Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have listed our most Frequently Asked Questions. To see the answers, click on the question. If you can't find the answer to a particular question, click here to contact us by email or call us toll free 1-877-898-1440.

 


   Q. What are the stories about?

Each 100- to 150-page paperback novel is a full-length, chapter book appropriate for children 6 to 12 years of age, and of course can also be read aloud.

In The Shutterbug Detective, our main character receives the gift of a phone under the condition of taking at least one picture every day to record their summer vacation. On the very first day he/she witnesses the theft of a bicycle and with the help of a good friend sets out to discover who the thief and the victim are. Added to the adventure is a missing pet and a friendly anonymous prankster. In solving the mysteries, the characters learn that things are not always what they seem and also the values of friendship, tenacity, and attention to detail. Click here to learn more about The Shutterbug Detective, and try a free personalized preview.

The star of our book, The Magician, is a young magician who bounds through this collection of adventures with a trusted friend. After a dramatic rescue from raging waters and helping to create an exciting bicycle race, our heroes fight gossip and rumor as they show the value of trust, loyalty and friendship surprising even themselves. The Magician is filled with magic that your someone special can learn, including sawing a woman in half, making an object float or sink at the will of the magician, and turning plain tap water into ice in an instant. Magic combines with mystery to create a real treat for young readers. Click here to learn more about The Magician, and try a free personalized preview.

In Riddles & Codes, riddles abound in this lively tale as readers have a chance to join the fun, ferreting out clever clues and decoding messages in multiple secret codes as the characters encounter a false friend, a new friend, and an elderly friend as they face challenges, setbacks and false leads. The hilarious final scene brings a big surprise you won't see coming. This personalized book is a treasure that brings lots of smiles. Click here to learn more about Riddles & Codes, and try a free personalized preview.

Song Quest lets your child explore a world of creativity and fantasy. When illness strikes the magic island of Bedlington, two best friends must save their families, bravely seeking the cure that lies beyond the sea. This talented pair use their wits and their musical skills amid a world of fantastic and fearsome creatures, from talking butterflies to a race of elves with a captive princess to a dangerous enemy of wild creatures called wolfagones. Song Quest will enthrall and encourage artistic creativity in children of all ages. Click here to learn more about Song Quest, and try our free personalized preview.

Fowl Play is filled with fun, mystery and adventure. The suspense begins when our lead characters witness a fire that destroys an old factory building owned by a quirky inventor studying animal communication. Our industrious young sleuths start collecting clues to uncover the mystery of who set the fire...and soon encounter a talking parrot, a mysterious pair of rival scientists, and a bunch of friendly animals. Who's behind the fire -- and why does the helpful parrot go missing? This fast-paced story of surprising twists and turns will keep young readers guessing!  Click here to learn more about Fowl Play, and try our free personalized preview.

Our first original children's novel, The Secret Code features two smart, puzzle-loving kids working hard to save up for a thrilling balloon ride. Their trip is jeopardized when a school project goes missing and their money vanishes! Now they must play detective and uncover the real-life mysteries, using their own clever code to pass vital messages, decipher clues, and determine who's telling the truth...and who's hiding a surprising secret. The Secret Code is filled with mysteries involving the things that truly matter to kids' lives, such as friends, family, loyalty, trust, pets, rivals, treats, games, special outings...even yucky school lunch!  Click here to learn more details about The Secret Code, and don't forget to try our free personalized preview.

In The Enchanted Castle, two children and their special pet journey to a mysterious old castle. Adventures unfold as they make new friends and discover an amazing array of secret jewels, including a charmed ring that grants wishes! The children perform magic tricks with an invisible friend, foil a robbery attempt, and meet statues that come to life. When the castle is in danger of destruction, the children must devise a plan to save their beloved playground.

The Enchanted Castle is adapted from the classic children's fantasy novel written by Edith Nesbit. Read and discover how smart children and a little magic can make for exciting adventures! Click here to learn more details about this delightful story, and also try our personalized preview.

