A Brief History of Choose Your Own Adventure
1969: Edward Packard conceives of and writes a book titled The Adventures of You on Sugarcane Island, in which you the reader are the star of the story and make choices leading to multiple plots and endings.
1969, 1970: William Morris Agency submits the book to several major publishers, all of whom turn it down.
1976: Sugarcane Island is published by Vermont Crossroads Press, then co-owned by Ray Montgomery. In its review of the book Publisher’s Weekly calls it “an original idea, well carried out.”
1978, 1979: Packard’s next two books in the same format, Deadwood City and Third Planet from Altair, are published by Lippincott. The front covers of these books bear the legends, respectively, “Choose Your Own Adventures in the Wild West” and “Choose Your Own Adventures in Outer Space.” Lippincott does not attempt to register “Choose Your Own Adventures” as a trademark.
1979: Bantam Books begins publishing the Choose Your Own Adventure series, each book in which is modeled precisely on the format of Sugarcane Island. Book #1 in the series is Packard’s The Cave of Time. Bantam registers Choose Your Own Adventure as a trademark.
Circa 1999: Random House, which by then had acquired Bantam, ceases publishing new books in the series and abandons the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark. Subsequently Montgomery’s company, Chooseco LLC., registers the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark and begins publishing books under that imprint.
2010: By arrangement with Simon & Schuster, Packard revises, expands, and adapts three of his original Choose Your Own Adventure books for release as iTunes apps under the U-Ventures trademark. 2012: Simon & Schuster begins releasing print versions under the U-Ventures trademark.