amazingly spot-on words in a day, is it? Surely all this production now means I’m missing something. I’m sure I’ll pay in the end. But what if you don’t? What if it’s just really good production and you’re just supposed to enjoy the moment? So, pull up a glass of summer sweet tea with me, and enjoy this day of sunshine, smack in the middle of winter.  

For those of you on my email list, you’ll be receiving advance released links to:

 
 
With Adam gone, Liz is faced with the truth that a Reader is useless without a Book. Determined to find him again, she comes out of hiding only to discover another truth: every Book has a Writer.
 
 
 
 
Meet Grandma Becky. She's pulled up a chair at her kitchen table and set out her favorite mugs filled to the brim with her special hot cocoa. Stay awhile and hear some stories about the farm she grew up on, her family, and the adventures they had together.


For those of you who aren’t on the list, look for them here in two weeks. If you’d like to join the tribe and get early access to our Freed books, you can sign up here.

 
 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February Ubook Releases

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Here are the February's Ubook releases! Enjoy.  
 
 
 
 
Strange things happen to Liza Brown. Buildings fall down. Libraries start on fire. But the strangest of all is him--the phoenix who expects her to drop everything and follow him. View The Freed Book edition here.






Shifting Sands by Elizabeth Seckman is a prequel to Past Due, the first book in the Coulter Men series. In the series, each of the three Coulter brothers has his chance to tell his story and find his happily ever after. In this story, Angel, the broken girl who sets the stage for her sister’s tragedy, gets a chance to tell hers. View the Freed Book edition here.




 
Meet Grandma Becky. She's pulled up a chair at her kitchen table and set out her favorite mugs filled to the brim with her special hot cocoa. Stay awhile and hear some stories about the farm she grew up on, her family, and the many adventures they had. View the Freed Book edition here.
 
 
 
 
 
On Meadowbrook farms live three sheep, fifteen chickens and two little girls with their parents. So begins this delightful tale by Liz Daniels where playhouses come in all shapes and sizes, but don't necessarily last forever. Illustrated by Gail DiCarlo, music by Nathan Moran. View the Freed Book edition here.
 
 
 
 
 
A sad but quirky romance by Melanie Schulz where time is precious and life is something not to be missed. View the Freed Book edition here.