The Phoenix and the Carpet begins when our two personalized characters discover an unusual egg within a magic carpet. The egg hatches into a remarkable, ancient talking bird - our Phoenix, who has a wise but haughty personality that helps, amuses and frustrates our young leads. When the Phoenix tells them the carpet can grant wishes and take them wherever they wish, the children launch themselves on a hilarious series of misadventures ... landing into trouble at every turn!  But thanks to their wits, imaginations, and courage, our main characters always work together to save the day.

The Phoenix and the Carpet is our funniest children's novel yet, thanks to the friendly but rather demanding Phoenix and its attempts to understand modern-day life.  In addition, the two children are continually surprised by the results of their wishes - at various times, they end up floating on the ocean, covered in marshmallow, surrounded by hundreds of hungry yowling cats, and even entertain an audience in an Indian bazaar! Click here to learn more details about this delightful story, and don't miss our personalized preview.

The Amulet tells the tale of a pair of children journeying across a magical backdrop in a search for their missing, beloved pet - guided by an ancient amulet.

Traveling through time, the youngsters experience a number of exploits first hand - they make friends with an Egyptian, introduce a sea captain to a compass, and help place a major archeological find in a museum.  Throughout their adventures, the friends are accompanied by the Psammead - the lovable but hilariously cranky creature first introduced in Two Children and It.  (Note: Though The Amulet continues the story begun in the earlier book, we have carefully ensured that both books can be read on their own.The Amulet also contains twelve illustrations and sketches, some of which you can see when you try out our personalized preview!  You can also click here to learn more details about this delightful story.

Like its sequels, Two Children and It is professionally bound in a 130-page paperback novel format.  The story includes four personalized characters: two children, an adult (who imparts occasional words of wisdom) and a pet! The tale centers around our two main characters who are on summer vacation. One day, while our dynamic duo are playing in an old gravel pit (digging a hole to Australia), they uncover a most unusual creature, called a 'Psammead' (pronounced - Sammyead).

The sand-fairy, as the children call it, is an ancient, ugly, irritable and cantankerous creature - its only redeeming feature is that it can grant wishes! Our characters each get a wish a day that lasts until sunset. Of course, our friends are overjoyed with this discovery, instantly thinking of all the things they've always wanted. But no matter how carefully the children plan, their wishes keep backfiring.

The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Amulet and Two Children and It were adapted from children's classics written by Edith Nesbit in the late 1800s.  Adapting Nesbit's The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet and Five Children and It (which was made into a film in 2004) was a challenge, but we are quite proud of the results! For those not familiar with Ms. Nesbit, she has written many children's classics that are now taught in classrooms across the country. Some of her more popular children's novels include The Railway Children and The Story of the Treasure Seekers to name but a few.

Our second personalized children's book, The Book of Dragons, was released in 2003 to rave reviews and consists of four stories professionally bound in a 130-page novel format.  It is wonderful as a bedtime story for youngsters, and also ideal as a chapter book for children of reading age.

The Book of Dragons was also originally written by Edith Nesbit in the late 1800s and has become a children's classic.  Book By You has updated and personalized these stories for you and your loved one's reading enjoyment.

What are the four stories about? In the first story our main characters embark on a hazard filled trip to the North Pole to investigate the Aurora Borealis. (Of course everyone knows that this is the Northern Lights - and if you don't, you will by the end of the story!) In our second story, our main characters befriend a witty and cunning Cockatrice, who masterminds a plan to deal with a dragon that has eaten our main character's hometown. In the third (and favorite) story, our character's mission is to save the world from a horde of dragons that have taken over the world. With much courage and determination, they save the world with the thanks and gratitude of the nation! And our last story is titled "The Last Dragon," which is aptly named because it is about our personalized characters saving the last dragon from extinction!  A more detailed description of this story can be found here, and you can also try a  personalized preview

We have also taken one of the stories and made it into an eStory that you can download as an email.  It is ten pages long, and is a great primer for The Book of Dragons.  To personalize and download the free eStory, click here.

