- Choose Your Own Adventure
Choose Your Own Adventure is a series of children's gamebooks where each story is written from a second-person point of view, with the reader assuming the role of the protagonist and making choices that determine the main character's actions and the plot's outcome. The series was based on a concept created by Edward Packard and originally published by Constance Cappel's and R.A. Montgomery's Vermont Crossroads Press as the "Adventures of You" series, starting with Packard's Sugarcane Island in 1976. Choose Your Own Adventure was one of the most popular children's series during the 1980s and 1990s, selling over 250 million copies between 1979 and 1998.
Originally created for 10 to 14 year olds, the books are formatted so that, after a couple of pages of reading, the "reader faces two or three options, each of which leads to more options and then to one of about 40 endings."
According to Packard, the core idea for the series emerged from bedtime stories that he told to his daughters every night, revolving around a character named Pete and his adventures. Packard stated, "I had a character named Pete and I usually had him encountering all these different adventures on an isolated island. But that night I was running out of things for Pete to do, so I just asked what they would do." His two daughters came up with different paths for the story to take and Packard thought up an ending for each of the paths. "What really struck me was the natural enthusiasm they had for the idea. And I thought: 'Could I write this down?'"
Packard soon developed this basic premise into a manuscript titled The Adventures of You on Sugar Cane Island. He set out in 1970 in order to find a publisher, but was rejected by nine different publishing companies, causing him to shelve the idea. In 1975, he was able to convince Ray Montgomery, co-owner of Vermont Crossroads Press, to publish the book and it sold 8000 copies, a large amount for a small local publishing house. The series was later marketed to Pocket Books, where it also sold well, but Montgomery believed that it would sell better if a bigger publisher could be found for the books. After some discussion, Montgomery was able to make a contract for the series with Bantam Books. Packard and Montgomery were both selected to write books for the series, including the contracting out of titles to additional authors.
The series was highly successful after it began printing with Bantam Books, helped by the sales campaign of giving thousands of copies of the books out to kids for free. It prompted the creation of three other series by different authors with Bantam Books that worked with the same format. Nineteen other series of the same format also began being published by rival publishing houses. The large popularity of the concept led to the titling of a new genre of writing for the format, which was called interactive fiction.
- ^ a b c d Scott Kraft (October 10, 1981). "He Chose His Own Adventure". The Day. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_nUfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XXUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1663,2191360&dq=choose-your-own-adventure&hl=en. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- ^ Lodge, Sally (2007). "Chooseco Embarks on Its Own Adventure". Publishers Weekly (18 Jan 2007). Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20071009094529/http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6408126.html?. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- ^ a b c Sandi Scaffetti (March 30, 1986). "Interactive fiction". The Beaver County Times. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2KwzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5tkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5210,5557358&dq=choose-your-own-adventure&hl=en. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
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