Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic

Introducing My First Chapbook: A Skeleton in the Attic

I took a break in September, returned in early October to post Teagan Geneviene’s feature, then decided I wasn’t ready to resume posting.


Trump’s impeachment.

There is so much news; keeping up with it feels like a full time job.

I may limit myself to two posts a week during the impeachment.

Now to the point of this post:

A Skeleton in the Attic

Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic
Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic

I realized my goal of publishing a book of poems was unreasonable for a man with no experience in online publishing, so I took a break.

I started the break by evaluating different programs for self-publishing and discovered Ourboox.

Ourboox is a free platform and seems ideal for writers who are new to online publishing.

I researched the company and the founder, Mel Rosenberg, is exactly who he
says he is:

Mel Rosenberg is a microbiologist best known for his research into treatment of bad breath; he went to a children’s book fair in Bologna and came home with the idea of a free web based platform for publishing children’s books.

The template is limited but flexible.

If you’ve used WordPress Classic, Ourboox is easy.

The e-books I saw on the Ourboox site reminded me of chapbooks.

What is a Chapbook?

A chapbook is “a small book or pamphlet containing poems, ballads, stories, or religious tracts” (dictionary) The term is still used today to refer to short, inexpensive booklets. MIT

The Cover of Jack the Giant Killer
Jack the Giant Killer chapbook title page

Chapbooks were the zines of early modern Europe and played an important role in the history of publishing and literacy. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, chapbooks were the most popular way to disseminate poetry and children’s books: they were easy to make and cheap. Wikipedia

Chapbooks are still a popular way for poets to publish, especially street poets, who distribute their chapbooks for donations.

The last page of the Ourboox template invites the reader to donate to your PayPal account.

I loved with the idea of using Ourboox to publish an online chapbook; it felt like a perfect way to begin publishing.

A Skeleton in the Attic is a short story about a little boy who finds a skeleton in his attic and makes friends with it.

I wrote the story in the 1980’s and revised it many times over the years.

I used VR to make the illustrations.

I suppose if I want to, I can release a Skeleton in the Attic on Amazon, but for
now, this ‘chapbook’ format on Ourboox is ideal.

If you read the book and like it,  please leave a thumbs up on the upper right of the screen.

Leave a Like
As I understand it, ‘likes’ will move the book into the featured books section.

Click the image to read the book

Bookcover for a Skeleton in the Attic
or click the link below:

A Skeleton in the Attic


Images and text (c) Rob Goldstein 2019

91 thoughts on “Introducing My First Chapbook: A Skeleton in the Attic

  1. Congratulations for your first publication Rob. You must publish this as a kindle book. People have books with just few pages at Amazon. Just one short story and they publish it as a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did enjoy your story, Rob. I popped over here from Debby’s blog. I would have had to create an account to ‘like’ your book so, sadly, didn’t. I wish you success with it. Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Norah. I’m looking for standalone software so I can upload flip-books to my own blog. I don’t know why we have to open an account for every blog we read to ‘like’ something, but we do. I appreciate that you stopped by to let me know you like the story. You made my day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How cool is this, Rob? Congratulations. I’ve just recently learned about poetry chapbooks, myself. I’ll definitely checkout Ourboox for a look-see. I’m off to read your chapbook. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rob, some how I missed this, even though I try and keep an eye out for your posts. I apologize for being late, because I know this was important to you.
    I wasn’t familiar with the term chapbook, so your introduction here was interesting. And just look at all these comments! 😀 Wow!
    I signed up at the site.
    Your story is a gem, a lovely little treasure. The illustrations are perfect for it. Well done, my friend. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teagan, thank you. Never apologize for missing a post. It is impossible to keep up with everyone, and properly reading a story takes time and attention, which is why I’m saving your blog for an overnight visit. I’m just happy you read the story and like it. Hugs through the bathroom window. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rob, you are doubly blessed – your a beautiful writer and artist. Your talent for art allowing you to compliment your words is a rare gift. I would love to see you follow through with selling it on Amazon and share your work to a bigger audience. It’s free to download your book on Amazon. I can just visualize a lovely and colorful paperback! You’ve already done the heavy lifting with writing and artwork all you need is to get it up on Amazon and learn the ropes there. And I admit, I suck at formatting, but I hear KDP looks after it as long as you have a Word doc to enter. I haven’t published a new book since they took over for Createspace. A most beautiful story and illustration. I’m glad that Peter was a comfort to the skeleton who didn’t want to die for nothing and skeleton freed Peter. I will be happy to reblog this for you on the next coming weekend ❤ Also, another reason I say to get more exposure because that site won’t let you ‘like’ unless you sign up. I’m sorry, I just can’t take anymore emails, I don’t sign up to a site just to comment or like. I’m concerned some others will feel the same, so I hope you’ll consider going wider. ❤ I for one, love your work. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, so much Debby. You have made my day every day for the rest of this week. I’m so sorry it’s taken me two days to reply. It’s always a shock when I load my blog to see I’ve been gone for two days. But that’s my life. Regarding your comments: The books I publish on Ourboox will eventually wind up on Amazon. I want to master the form and Ourboox is a great way to practice. Just so you’ll know. The only email I got from Ourboox was a confirmation email. It really is an unobtrusive service. But I understand completely. I really hate having to join a service to comment on a post. Thank you, again Debby. This is such an encouraging comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Straight from the heart Rob ❤ And yes, I imagine you do get a notification from them, but these sites capture our emails for their own personal use, has nothing to do with you 🙂 Set to reblog on Saturday 🙂 Never apologize for blog absence, we all have lives, and we all get there eventually 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Got it, Debby. No problem, and thanks for the reblog. I appreciate it. Even though the book is in an out of the way place, it’s kind of exciting to produce one. And I feel like I conquered one of my demons. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dan. I am working with support on a couple of bugs. I am excited by the idea of publishing this way, at least for now. The fact that the site is free, with no hidden costs, is amazing. The one downside is folks have to make an account to like or leave comments. So, nothing is perfect. I’m glad you like the story and the illustrations, Dan. I may post a larger size of some of the better illustrations to the blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve spent a week trying to find decent standalone flipbook software. The only one I’ve found is very expensive. Most online flipbook services charge steep fees. There is a WordPress plug in but if you install it, you lose your follow and reblog buttons. So I was lucky to find Ourboox. It’s completely free. The best part of this format is you can add anything to the page, including video. I saw that you had left a comment on the book, thank you, Dan. It looks like I’ve been gone for two days. I’m in catch up mode, now.


