Open Letter to Authors and Publishers

Dear Authors and Publishers,

Growing up, I wasn’t much of a reader. When I did read, it was mostly thrillers (a la Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan) and Choose Your Own Adventure books. I loved the CYOA books because I could be in control by making decisions that would drive the characters through (and throughout) the story, thus controlling the overall outcome. And of course there was the added bonus of re-reading the book and getting a difference outcome each time. (I would even re-read books again and again to try to get the perfect outcome.) But here’s my dilemma: since the CYOA books are geared towards children, and there doesn’t seem to be a chance for adult-themed books, there’s a void to fill. And that’s where YOU come in.

If you accept a dance with the Duke, go to page 5. If you decide that your dance card is full for the evening, go to page 89.

I, for one, would love to see Choose Your Own type romance books and I know I’m not the only one. When I brought this up on Twitter a few months back, other readers voiced their wanting to read these kind of books as well. I even saw some authors ‘favorite’ my tweet.

If you agree to go on the blind date your BFF set up for you, go to page 112. If you turn down your BFF’s idea and decide to take up your sexy neighbor’s dinner invite, go to page 66.

The main concern that was voiced by authors was that of trademark/copyright. Trust me when I say that I am no expert on copyright or trademark laws but I do remember reading a book similar to the set up found in the CYOA books. In fact, I featured it here on The Book Vixen. The book was What If…Everyone Knew Your Name written by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James and it is part of the ‘Choose Your Destiny’ line. The book was fun to read but it’s set in high school so it’s geared towards a young adult audience. But my point here is that it’s being done.

If you decide to check out the BDSM dungeon, go to page 91. If you decide BDSM is not for you, go to page 15.

There’s a market out there for this type of book for romance readers and it can be done for any and all sub-genres. The question is, who’s going to fulfill that market?

 

xoxo
Brianna (The Book Vixen)

 

P.S. – Readers: feel free to chime in here. Would you like to read CYOA-type romance books?

 

ETA@AngelaJames informed me that Carina Press has been looking for interactive romance submissions since 2009.

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.

36 comments:

  1. I LOVED THE CYOA books - I vote for an adult version.

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  2. CYOA Romance would be AWESOME! Then, maybe, I wouldn't be yelling at the characters when they make poor love decisions.

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    1. This! We could (try) to avoid some of those TSTL decisions.

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  3. That would be so much fun! :-) And in Kindle format they could have even more options! My problem with the CYOA books is that I somehow always ended up dying or making poor choices. LOL

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    1. Ending up dead was a thing with the original CYOA books. LOL With romance novels, I guess the equivalent to that would be to lose the man? Or end up alone.

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  4. Challenge accepted!
    ;-D

    Funny fact: I've already been working on one of these.

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    1. Yay!! Can't wait to hear more details :)

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    2. oooh, Penny, seriously?? I can't wait to see how you're doing it!

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    3. I want to do it as an anthology with other authors where, as the reader chooses their adventure, a genre author is paired with the choice... more on this next week. I feel like I've let the cat out of the bag.

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    4. You've spilled the beans! I'll be on the lookout for an announcement.

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  5. OMG, how fun would that be. I have readers complain all the time about my characters decisions...it would be awesome to try to write a rom susp in this format. hmmm...

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    1. it would be awesome to try to write a rom susp in this format. hmmm...

      Yes please!

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  6. Sounds like a great idea! I have to admit that I only have read one CYOA book so far, but I would love to read more books in this genre. Although those page numbers might be a problem for e-books. It happens often that Goodreads insists a book has more pages than my Kobo says a book has. So this would complicate finding the right page to continue reading, or maybe with an e-book it would be possible to just click on your preferred optioon and then be brought to the right page instantly (not sure if this is possible). But overal I think this is a great idea and I would love to read a romance CYOA book.

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    1. I have a CYOA on my Kindle and it works great. Instead of "...go to page 56", you click on a hyperlink and you will get directed to that part of the Kindle book. It uses the same 'magic' as chapter links and 'about the author' links found in Kindle ebooks.

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    2. Awesome! I didn't know that actually existed already. I usually read on my Kobo and never click the chapter links, lol.

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  7. Hi Brianna!

