Thursday, May 13, 2010

What is a Text Novel?

Last year Dorchester Publishing, one of the fine purveyors of humorous paranormal and speculative romances beloved by the staff of the Otherworld Diner, ran a contest for the "Next Best Celler". This didn't have anything to do with how attractive your new tornado shelter designs were (despite the fact I am currently hankering for one -- what can I say? I live in Tornado Alley). This was a contest run via a site called, where authors of serial fiction can post their work, for free at the general level. Readers can read everything for free or even have it sent to their phones or email programs in installments.

In specific, Textnovel encourages 'cell phone novels', which are really big in Japan and other places. The site claims to be "the first English language cell phone novel website, allowing members to write and read fiction with their cellphones or computers, using text messaging, email and online tools."

I didn't participate in the Dorchester contest for various reasons, but recently I did utilize the site to republish a paranormal romance short story I'd gotten the rights back to. It's a story about a girl, a panther and some bail money, and you can read the complete story here if you're curious:

I even earned an "Editor's Pick" badge at one point, which was nice, though I didn't pay money to be featured or premium. Though my little story didn't rocket to the top of the Textnovel charts, I did find it a handy distribution engine, very easy to use and direct readers to with a single link and commenting system. Built in social network, too, without having to bombard people to go visit my blog or website. I've also recently been considering rereleasing (or releasing) some short fiction for the Kindle. My friend Ellen Fisher has been having some great luck with her backlist of late. In particular her two SFRs, The Wrath of Jan and Never Love a Stranger, will be of interest to readers of this blog.

Has anyone else tried Textnovel, Kindle or any other similar sites of that ilk? Was your experiment beneficial or negative?

Jody W. *


  1. You know, I remember when the whole TextNovel contest started. I didn't understand it then. Probably because I'm text idiot. I've only sent 1 text message in my whole life. Thanks for clearing it up. Glad the techonology is working for you.

  2. Hmm. Really interesting idea.