Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Little About Ubooks

What is a Ubook? That's a question I get a lot. Ubooks are a brainchild come to life, born back in my teens when I listened to music while I read--the music just seemed to bring the books to life somehow. And when I began writing my own books, I wrote to a playlist of songs that brought Joel and Rachel to life for me.

I can still remember going to my first SCBWI conference six years ago and telling someone how great it would be if somehow they figured out how to put books to music. Their response was: "I think they already have that." And with that the idea was buried. It didn't hit me that that same answer was given to me numerous times that conference, only those times it was in reference to the book I was pitching. I think that particular message is the favorite saying at conferences to crush the hearts and souls of the authors brave enough to put their work out their.
 
Anyways...

As it turns out, no one had written my book before, and no one had invented a way to combine books with music. The idea sprang back up again sometime last year, after my series was done. I thought about how cool it would be if my readers could experience my books the way I had, with the music that had so captured me. And then I remembered my book trailer that I had made so many years ago.


 The Newstead Project Trailer


It combined the story with words--sure it was just a line or two, but who was to say that's all it had to be? I was onto something, I just knew it. I started playing around with it and the first few tries were epic failures. The fonts didn't show up right, and the timing was still an issue, but I kept working with it and pretty soon I had it the way I always dreamed it could be: A page of text, appearing at reading speed, set to music. Ubooks were born.

The first Ubook: The Newstead Project, chapter one
 
 
In my excitement to show everyone the idea, it didn't take long before someone hinted at coping it, so earlier this year I filed a provisional patent on Ubooks.  Since then Black and White has published several chapters of The Newstead Project, both narrated and not, as well as Erron and Alphabet Soup. During that process Black and White picked up a few people to join our team who are as excited about this as we are: Marketing Director: Mikaela Burns, Musical Director: Nathan Moran, Illustrator: Gail DiCarlo, and Author: Judy Dickinson. We are thrilled to be working with such an amazing team, and because of them, Black and White is now open to submissions. I'll post more next week on what we're looking for exactly, until then you can check out our site here.
 
See you Friday,