Friday, August 26, 2016

Five Year Goals in Review


Sorry about the lack of posts lately—just trying to squeeze out the last rays of summer. But post I must, because today is the last Friday of the month, which makes it time to review my five year goal (four years left). Thanks to Misha Gericke for putting this on each month.  

My goal: To have a world-class publishing company.

For only being a year into it, it’s going very well. Ubooks are patent pending, we just signed three new authors:  Milo James Fowler (a collection of flash fiction to be released in November), Rebekah Leder (author of The Farm—to be released in December—a Laura Ingallsish middle grade collection about life on a 1950’s farm), and Liz Daniels (author of Garden House—to be released late December/January—a whimsical picture book about a giant pumpkin turned playhouse). I’m super excited to be working with these three amazing authors.

Also, expect to see some of my own work over the next couple months: The Reader, The Writer, and The Open Book (a short story trilogy to be released in October—a dark tale about a girl who can read things to life and a boy just waiting to be read) and In Lord Shadow’s House (to be released on Halloween—a short horror about getting what you wish for). Both of these have been major works of love for me, so I’m super excited to have them out there. In September I plan to get back to my regular blogging schedule, and hunt down new work and new authors/illustrators/musicians. If you have an amazing story and feel like saving me some time, you can submit it to me at: melanie@melanieschulz.com . That’s about it for me; busy, but in a very, very good way. How about you?
 
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG: Time/Life Management

First Wednesday of the Month

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, making it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. Today I’m in a new frontier. My writing career up to this point has been very whimsical when the juices are flowing type of thing. Yes, I have regular writing hours, but they're (often) interrupted by this thing called life. And that was okay. Now I have deadlines and release dates for works other than my own and all that has changed. Things need to get done.  For the first time in my life I have a (sort-of) 9-5 type of job. And it’s summer, and the kids want to live this thing called life with me. So, what am I insecure about this month? My inability to balance it all. Any suggestions?




 
 
 
 
 
*Hey, Everyone! Click out the right sidebar for free Ubooks! If you have a story you’re interested in submitting as a Ubook, email me at: melanie@melanieschulz.com

Friday, July 29, 2016

Writer's Retreat/Five Year Goal in Review

Last Friday of the Month
 
I’m back. Last week I’d planned on taking my computer on a much needed writer’s retreat. My goal: finish the sixteen short story pieces for this October’s release of Sister’s Grimm. But like everything in life, plans change. I left the computer at home. It was a last second decision, but it was the right one. I’d told myself not having WiFi would be enough to keep me focused on my work, but as the time drew near for the trip, I realized that wasn’t entirely true. I could work on Ubooks all day long without WiFi. So I left it home and brought a nature journal with me instead. That’s actually how I started writing in the first place, so it felt right, and it was. I jotted out the rest of the stories and had plenty of time left to enjoy nature and some time with my son. Win. Win.

Also, today is the last Friday of the month, which makes it time to review some goals. I’m part of an initiative began by Misha Gericke, where you make a long term goal (five years) and review how it’s going each month. My goal is to have a world class publishing house. How’s it going? Very, very well. For years I never solicited authors because I didn’t think I could give them anything they couldn’t get for themselves. Let’s face it; an indie author can hire an editor, cover designer, marketer and sell the book themselves. Why would they need me taking a piece of their pie? I didn’t want to take on an author unless I thought I could really be of use to them. And now I can.

With Ubooks*.

I truly believe they’re going to be huge. Think about it: combining books with music, no limits on backgrounds and fonts—and best yet—they’re free.

So what does this have to do with my goal of having a world-class publishing house? Simple. No one else is publishing Ubooks; they can’t; there’s a patent pending on them. While they’ll never replace books—and I don’t want them to—they’re a creative new way for author’s to reach their readers on a much deeper, more personal level, and let’s face it; it’s another avenue for revenue. Early on when I came up with this crazy thing, I decided to be generous, very generous. Authors will receive 40% gross on all monies received (from commercials). And if they come with a cover, they will receive even more (5%). The only exceptions to this are picture books. Author and illustrator will each get 25%. Why so generous, you might ask? Simple. Author’s with something to gain will promote more. Another win/win. Right now I’m looking at/for flash fiction and picture books. Later, when this idea takes root, I’ll take on full length novels. If you’re interested, feel free to submit your work to me at melanie@melanieschulz.com . For some of you, I’ve been stalking your pieces, so don’t be surprised if I email you in the next few months with an offer.


