Love is in the air, with Valentine’s Day round the corner. But what about your very own romance in the form of a personalised book? Canada-based publishing house Book By You is selling thousands of personalised romance novels each year with titles such as ER Fever and Pirates of Desire, where the reader is the star, and the reader’s love interest the leading lady or leading man!
To concert their own romances into open books, customers have to answer 20 to 30 questions about themselves and their beloved, ranging from body type to pet names. The details are woven into one of the company’s eight pre-formatted novels. The books are modelled after traditional romance novels: a tense plot, a happy ending and a few stolen kisses along the way. Clients can even have their photos added to the book jacket. One customer even had a marriage proposal included at the end for $34.95, plus shipping and handling. Publisher Michael Pocock says virtually all orders are done on the Internet. Kym Sprague, who bought a book for her boyfriend of three years, said she got a kick out of seeing her and her boyfriend’s names and lives played out in the book. She even let her daughters take a peek, but only at certain pages.
The books have no explicit sex scenes, but the company says there is “lots of heavy breathing and rolling around”. Pocock said each book is carefully crafted to avoid alienating any customer, avoiding topics like marriage or religion.
Although business booms around Valentine’s Day, followed by Christmas, orders are good through the year with books for wedding anniversaries and, lately, for spouses who are overseas at war.