Our first personalized novel, The Golden Key, was introduced in 2000 to great reviews. This book is a full-length (100 page) adventure novel that is based upon a story originally written in 1867 by George MacDonald.  MacDonald is a noted children's book author and mentor to authors such as C. S. Lewis, T. S. Elliott and Lewis Carroll, who credit MacDonald as one of the best storytellers to put pen to paper. We selected The Golden Key to launch our new series of children's books because of its rich values and traditional fairy tale qualities.

The Golden Key begins with our main character embarking upon an adventurous journey that begins with finding  a mystical golden key that is hidden at the end of a rainbow. The search for the keyhole is what guides our character's journey.  Our hero/heroine is joined by a friend and together they cross the 'Land of Shadows'.  During their trek our main characters become separated but with the help of  the Fairy Godmother, The Old Man of the Sea, The Old Man of the Earth, and the oldest man of all, The Old Man of Fire, they are reunited and find the answer to their dreams. We recommend this classic fairy tale for children aged 6-10.  Great as a bedtime story for youngsters and also ideal as a chapter book. A more detailed description of this story can be found here, and you can also try a personalized preview.

Our personalized novels will keep you and your child turning the pages!

Top of page

  Q. Do your books contain violence?  What about values?

Most of our books contain plenty of adventure but no violence.  

Song Quest does explore a few more serious themes, with some brief descriptions of peril for our personalized lead characters and a worrisome illness for their (fictional) families. Our lead characters must go into battle with some fearsome creatures, and one (non-personalized) character does die, not graphically. However, there is nothing in this book that wouldn't be found in Disney films such as The Lion King, Bambi or Tangled.  

Themes such as the value of friendship, creativity, perseverance and the importance of following your dreams are explored and uniquely presented in a manner only possible through a full-length personalized story. The themes and values are presented subtly to enhance the story, and in no way detract from the storyline.

Top of page

  Q. Do you have any books appropriate for older children or teens

Yes! We have Teen Book By You®, a division specifically for teens and tweens. Most of the personalized characters are of high school age, and the themes are generally more mature and aimed at children and young adults ages 11 and up. Visit http://TeenBookByYou.com for more details and a listing of all our available books.

Top of page

  Q. What do the books look like and how many pages do they have?

The Secret Code is 150 pages; Fowl Play and Song Quest are approximately  140 pages; The Enchanted Castle, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Amulet, Two Children and It and The Book of Dragons and The Magician are 130 pages, and The Golden Key is 100 pages. 

Our novels are professionally bound and are available in both paperback and hardcover editions. We use a 'perfect binding' process, which means each book looks and feels just like a classic paperback or hardcover novel—except infinitely better, because it's personalized! We also offer all our books in ebook editions and they look exquisite on a Kindle, iPad, Kobo or various other ereader devices.  We offer ebooks in ePub and PDF formats.

The covers are printed in dazzling full-color, with several options available for customization. You can even upload a photo and have it appear on the back cover, along with personalized text previewing the book. (We use the names you provide to personalize the back cover text when the photo cover option is selected.)

Our books are the same size as standard paperbacks and hardcovers: paperbacks are 4 1/4" x 7" (11cm x 18 cm) and hardcovers are 5 3/4" x 8 5/8" (14.5cm x 21.90cm). Our ebooks can be read on Kindle, iPads, Kobo or various other ereader devices.

Top of page

  Q. How long does it take for a book to be printed and shipped?

See the chart below for a current delivery schedule outlining the various shipping options. Please note that the delivery dates are different for paperback and hardcover editions. You will also find this chart on the order form, where you'll be asked to select a shipping option. We print our books in print runs that occur daily - order your book today and it will be printed tonight! Depending on the delivery option you select, you can receive your personalized book in just two days!  

SHIPPING OPTIONS AND ESTIMATED BOOK DELIVERY DATES
SHIPPING OPTION PAPERBACK HARDCOVER *
1st Class Mail   $4.95 Friday, December 16 Tuesday, December 20
Priority Post   $7.00 Wednesday, December 14 Friday, December 16
Courier Express**   $15.00 Monday, December 12 Wednesday, December 14
Overseas Air Mail   $9.00 Wednesday, December 21 Thursday, December 22
Overseas Courier***   $30.00 Tuesday, December 13 Thursday, December 15
Ebooks are available for download immediately upon order.
* Orders containing both paperbacks and hardcovers will be shipped together.
** Courier shipments within North America by Federal Express or UPS.
*** Courier to overseas locations by Federal Express.

