Writers: Roll the dice to see where your writing life takes you

The Los Angeles Times recently surveyed writers participating in the L.A. Times Festival of Books about their path to literary success. The result can be seen the creation of a unique board game that lets you play along.

The board game cites interesting results along the way, including:

  • the age respondents decided to be a writer
  • 51 percent kept a diary
  • 25 percent who got an MFA in creative writing
  • most influential books in youth (Grapes of Wrath and Portrait of a Lady)
  • 58 percent of writers make a living from writing
  • how respondents published, whether with a major, traditional publisher; independent publisher; or self-publisher
  • 64 percent had books rejected
  • age in percent that they had their first best-seller
  • percent who teach creative writing

The game itself awards points for writing or winning a contract or agent, but deducts points for falling into a social media hole that keeps you from writing to losing points in a computer crash. I played the game and scored 33 points, which translated equates to: “You’re Ernest Hemingway. You’re celebrated, but not by everyone.”

Hmm, I’ll take it.

Give the game a try. (But subtract 10 points for allowing it to keep you from writing.)



Barnes & Noble shares bag of literary goodness

I guess I’m a little late to the party, but I just noticed something very cool courtesy of my latest visit to Barnes & Noble.

IMG_20150719_241753190 (576x1024)IMG_20150719_241807511 (576x1024)After leaving with a couple of new books to read (Batman: Arkham Knight-The Riddler’s Gambit by Alex Irvine and The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad, edited by Simon Clark), I noticed  each side of the plastic bag in which my books had been placed included excerpts from a pair of literary classics: Moby Dick and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

I usually don’t pay attention to such things and toss my plastic bags into the recycle bin — I mean, a bag is a bag, right? (I should also mention that I usually peruse Books-A-Million since I have a membership card with them and my trips to B&N are somewhat rare). But, I guess I was just a little more observant today and happened to notice what was printed on the nifty bags.

I did a google search and came across some articles in March in which B&N announced the new bag designs as a way to boost sales and battle Amazon, which only gives you smiley-faced cardboard boxes, no bags. Apparently B&N also offers keepsake totes with the same designs for book lovers.

I don’t know if a bag will do much for sales, but I do know the bags are kind of neat. It’s cool enough that  I might fold my bag up and stuff it into my copy of Moby Dick, just for kicks.

You can read more about the advertising campaign here, or you can just head down to your nearest B&N and get your own bags or  totes.