Looking Back #12: Launching the game!
I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .
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When I knew Book Scavenger was going to be published, I wanted there to be something at BookScavenger.com for the readers who wondered if the game was real, so I set about getting a website made. Truly, I was hoping the game could be real, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that, and I didn’t know if others would think it was ridiculous or if anyone would want to join in.
I had a crazy idea for launching the website and pitched it to my publisher: What if I gave away an advance copy of Book Scavenger to someone in each state for them to hide and post on the website? My publisher said sure, let’s try it. Hooray! So I held my contest, sent off my books to the winners, and hoped people would hide them, that others would find them, and the book hunting cycle would continue and grow. And they did, and it has! Little by little, reader by reader, people are playing the game.
It’s been so much fun to see books hidden in different cities–I especially love when people include photos because it gives me a window into different places I’ve never been. Like Marblehead, MA! There were a series of books hidden there a while back and from the photos it looks like such a charming place.
Also fun is seeing the puzzles and clues and creativity of readers across the United States. Teachers, librarians, and booksellers have used the website as part of some wonderful book-centered activities and events for young readers.
Last year I started assigning tracking numbers and we have given out almost 1500 since then. The best part of the game, for me, is when I meet or hear from young readers who are really enthusiastic about it. It takes me back to my younger self, because I know that would have been me.
I have aspirations to do more with the website (like figuring out how to allow the site to log books hidden in other countries! And making it easier for a Book Scavenger community to form and connect!) Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve some of those website goals in the coming year.
In case you missed it: