Thursday, December 29, 2011

Freebies and Links

(9-12, ghosts, zombies, adventure) Ghost Town use coupon HZ98W click here
(YA, adventure, mystery, light romance) Cape Ingenue use coupon FT39H click here
(YA, adventure, mystery, light romance) Rogues Bluff use coupon PW82Q click here

These are YA/teen adventures, free ebook novels until Jan.1/2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Book - Holiday Freebies

Original stories are now on sale (i.e. FREE)...

The new ghost/zombie/pirate curse story for the nine to twelve year old set - Ghost Town - is now out as an ebook and is FREE until the New Year. It was published Dec. 22 and is now available for download in many ebook formats.

Also, still firmly in the spirit of the holiday, I've decided to make a couple of the other ebooks free as well. All of these ebooks can be downloaded from Smashwords. They will be made available at the Kindle site later. Only two of the teen novels are available as paperback novels at present - and the price is reduced. The links are below.

Ghost Town - a ghost/zombie adventure for the nine to twelve age group. Use coupon HZ98W for a free copy.
Cape Ingenue - a teen adventure (12+), treasure hunt, light mystery and romance. Use coupon FT39H for a free copy.
Rogue's Bluff - a teen adventure (12+), treasure hunt, light mystery and romance. The boy version of Cape Ingenue (half the same, half new story from the boy main character's perspective). Use coupon PW82Q for a free copy.

The regular prices for these ebooks are $0.99. The Cape Ingenue paperback is 8.99, and Chill Harbour is 15.99.

Links to paperbacks on Amazon:
Cape Ingenue 
Chill Harbour

Cover for the new book Ghost Town:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is a Custom Novel Too Creepy?

Well, I might as well say it. I was thinking it.

You might have been thinking it too.

So... is it?
Is a customized novel too creepy?
Is it an awesome novelty gift you would happily pay twice the price of a regular novel for, or would you think some psycho stalker dude is after you? I really hope you have some thoughts on this. I hope you can shed a little light on what you as a reader would want to have.That's why I dragged you all over here. 

So I'm asking - well, let's call a spade a spade - begging - for some feedback. Is customizing a novel really all that good an idea? Does staring in your own novel appeal to you or freak you out? As a normal reader - would you want your name, face and all sorts of other details about you crammed into a novel? Is being the star of a paperback adventure exciting or is it being a narcissistic dirt bag?  And if you had a customized novel would you show your novel with you on the cover to a friend or just feel weird about it? Would you worry that some creepy real stalker might get a hold of it? Would you worry that the person out there making the customized novel is a creepy stalker?

These are just a few of the negatives I can think of - believe me there are a lot more. I know that there are businesses out there that do this kind of thing regularly and they have all sorts of re-assurances. For example, they might not even see the details you fill out on their forms. They might just have some bot manipulation going on to replace your details with the details in the original story -so the 'personal' worry factor gets reduced. But what if a real person did the customization? What if it wasn't just a straight switching out of details a bot could do - say the author has to give you a bunch of nick names that rhyme with your real name or has to write an embarrassing event from your past into your story? Too freaky? Sometimes I think it's  like using the phrase 'hand made' to sell merchandise. Sure it might work for hand made crafts or furniture, but say, hand made ice cream? Ew. Yuck. Conjures up all sorts of nasty thoughts.

So,  just how creepy is it? There's a lot to think about. And I can only think up some of it. So please help me out by adding your thoughts to this list:

1. Everytime you turn around there's someone out there trying to steal your identity. It's scary. I don't even have to mention all the security you need just to be online. So how safe is all that information about you going to be when you transfer forms and things? Is your information going to a cloud? Is it secure? And what about all those pop up connection security notices and third parties? (This is a confusing last sentence I know - but all I can think of here is how when I sign into sites I often get that message that the connection isn't secure and my information might be seen by 'others.' What? How do we avoid that?).

2. If you want a novel with you in it, you have to give someone information about yourself. Maybe it's a bot and maybe it's not. You also have to give someone a picture of you. The novel has to get mailed to you. And what if you're a kid? You can see where I'm going with this? Creepy right?

3. What happens to all the information, pictures after you've got your novel?

4. Do you really want anyone to see a novel with you on the cover? Are all your friends going to think you're a conceited jerk and make fun of you?

Okay. That's a few of the concerns. But when I first started customizing novels - it really seemed like a good idea - time and costs involved not withstanding. I've customized a few of my novels for some young people and they enjoyed them. In fact some of them raved. (Possibly just because they stared in the novel - so maybe narcisism wins out in their cases or maybe not. Maybe they just liked the gimmick). Anyway, they encouraged me to do this on a larger scale. So I got started and then ... I waffled.

It's the creep factor.

Sure it's easy to do a detailed customization of one of my novels for someone I know, for children of friends or relatives. They know where I live and vice versa. They know me. But to turn it into a business online? I'm not that sure. What's the guarantee? If I order a custom novel how can I be re-assured that the supplier isn't some demented stalker or run of the mill nefarious evil doer bent on re-selling my information to the underbelly of society? And then there's the other side of it to.What if the person I make a customized novel for is some demented stalker nefarious evil doer? What then?

Like I said - I really need some feedback.  So... custom novelling a good idea or just too creepy? And if it's too creepy, what would concern you most about a customized novel? What did I miss? And for the other side...What would make you less creeped out about it? ( Not answering all of the questions on forms that give out information about you? Knowing the person who is making the book for you? Having the book mailed to a friend, relative or your parent's work? Please add your comments on that too).

Anyhow, thank you for reading this post and thinking about it. And please go ahead and add your comments now. I promise my future posts won't be quite this tedious.

Need a New Cover (Feedback Welcome!)

Here's the thing....
I really need a new cover for the Cape Ingénue novel. Try as I might, I still can't make it awesome or grab worthy. Below are my latest attempts at improving. I know the cover can make or break a decision to buy a book - so - this is what I can come up with. I'm not  a designer (obvy). And no - I can't afford a real designer in case that was your next suggestion. So... Anyone care to leave a comment? Which is the lesser -est of the several evils? If this was your book, what cover would you go with? Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I will probably go with the cover that people vote as the least 'meh.'

Yes three of them look the same. The first two and the last one just have the title/author name re-arranged. The third is the original Amazom cover tweaked to have a nearly invisible compass rose added (lower left) and very ghostly image of a girl's face over the water. The original Amazon and Smashwords covers are below (the ones I started with). -----> See post below this.

Original Covers

The top cover is the the thumbnail on smashwords, the bottom is the one on amazon (okay but very boring). Go with a new cover or stick with an old one? I think they're all pretty meh but the best of the bunch is probably the original Amazon cover tweaked a bit (above).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Congrats to all you NaNoWriMos!

Thank you again NaNoWriMo for the incredible inspiration! And all that pressure!

Just finished a first draft and now working on it.  Ghost Town - is a zombie apocalypse adventure for the 9 - 12s. What's that you ask? You must be kidding. A zombie apocalypse for kids? After Halloween? Of course. Aren't zombie stories still popular with kids?

Anyway... Check back for the first customizable edition somewhere around mid December. Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Pages Added

Building oh so slowly.......... Yay. Finally. I'm adding a couple of new pages here. One for book reviews - because I like to read and pass really good stuff on to others. I'm also adding a page for the customized paperback novels (YA genre). There are only two stories available for customization at present - it looks like four but that's just because there are girl and boy versions of the stories. Another story - one for the 9-12 age group will be added in a few weeks. As always I will publish it as an ebook first to get feedback (It's soooo hard to get feedback!). I'll post links here and on FB the minute it's done. Also If there's anyone out there that customizes novels and you want to add your link here - just let me know. I'd be happy to help. And as always - send me your suggestions! I could use some! This blog gets no views. Ah well. Happy reading everyone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Read or Leave a Review - Pick Up a Freebie - Choose a Cover

Remember there's a free teen ebook until Nov.7 (see last post). It's here:
(Use coupon code FY72Q at checkout).

So which cover is better?

This is the boy version of Cape Ingénue (see a review here:
These novels  - Cape Ingénue and Rogue's Bluff - are published as general teen adventure novels but I don't have many outside opinions. Let me know what you think - are they suitable for customization in your opinion? (Particularly Rogue's Bluff - Is the main character too rough for some boy reader to step into those shoes? Pick up your free copy and let me know. Thanks!)

Free E-book... So... Reviews Anyone?

Here it is. Use coupon FY72Q and it's free.

Why is it free? Honestly, it may still need work. I didn't get any outside eyes - and it just took too long. I'm guessing I'll have to update/ new edition it as soon as I can. Or shelf it as a publication. So I'm putting it out for free to get some readers and reviewers. Impatience is a terrible flaw, but, well, I think I have company. If I had any money I would have sent it to an editor.

Hope you enjoy it anyway. It's roughly half new stuff and reworked old stuff to form a boy's version of Cape Ingenue. It was just written to be one of the customized novels so I really hope to hear back from a couple of people out there. What do you think? Is the main character Colt too rough for the customized novel crowd? Please leave comments or a review on the smashwords page. Thanks!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moving Website

I will be moving from the website Yes I paid for the domaim but I don't want to upgrade my web hosting to three+ times the cost. So in the next couple of months I will be working on my google hosted site.(
Other news: finished the boy version of Cape Ingenue. Still looking for a title and a couple of reviews - so it's free to anyone who wants to review it and post their review. Leave a comment here or email me at: itsyournovel at hotmail dot com. (I check for comments about once or twice a week, email almost every day.)
Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

News - We tried the 24 Hour Comics Day - share your Comics Day adventure

This year we tried our first 24 Hour Comics Day. Wow. Two of us even made it through successfully. The rest of us... well, not so much. There's always next year. The winners may even publish their work as an ebook. Can't wait to see it! (I've already offered to help if they want to use Smashwords - because I think Smashwords is awesome, personally).

