Sunday, December 17, 2017

R.I.P. Textnovel.Com

Textnovel.Com announced that it is closing.  This was a cool site.  Literary agent Stan Soper created it after being inspired by the success of cell phone novels in Japan.  When the site started, I was serializing Blog Love Omega Glee on the blog here, so I also posted it there (by the way, any links to Textnovel.Com won't be working about a week or two from now) for a while where it became a finalist for their 2008 contest.   They even ran an interview with me back then.  I liked the idea of fiction being written text message by text message, so I wrote a story using the 160 character limit of text messages, and since a lot of the Textnovel.Com readers seemed to dig paranormal type fiction, I wrote it in that genre.  That was the first version of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead. When I went back to the site though to post it, they had made some changes, and I didn't like it as much, so I ended up not posting it there and turned it into a novel instead.  Still, it was a cool site, and it has been interesting to watch the concept of a cell phone novel develop.  Today, I'm often reading a novel on my cell phone (currently, it is The Derz's Prince Among The Dregs), and that's a great way to read my novels (except for The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, which once it goes out of print, I will work up an epub version).  So if you haven't finished reading anything on Textnovel.Com, you better finish reading it quickly as you only have until the end of the year before the site gets the plug pulled.  Of course, that assumes the writer actually finished the story.  As with blognovels, I seem to be one of the few authors who would actually see something through to the end.  A lot of good books never got finished, which is a shame.  Though it's fun to work without a net as the old saying goes (it can actually provide motivation to get through the hard work of writing a novel as even a bad novel takes some effort to create), it's probably a bit unfair to readers to never finish a story.  Either stick to the November Novel Writing and don't publish it if you don't finish it, or grind it out if you have it once you started serializing something.  I worked without a net twice, but the third novel I didn't publish until it was all done.  That's probably how I'll work in the future, but I'll still miss the thrill of getting feedback from readers while the work is being created, and that was something Textnovel.Com gave me.  


  1. It looks like at some point the Textnovel.Com data got hacked as I just got a scam email from someone with my old password wanting me to give her or him bitcoin so he or she wouldn't post my Webcam video. Personally, I would love to see my Webcam video since I don't have a Webcam, but I did not send any bitcoin on the principle that blackmailing scammers should give me money for wasting my time.

  2. Stan - Richard Curtis here, a literary agent and I'm trying to reach Stan Soper. If you have new contact info please email me at Thanks! Richard

  3. I emailed Richard. With luck, he found Stan.

  4. Good Afternoon, I don't think Text novel should be closing its site...potential publishers and authors will miss.
    Maybe, A new one in the future?

    Lisa Coleman

  5. The site appears to be gone. It got hacked at one point and the hackers tried to extort money from the users by announcing they had the passwords from the site (and they did). With luck, everyone was like me and had a password specific to that site, so the threat to leak a dead password didn't work. As for the longterm success of the site, Stan Soper is probably best suited to judge that. It was a cool idea, but it doesn't appear as if the cell phone novel idea really took root here in the USA. Much of the publishing world seems the same as ever. There's the genre stuff, there's the NPR/college stuff, and so on. I still find interesting things to read, but one has to dig. Along those lines, if anyone is looking for something fun to read, might I suggest a Wred Fright novel?


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