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.