    I loved your post and it took me back to the late 1970's and early 1980's when my sons were in Grade School and were avid readers of Make Your Own Adventure books! They loved them so much that they also got all their friends to read them as well (which made for some upset mothers who called as asked what I'd done to their sons who no longer wanted to watch TV but instead either go outside to read or heaven forbid be taken to the library or book store!).

    I love romance stories and I'd like to "join your campaign" to have "Choose Your Own Romance" books. I'm sure the other readers have all picked up a book at some point in time when they really didn't like the "hero, heroine, villain, etc." and think how wonderful it would be to go to a different chapter and pick a new "fill in blank" instead?

    Now we just need to know where to send the donations to get the campaign going!

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    1. There are a few CYOA-type romance books out there already* but I really feel like there could be a line of them (like how Harlequin** has its Blaze, Presents, and Superromance lines) and I honestly think it would be successful.


      *I will add comments to this post with book details when I get wind of CYOA-type romance novels.

      **Hey Harlequin, I'm looking at YOU. You can totally take this idea and make it flourish.

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  8. I've been getting tweets about CYOA-type romance novels:

    Christine d'Abo has one coming out on 8/13/2013 from Carina Press - Choose Your Shot: An Interactive Erotic Adventure. It's book 5 in the Long Shots series but, from what I can tell on Goodreads, it's the first book in the series to be an interactive read.

    Another one tweeted to me was Pick Your Pleasure by Jayne Rylon. This one is a self-published title that was released last December. It's $3.99 for 180 pages, which is usually too expensive for me, but considering that this book is essentially multiple stories in one, it seems reasonable.

    I've added both of these books to my TBR list.

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  9. I guess I'm willing to give it a shot, but I have to admit, I have no real interest in a CYOA book. I like to read an author's vision, not to create my own. If I see one that sounds interesting, I'll try it, and who knows, maybe I will like it.

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  10. OMG! The writing cogs in my brain are a-churning. I have so many romance and erotica romance ideas on the backburner that would be perfect for this type of platform. Having never read a CYOA book in my life, now I have to go read some.

    Curse you, Brianna! (And thanks for your genius.) ヅ

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  11. I loved, loved, loved the CYOAB when I was a kid. Excellent idea!

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  12. You know what they say -- "If you want a type of book that hasn't been written..." Write it yourself. I personally think that a CYOA Romance would be fantastic. I don't know how you aspire as far as writing, like a few of us book bloggers wish, but that could be fun. It could also be a great join adventure for a few aspiring writers. *hint hint*

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    1. I would totally cheer you on in this endeavor! But as far as myself writing a book, I am just not a writer. I leave the storytelling to the professionals ;)

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  13. I've considered doing a CYOA book on iPad. You could actually insert links to the pages.

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  14. I love the BDSM at the end. LOL I would totally read that.

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    1. I'm trying out a BDSM erotic CYOR book right now. I'll let you know how it goes. I'll be live-tweeting it under #PickYourPleasure.

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  15. Yes! I actually think one of my friends recently read a CYOA romance. I need to check on that.

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    1. I'd love to know which one, if you find out :)

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  16. Please do a review of PICK YOUR PLEASURE for us so we know how you liked it :) I used to love reading the CYOA books when I was young, a LONG time ago, LOL.

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    1. I definitely will post a review for Pick Your Pleasure. I've read it once through already; I plan to read it once more picking the other selection for the first decision.

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  17. Brianna, CYOA books were some of my very favorite as a child. This could be done SO well in this day and age of computers. The stakes could be higher, where you couldn't just flip to the next page if you didn't like the outcome. (You'd have to start the digital book over or something.) Also, authors are getting used writing fast and having several releases per year, and it seems this volume would be needed to write so many alternate plot paths. I give this idea of adult CYOA two thumbs way up--and think it would be the ultimate book experience! :)

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  18. What a cool idea! I loved those CYOA books and would love to see an adult romance version.

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  19. I'm so excited to see a bunch of people interested in interactive romance novels(CYOA is a trademarked brand so I never use that term, FYI). My brother actually suggested I give it a try and after that there was no looking back. It was so much fun I'm doing two more this summer. So far Pick Your Pleasure has been very well received by fans *fingers crossed* I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!

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    1. Good to know, about CYOA being a trademarked brand. I've seen the term 'interactive romance' around and that fits.

      I have read Pick Your Pleasure and it was a fun read. (Of course I went back an read all the other possible options.) I'm looking forward to book 2 and 3.

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