Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Book Publishing Game: Will You Play?

For the holidays I made a last minute trip to Target.  I was looking for some games to play with my wife and kids.  I settled on Scattergories and a game that resembled Charades.  I realized there are only a few types of games out there, beyond the solo-centric toys.

Some are trivia-filled.  Others involve player-created content, like the two I bought.  Some just involve luck and dice rolls.  Few involve real strategy, thought or creativity.  I guess this is why classics like Monopoly continue to sell so well.

Games that work for kids and adults are hard to come by, especially if a child is under double-digits --which my daughter is.  You either can’t use the same language (blue) or someone lacks key life experience reference points.  But it is fun when you can play together.  Scrabble is another classic that still plays well.  Pictionary too.  But few games have come out 15 or more years ago that still remain on store shelves.

My question is this:  Why aren’t there any board games that have a book theme?

I’m not talking about a random question in Trivial Pursuit that mentions a book title; I want a whole game dedicated to books.

There’s a lot of material available for such a game.  You can have a series or spin-offs that cover books of a certain genre, era, or region.  There are millions of books and centuries of writers to call upon.

So what would the main game be?

How about:  “Should I Be Published?”

It could be a game of strategy on how to get a book published.  Real authors play it daily.

Or it could be a book trivia game about famous, award-winning, and critically acclaimed books or authors.

Maybe have a game based on how a book is created, edited, and promoted.  It could be called “Publisher,” where each player has to make decisions that impact the running of a publishing company.

Perhaps the game could be called “Name that Author,” where you’re given hints and facts and you have to name the author.  Or make it “Name that Book,” and you need to determine which passage appeared in which book.

Any game supporting, highlighting or marketing books, authors, and the book publishing industry would be great to see.  When will such a game get the green light?

The game world, similar to book publishing, comes down to competition and the perception a company has as to whether an idea will sell well.  The same gatekeepers in publishing exist in the toy world.  Music and Hollywood too.

I once promoted the woman who created Jenga.  It is an incredible story.  Creating a hit game with lasting power is a rare feat indeed.  But maybe a game revolving around some aspect of book publishing -- like identifying literary landmarks – will be a big success.  Plus it will certainly educate players and further the advancement of the book industry.

If the Publishing Game gets produced, will you play it?

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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