Anyway, we're sharing a link to the site we made for posting pics (it's also the site I may end up moving my current site to - haven't decided. For now it's just the 24 Hour Comics Day stuff). It's

If you tried the 24 Hour Comics Day - let me know how it went. Post your comments here. Love to hear about it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Links to the books on the Apple iStore

 To find the books at the iStore:

Cape Ingenue

Chill Harbour


For a limited time.... the ebooks are free if you use the coupon codes below:

FT24Z for Cape Ingenue
EM95X for Chill Harbour

Cape Ingenue

The second of the novels for customization.

Here's the link for the Smashwords eBook: Cape Ingenue. It's cheap at $0.99 for a quick teen read, but 30% can be read for free online. It's better than the first but starts out on the slow side (a little dark with a bit too much description in the first chapter but it gets better and changes direction afterwards). But it was enjoyable. That was one of the comments I received. Again - my kids and their friends loved it and it works well as a customized novel. The paperback is $10 (still a little pricey I think) and available on Amazon and Create Space.

The first couple of novels.

Here's the link to the first of the two teen novels available for customizing Chill Harbour. You can read the first 30% online for free. As a 600+ page novel (200,000 plus words) it's still pretty cheap at $1.99 for for an eBook. The paperback is available on Amazon and Create Space - but it's pricey ($21 -ouch). I guess size really does matter sometimes.

Anyway - check it out if you like the teen horror/adventure/angsty romance genre. It was my first completed novel and I will admit that the writing's not the best (really it gets pretty bad in some places). That said, my kids loved it anyway. They like that kind of thing and it helped that the monsters were kind of gross and twisted, but at the same time a bit silly. It works well as a customized novel. There's a guy's version of it as well - but it's still in editing. I'll post it for eveyone when it's available.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Read a book? Leave your comment... and Thanks!

If you've read one of the novels, please leave you comment! Tell me what you think of the stories.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Latest cover.

This is the latest cover for the Chill Harbour novel.

Old book covers

Here's the website photo... some of the first covers.

Book pics.

Adding some pics from the teen novels available. Some of these titles have changed. The customized versions include the title and your name. Your picture is inserted on the cover, similar to the examples in the photos.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It started out a couple of winters ago when I did up a little kids' book for my niece. It was a simple story with lots of pictures customized for one little girl. I wrote the story, drew the pictures, cut and pasted my niece's picture and used a print on demand service to publish it as a book. The print on demand (POD) publisher I used at the time was  Blurb - which was pretty awesome I have to say. The problem was that it was pricey and time consuming work. It wasn't something I could do for a living. But I didn't want to give up on the idea of doing something like that. So I thought about doing something else. Maybe bigger. Something like a novel for older children, my own childrens' ages maybe.

Unfortunately, this created another problem. I had to write something. And I'm not a writer. But really, what was there to stop me from trying? I was living in a small town. Work was slow and the winter was long. So I gave it a shot. It wasn't easy and now I have nothing but respect for people that actually can and do write. What a poop load of work it is! But since I already had kids, I was pretty used to poop. And I don't give up easily.

So when I finally finished the first story (and to be honest it's still not really finished - there will probably be a sequel) it was well over five hundred pages. By the time I formatted it, it was six hundred and forty pages. Realizing that was probably overkill for the average teen, I wrote a second unrelated story - only one hundred and eighty pages.Of course my original goal of a three to four hundred pager (average teen fiction book size)is still floating around somewhere. So I'm now working on a third ... but who knows what will happen with that? I might reach my goal, or...

I might get a real job.


When I asked my daughters what they thought of reading about themselves as protagonists, holding that real book in their hands and seeing their faces on the covers...  they confessed that they loved it. They both really liked the Cape Ingenue story, and my youngest loved the Chill Harbour one. She's been pestering me for a sequel, but she'll probably have to wait a while. Like I said, I'm not a writer.

On the upside, no one's complained that the writing is terrible. Those who have read the individualized novels - and gotten back to me - have enjoyed them. Even my picky older daughter has said, "Yeah Mom, the writing's really okay."

Not a glowing review, but I'll take it. Please remember, I was aiming for pulp. Not literature.

I have even done a few of these novels as gifts for friends of my daughters and so far the response has been positive. I think these novels make a very unique gift.

That's really all there is to it. I guess it's experimental as a business just now and I'll have to wait and see how it goes. There may be others out there doing this kind of thing successfully - and I just haven't found them yet. Oh well. If you happen to bump into such a site on the Internet, please feel free to let me know. I'd be curious to find out if making this a successful and affordable endeavor is even plausible.

One last thing about these books: The novels are probably most suited to teen girls in the twelve to fifteen age range, but my youngest was eleven when she read hers. I have read far more controversial teen novels than either of these ones, but I still think there is enough mature content to put the books in a teen category.

As I mentioned before, there is one more novel in the works - a book for the nine to twelve age set, with the option for a girl or a boy to be the main character. It will probably be available in the summer.