Have a great weekend!

 


 

 

 
 
*Ubooks are musically enhanced video books.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Writer's Retreat


Nest week I’m embarking on something I’ve wanted to do for years: a writer’s retreat—not a thing to do but write—all meals made, no cleaning to do, just me and my computer. But, there is a draw back—no WiFi—which means no post for next week. Sorry about that that, but I hope to make up for it the week after with all the details. Have any of you gone on a writer’s retreat before? The one I’m going to isn’t as seclusive as I’d like; there’s still electricity and civilization nearby, but since I write on a computer, those were compromises I had to make. For those of you who’ve taken one, do you have any suggestions?

My work list:

I plan on finishing my part of Sisters Grimm, a project I’m working on with my sister Emily White, to be released in October. Also, I’m creating a short story trilogy Ubook: The Reader, The Writer, and The Open Book, which I hope to release in September. There is another project I’m procuring right now that I’m so excited about, but I don’t think the contract will be finalized until after I get back, so I won’t be able to work on that. L But I will be thinking about it… I’ll pass on more details as soon as they’re available.

Also, thanks for all the love concerning Jellyfish Jones. Your suggestions were great!
 
 
 
Have a wonderful week everyone!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG

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

This month I’m doing Camp NaNo, which has me insecure for about a million reasons. Because of Ubooks, and editing work for others, I haven’t sat down and all-out written for what seems like years (about 8 months, actually), so sitting down every day and pumping out that word count is super intimidating for me. Thankfully Panera has free coffee all this month—I’m going to need it!

Thanks everyone for spreading the word about Jellyfish Jones! Here it is for those of you who missed it last week, Black and White’s very first picture book Ubook:

 

Also, just wanted to give a shout out to all the fellow authors for the IWSG Anthology; t was so great being included in this amazing project with each and every one of you.

 


Because the kids are off(and I’m killing myself with NaNo) I will only be posing once a week for the months of July and August. Have a great weekend everyone!
 
 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jellyfish Jones Release


Here it is!
 
Jellyfish Jones
Jellyfish Jones wants to play on the beach with his friends, but his mother says, “No!”
Will he listen?
Join him as he catches the next wave onto the sand with disastrous results. Maybe his mother was right. Maybe jellyfish should stay in the sea.
 
*Feel free (please, please) to share this with as many people as you can. In fact, if you have any ideas on how to get this in front of lots and lots of kids, please let me know.
 

 

 

 

 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five Year Project Review TIme

Last Friday of the Month

It’s that time again—the last Friday of the month, which makes it Five Year Goal review time.

Thanks to Misha Gericke  for putting this on each month. If you feel like joining us, you can; just sign up here.

My goal is to have a world-class publishing company, and since I’ve been at this for a while it’s more like four year review time: 2020.

I know it’s a big goal, but why not? Stranger things have happened. And it’s going well. Black and White is publishing its first picture Ubook* next Wednesday, with more to follow. I am actively seeking authors, so if you have a fantastic piece of flash you’d like made into a Ubook*, email it to me at melanie@melanieschulz.com.

What will it look like for me to publish my story as a Ubook? First, we’ll get you linked onto our Youtube channel. Eventually, it’s our goal to set up a direct App for people to access our Ubooks, but until then YouTube is how we're going. These stories will be free for our readers to enjoy. I feel this is one of the great advantages Ubooks has. People are used to getting their books for free between Bookbub, Kindle First, etc. This mentality has made it very difficult for the new author to break into the market. Ubooks are the solution. The books are free, just as the reader has come to expect. If they're free, how do I get paid? Like Pandora is to music, Ubooks are to books. A short commercial viewed at the beginning of the video is how income is generated. More views, more income. The sky's the limit. That's why social media and marketing are so important. How much do I get paid? Royalties will work like this: For picture books, the author will receive 25% gross of all royalties received; the illustrator will receive the same. For works without illustrations, the author will receive 40% gross. How long does it take to get my piece published? That depends. If it’s a picture book, it may take a while—long enough for one of our illustrators to complete the pictures. If it’s a standard piece of flash, then it can be up and generating hits in as little as two weeks.

Interested? I’d love to hear from you.