welcomes as our guest Chris Mason author of the In the Box series of books, which include Tutor in a Box: The Guide to the Best Free Education Resources on the Internet, Book Store in a Box- A guide to free print and audio books, Arcade in a Box, A guide to free video games, Video store in a Box, A guide to free Television and Movies, Record Store– A guide to free music Production Studio in a Box: The Guide to make DVD, CD Websites and other Media at Low or No Cost, App Store in a Box: A Guide to the Best Free Applications for Mobile Devices on the Interne Entrepreneur in a Box: A Guide to the best Free Websites to Make Money.

Norm: Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background.

Chris: My name is Chris Mason and for the last 20 years I have been a house husband raising three kids with special needs. During this time, I received my Bachelors in Psychology and a Master’s in Education. Due to the fact that all my children went to an online charter school, I had to find ways to save money and found many free resources through the internet. In fact, I still think it is funny when I first asked my daughter’s teachers for resources that could help her when she first entered the world of online schooling, I only received 3 websites. I thought 3 websites from 6 teachers was a sad state of affairs, so Tutor in a Box was born. That was years ago now. My eldest daughter was in sixth grade then, now she is a sophomore in college.

My other books were born out of two things that happened at the same time. First, my family had to give up cable to save money but my kids still wanted to see the then popular That’s So Raven. Second, my mother came up with Mason Day to teach my kids that they did not need a lot of money to give someone a nice gift. Mason Day was when a person was assigned a family member and had to make them something, spending only 20 dollars. My thought was “Oh my God”. I had no artistic skills like my daughters’ and could not build things like my son, but I did have impressive research skills. So the “In the Box” series of books was born. All are reference guides to the best free stuff in a particular area. The series currently includes:

  •  Tutor in a Box - A guide to free educational resources.

  • Book Store in a Box - A guide to free print and audio books.

  • Arcade in a Box – A guide to free video games.

  • Video store in a Box – A guide to free Television and Movies.

  • Record Store – A guide to free music

  •            Production Studio in a Box: The Guide to make DVD, CD Websites and other Media at Low or No Cost

  •      App Store in a Box: A Guide to the Best Free Applications for Mobile Devices on the Internet

  •  Entrepreneur in a Box: A Guide to the best Free Websites to Make Money

Norm: What were your goals and intentions in these books, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

Chris: Originally as stated earlier the goal was to help my kids. Then to help others and I hope I have done that I think so as there are very few free resources guides out there (I know have almost all my competitors’ guides and none are as through as mine are) so I believe I have achieved my desired goal well.

Norm: What was the most difficult part of writing these books and what did you enjoy most about writing these books?

Chris: The most difficult part was the time I had to write between midnight and 1 AM so at so points sleep became an issue. What I enjoyed most about the process was finding new resources and watching my books take shape.

Norm: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Chris: No reviewers to review reference books.

Norm: What makes your books stand out from the crowd?

Chris: My books are all rich with resources and the niche I occupy is practically a barren wasteland.

Norm: How long did it take you to write a book on a specific topic and where did you get your information or ideas for your books?

Chris: I stared writing in 2008 took me about two years to write my 1st draft originally titled Thinking Outside the Box. This massive 350-page book was then chopped into five books over the next 2 years and reshaped into the 5 books that where published in late 2013-2014. The last 3 books each took about 3 months to write in 2015 while being a passenger on the big rig I live on. All 8 make up the In the Box series of books.

Norm: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Chris: There are 8 books in all and Tutor in the Box is my favorite.

Norm: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Chris: No I don’t hear from readers much but sometimes I get left a positive review so I must be doing something right.

Norm: What will you be doing for promotion of your books and how much of it is your doing?

Chris: I promote my books through interviews both print and radio. I do all the promotion. I must tell your readers during some of my many radio interviews I sometimes give away freebies not mentioned in my books.

Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?

Chris: Through my radio interviews or my profile at Smashwords.

I can be contacted at

Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.

Chris: I think you covered it. I would just like to suggest that all your readers pick up a copy of Record Store in a Box because it is free and use the email listed in there to do a couple of things:

    1. Email me free resources not already listed in the books. This will get the person who submits the website credit in the next edition.

    2. I am an avid Backgammon player so use my email to find me on most Backgammon app.

    3. I also play Songpop and Moviepop. Once again change me via my email.

and lastly I want to remind your readers that my books are available at all major retailers but Amazon and if they buy trough Smashwords they will get free updates for life.

Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors