MIT Press is going to publish my book

I hope I’m not jinxing it by posting this before I have a signed contract … .

I got an informal acceptance email yesterday from my editor. He wants to set a deadline of April 1 for the final draft. I’m trying to set up a phone call with him now to discuss revisions. The latest reader reports recommend a variety of changes, some big and some small. But since he’s asking me for a 6-week turn-around on the revisions, I’m guessing he only wants me to address the small stuff.

I’m kind of freaking out.

Congrats! Getting a book published is more work than I could even contemplate doing

Come on, I expect a less obvious prank date from MIT than April Fool’s Day!

(Just kidding. Congratulations!)

Congratulations. What is the book about? How to Become Rodent Royalty in Three Easy Steps?

It’s a book about play. It lays out a new critical framework for analyzing play spaces, drawing connections between games, literature, neuroscience, semiotics and philosophy.

One one level it’s: “Here’s a better way to talk about how play works.”

And on another level it’s: “Here’s how this better way of talking about play can illuminate other aspects of human culture.”

Far out! ** applause ** W00t!
Can I borrow a cup of agent-bait?

“Check out the big brain on Brad!”


A friend recently published a book with MIT Press and it is doing very well in sales.

Good luck!


Not quite big enough, apparently. The reviewers suggested I add chapters on the history of aesthetics and the psychology of play. I’m hoping that the proposed six-week deadline means that I can ignore those suggestions.

Congratulations, but we’re talking about play, right? Hide and seek? Chutes and Ladders? Pull my finger? How can you possibly turn that into a dry academic subject?

All the pictures are in black and white. :mad:


I did get dinged for not being dry and academic enough. :frowning: My editor says not to worry about those comments. Apparently they’re trying to broaden the tone of the press, so deviation from bone dry scholarship is now acceptable in some circumstances. Phew.

Would this help at all?

I’ll buy a copy when I get some cash flowing again. Would you autograph it for me?

Pshhh… You tell them you’re saving that for your next book.

Congrats, getting published is an amazing accomplishment and a huge deal. May the rest of the path go smoother than you could hope for.

BTW, since you’re something of an expert in this, my perception is the kids in America today don’t spend much time in unorganized, random play outside as they used to. For one thing, many children spend a lot more time indoors than before and most play outside the home appears to organized and scheduled (e.g., play dates, team sports, etc.). Is this the sort of thing you’ve studied?

Read the book to find out.


But seriously, sounds like a fascinating subject. Working in game dev myself, I hope I get the chance to read it.

That’s more child psychology (which one reviewer suggested I include more of).

I’m a game designer so the book starts by analyzing rule-based play – video games, board games, and sports. From that I develop a set of heuristics (I call them “the rules for rules”) that describe the necessary characteristics of successful play spaces. I then show how these heuristics also apply to non-rule-based play: make-believe, role-playing, theatrical performance. Then I use this play-based framework to analyze the playful aspects of things like literature and music.

My book doesn’t say anything about how anyone SHOULD play. It’s more like a very, very deep dive into the circumstances that make play possible.

I want to read your book!!!

I take it your book doesn’t not provide any guidance on when “take backsies” and “do overs” are okay or not.

I’ll wait for the revised editions. Please get started.

Sounds damned interesting. Please update us when it’s available for sale.