So the book launched, now what?
I recently reached out to a retailer to sell my book on their website and/or in store. To much dismay, their answer was that they absolutely loved the book, but I needed to have a plush doll or toy of some sort to complement the book purchase. This got me thinking about my top three favorite books growing up which were The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, and Where the Wild Things Are. I still have these books.
My very first copy of each is still on my bookshelf. But what I never thought as a child was, where is my plush Giving Tree doll? Even as a child, I think that would be an odd gift.
So here I am again, thinking about how publishers and retailers really do want to stick to the formulaic “if it ain’t broke” ideology. But honestly, is the gift of the book more for the adult feeling they got their “value” or for the child for their memories they will have with the book? I want to create merchandise for my book that not only satiates the adult’s need for value but also brings the book to life and keep the book close to the kid’s hearts. I just don’t think a plush doll can do that. And I don’t want little girls to think they have to look like Sophie. I want them to find the explorative, adventurous girl inside herself. And by that, I will create merchandise that will enhance this journey for a young girl.
So now it’s time to think outside the box. I am currently working on creating merchandise that readers will also want to purchase, and not create something that will probably get lost in the toy bin in a few months. I want to create merchandise that little girls will cherish and enjoy and appreciate receiving. Partnering with established brands to create limited editions items is the first step. The next step is to bring the book to life with programs such as tea parties with limited edition cupcakes, ice cream flavors, candy merchandise, and activities that are comparable to that girl at the Plaza’s party but way more modern and fashionable.
And since we are on the topic of merchandise, my only fear is that Sophie will end up in the “pink” section of the store. Sophie is not afraid to get her hands dirty or play cars with the boys. She doesn’t think wearing a tutu and being called a princess will help solve problems. She does find strength and confidence in her clothes much like Superwoman wore accessories that had power. It sounds crazy and superstitious, but I have to wear my Brian Atwood nude platform heels to a meeting, or else it may not go well. Football players have dirty socks; I have Brian Atwood.
I am inspired by this little girl’s rant on YouTube. I will keep her in mind when creating the merchandise. She is my consumer and hero.
Now don’t get me wrong, retailers are reaching out to me about the book which only makes me feel more secure with moving forward on self-publishing the second book. And now I am getting support from not only major brands but also the support from NYC. All are very interested to see where Sophie goes next and I can’t wait to show everyone.