  6. What a wonderful accomplishment, Robert. I tried to like the book but it wouldn’t let me. Sorry about that. Your images are wonderful, and I love how “love” gave the skeleton the meaning he needed. Congratulations, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Diana. I’m so pleased you like it. I worried that the language was too simple, but it’s supposed to have the tone of a children’s book. I’m working on another one now. I genuinely like the flip book format. I think I’ll look for standalone software so I can upload the books to my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations Rob on your new Chapbook. It is a great feeling to self publish. I have been self-publishing using Microsoft word, collecting my poems as I write them and saving them into one document. Then, I create a cover and an table of context. Office Max prints them up for me. They will do them in half size and then staple them together as well. All for five dollars or less for twenty five or more!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I just print enough for family and friends. The rest don’t really matter! :>) I have done some larger 100 page books as well. Office Max will print them half size, punch them and put plastic covers with spiral binding. These run from $9 to $12 each.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the illustrations and the simple and easy storyline. Although it can be classified as ‘easy’ to read, the underlying message of giving and receiving love is there for the reader. Thank you for the interesting explanation on Chapbooks. All the best for the book Rob.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Love the story, Rob. I tried to click on the Like button on the Ourboox site but it said I’d to be signed in and when I tried to do that it said my email was invalid so then I tried to creat an account – and in the end came back here to leave my comment. The illustrations are amazing.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Congratulations on the new release, Robert. That’s exciting. Thank you for the hint with Ourboox. I am having three book projects in mind and thinking of another quote book, lately. I pondered which platform to use. I will definitely look at Ourboox. Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Melinda. I think you’ll understand this as another survivor: it was a bit of a psychological ordeal to get this done because my stories come from ‘selves’ rather than characters. Peter, the child self who wrote this story, was reluctant to let it go, so I consider getting this done a huge success on so many different levels. Thank you for being so supportive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Melinda. The problem with chronic illnesses is they affect ones sense of self. With DID the ‘self’ is the part that’s broken so everything becomes a question of identity. Why do I write, how is my work different, what are my goals as an artist; these were the questions I needed to answer before I could publish an eBook . Different aspects of my personality write for different reasons.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Those are hard questions and hard one to answer for different reasons. Don’t push yourself if the answers don’t come easy. Your work is appreciated by thousands everyday and when the time is right you’ll publish.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Last night I watched a movie called ‘Permanence’. It’s about a tortured writer writing a tortured novel under the prodding of a lethal muse. It was weird to watch my process play out like a film by David Lynch–and kinda funny too.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh this is so cool! I’m working on a project now and was trying to think about what kind of format could incorporate longer text as well as illustration. Thanks for this post!

    Also I really love the kid’s impulse to give the skeleton a jaunty hat. It tickled my funny bone.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What an informative, interesting post! I am familiar with chap books and own two from the 80s. Each is by the same poet and was bound by one of his students who for a while printed and assembled chapbooks which the poet sold and signed at his readings and at our university’s Open Mike Night. I hadn’t thought about them for years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Open Mike night is how I began performing my work in the 1980’s. I published several chapbooks in the 80’s and 90’s and being true to their temporal nature, they are dust. Ourboox has its problems, but it’s a nice way to begin publishing books online. Thank you for reading the post and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ourboox, eh? Interesting. I could take a loot at it, too. While I don’t have anything to publish yet, it’s not a bad idea to look up how a work will be published to smooth the process out.

    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

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