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Founders of YourNovel.com Personalized Novels Encourage Dreamers to Act on Their Good Ideas
NC couple followed their hearts to create unique publishing company that changed their lives
That spark of an idea soon became a full-fledged business, and their concept has remained a year-round hit, but especially as one-of-a-kind Valentine's gifts. Their big idea was to create a personalized romance novel where any couple could become the main characters. Thirty-one years later they're still at it as YourNovel.com.
They have been featured in more than a thousand radio, TV, magazine and newspaper interviews including "The Today Show," USA TODAY, ABC-TV's "The View," People magazine, Elle, Bridal Guide, Reader's Digest, Entrepreneur and more.
What sparked the idea? While working in public relations serving on a conference panel, Newbern fielded the icebreaker question: "What would folks be surprised to find out about you?" She responded that she'd written a yet-to-be-published romance novel. Good-natured chuckling ensued.
Over lunch, a friend commented, "Wouldn't it be great if you could star in one of those novels?" On the long drive home, then-boyfriend (now hubby) Fletcher commented, "You know we could do that." Newbern agreed and grabbed a manila envelope from the glove box and started outlining a story that anyone could star in.
After figuring out how to customize each book using personal information provided by each customer — names, workplaces, eye color, hair color, best friends, nicknames and many other individual details, they got to work.
"It's been quite the journey," Fletcher added. "When we tell people what we do, that we're travel writers and romance novelists, they're in awe. The big difference is we acted on our great idea, and we are able to work for ourselves, which is a dream come true. We also knew if we didn't take the plunge to see if we could create a whole new publishing genre that we'd always regret it."
"We're proud to be the original creators of customizable adult romance novels and, more importantly, the gold standard of the industry," said Newbern.
http://www.YourNovel.com is all about options — offering "wild" or "mild" versions of each book in terms of the romantic interludes; adding an uploaded photo to become part of a book's existing cover; or even using a treasured photograph to create the entire book cover.
"Over the years," said Fletcher, "our books have been called the 'Ultimate Vanity Valentine,' and we've been labeled 'Computerized Cupids.' We love that job title."
And it all started by acting on a good idea.