Need to present a gift immediately, as in today? How about an ebook - these are downloadable immediately upon order.  Or print a personalized Gift Announcement! It's a charming way to say your gift is on its way. Click here to find out more about our personalized Gift Announcements. They're instant and almost as good as the real thing. The lucky recipient will 2hearts2.gif (1258 bytes) you for it!

If you are worried about the delivery time of your novel, email us at publish@bookbyyou.com or call 1-877-898-1440 and let us know - we will do our best to expedite the delivery. 

Top of page

  Q. What is a Personalized Gift Announcement?

The Personalized Gift Announcement is a certificate that is created and personalized by you and can be printed from our website immediately and given to the recipient of the novel.  You add your spouse or friend's name to the Gift Announcement to create a touching message that shows the recipient that you've taken the time and care to find a creative and fun gift. The gift announcement is created after you've placed your order and is part of the order confirmation page provided after completing the character questionnaire.

Click here to learn more and see a personalized sample.  Remember it's never too late to say I love you!  

Top of page

  Q. How much do the books cost?  What about multiple books?

The cost for each of our children's novels within the continental United States and Canada is $24.95 for paperbacks and $44.95 for hardcovers (USD/CDN), plus shipping. We also offer Priority Post and Courier Express shipping options.

Books shipped outside North America are billed in US dollars and charged an additional $9 shipping and handling. International courier shipping options are also available to many countries for additional fees.  For overseas/international orders, click for a currency calculator.

For orders to a single address, only one fee is charged no matter how many books are shipped. This also applies to expedited shipping options.  

Top of page

  Q. What types of payment do you accept?  Is it secure?

We can process your order online and accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal.  Our server uses SSL (Secure Socket Level) encryption. SSL ensures that the transmission of your transaction is safe and secure.  By far, the majority (98%) of our orders are placed online.

If you don't wish to order online, you can order through our toll-free order desk at 1-877-898-1440 or you can print and mail the completed Character Questionnaire along with a check or money order.  Our mailing address is included on the Order Page and on the Character Questionnaire page.    

Top of page

  Q. Can I include a pet other than a dog or cat?

Unfortunately, no.  You may love, hug and cuddle your pet iguana, snake or pot bellied pig but we can't include them in the story. The personalized storyline was developed for a dog or cat.   

Top of page

  Q. Must I answer all the Character Questionnaire questions?

We provide defaults for many of the selections in our books, but it is always better if you personalize as many of the characteristics as possible. If you are unsure about a characteristic, don't worry; remember it's a fantasy, so feel free to put something outlandish or humorous!  If you can't remember or don't know a character's last name, leave it blank. A space or blank will not appear in the book.

Characteristics such as 'Friend's Hair' and 'Eye Color' are not mentioned often in the book so don't worry if you can't remember all the characteristics!    

Top of page

  Q. Are the teddy bears well-made?

These high-quality, plush 12" teddy bears have soft fur, detailed paws, and a beanbag-like filling in the feet and bottom that enables them to sit up and hold the personalized novel tucked in their cute fuzzy arms, an adorable pose that's perfect for both presentation and display. Our teddy bears come in two different colors: golden honey tan and a rich, amber brown. (Can't decide or have no preference? We'll be happy to pick for you.) Both are dressed with a beautiful red bow.   

(Top of page)

  Q. How do I add a teddy bear to my book order?

To order a bear with your personalized novel, simply complete your book questionnaire/order form and go to your shopping cart, where you'll have the opportunity to add a teddy bear to your order. Please note that each bear is $14.95 -- and there's only an additional $7.00 shipping/handling fee, no matter what method of delivery you select!     

(Top of page)

  Q. How can I add a photo to the book's back cover?

While filling in the character questionnaire for your book order, select the option to include a photo to customize the back cover. After clicking the "submit" button, you'll be taken to a page where you can select and upload a photograph of the main character or characters you've chosen to star in your  personalized novel. (Before you do, be sure to follow the important guidelines and technical requirements!)

An additional fee of only $14.95 will be added to your final total; no extra processing time is required.  Best of all, when the book arrives your customized novel's back cover will beautifully display the image of the real star of the adventure -- whether it's you, your loved one or a friend!

You can also upload a photo for display within the first few pages of your ebook and it looks terrific.  For a limited time, photo uploads for ebooks is free!

(Top of page)

  Q.How do I order a gift certificate?

Select gift certificate from our menu (under Titles). You'll be able to choose a gift certificate (kids, teen, romance, mystery or classic) for your recipient to personalize.  You can also select options that allow the recipient to add a personalized cover photo, a teddy bear, or even upgraded shipping with the gift certificate. Click here to learn more about Gift Certificates.

(Top of page)

  Q.  How do I redeem a gift certificate?

Select a title to personalize and create after reviewing our selections. Complete the character questionnaire and, with your Gift Certificate redemption code handy, follow our checkout process.  During checkout, you will be prompted to enter this code on the shipping page when you see this image:

Enter your code at this point and complete the order checkout. Click here for more details about Gift Certificate redemption.

(Top of page)

  Q. Do you offer gift wrapping?

Yes, all of our books arrive tucked in a highly attractive gold Mylar envelope, which looks terrific on its own or decorated with your own bow or ribbon.

(Top of page)

  Q. Can I have the book shipped to an alternate address?

YES!  Simply enter your billing address on our contact form, then click the "alternate address" checkbox. You'll find the extra address form on the next page.

Top of page

  Q. How can I check my order status?

It's easy! Just visit our new Order Status page and log in, using your last name and order ID number.  (This is the six-digit number sent to you in the confirmation email after you made your purchase.)  Once logged in to our secure page, you'll find printing,  delivery and tracking information for your order. (Please note: tracking numbers are only available for orders placed using our Courier Express delivery option.)

(Top of page)

  Q. Can I become an Book By You® affiliate?

  A. Yes. If you have a website that fits with any of the Book By You® book formats (romance, teen & kids), we can provide additional new revenues through your website through our comprehensive affiliate program. Click here for more information about our affiliate program. If you are already an affiliate, click here to login to your account.

(Top of page)

  Q. How do I get my eBook onto my eReader?

  A. Upon purchasing your eBook on the Book By You® website, you will be given an option to open or download either the PDF or EPUB file of your book.  You will also receive an email with this same option.

If you choose to open the file…
If your eReader is connected to wifi, or you are able to surf the internet on your device (e.g. iPad/iPhones, etc.), you can open the book directly on your eReader and start reading right away!

If you choose to download the file…
Once you have downloaded your selected file to your computer, you can then open it on your eReader via the device's specific instructions.  This is usually by sending the eBook to your eReader's email address provided by the device, or by connecting your eReader to your computer and transferring it that way.

This process may vary depending on what device you are using, so if you run into issues, check your device's specifications for troubleshooting details.

(Top of page)

  Q. Which eReaders are Book By You®'s personalized eBooks compatible with?

  A. Book By You® eBooks are available in PDF and EPUB formats, which are supported by Nook, iPad/iPhone, Kobo, and Sony eReaders, among others (see your device's specifications for more details).  Adobe Digital Editions also supports many eReader devices and can be helpful for eBook conversions.

(Top of page)

  Q. How do I read my eBook on my Kindle?

  A. Book By You®'s eBooks can be read in PDF format on the Kindle, or you can use a free program to convert your EPUB to a Kindle-compatible file via Calibre or KindleGen.

(Top of page)

 












USA Today

Newsweek

Today Show

The Caroline Rhea Show

Washington Post

Dallas Morning News

Chatelaine

Globe and Mail

National Post

CBC Newsworld

CityTV

Australian Broadcasting Corp.