Should I turn my Children’s Book Character into a Plush?
Honestly, this is probably one of those questions that you already know the answer to, you just need someone with expertise in the field to confirm what you’re thinking. Short answer is Yes! It’s a fantastic idea, but chances are you knew we would say that because we make toys. Well, let’s dive in to why this is a genuinely fantastic move for your book!
You ever see ‘Jingle all the way’? Brian Levant’s 1996 magnum opus, where Arnie finds himself in pursuit for the infamous ‘Turbo man’ doll? Running around like a madman on Christmas eve only to be met with empty shelves and black-market rip offs. Well, for a lot of parents, at one time or another – that pain was real. Ok, probably not the black-market part – well, kind of.
The year was 1999, and Toy Story 2 had just hit the cinemas (remember those?). Ask anyone who tried to get hold of either ‘Woody’ or ‘Buzz’ at this time what that experience was like, and maybe don’t remind those who did manage to get hold of one, that they’re still paying it off to this day. See, children loved the film – but they wanted to live the story. I know this, because I was an obnoxious little kid asking for one.
Ok, but that was then, times change.
Drastically yes, but take those exact same franchises in modern day, and all that’s changed is faster supply lines, meaning they can somewhat cope with the insane demand. There is a reason these toys are produced on such a huge scale, because children need more than just a story, they need a door into your universe. They need something tangible – and it sells.
But what’s that got to do with my book?
What I didn’t tell you is, I read the book first – before even seeing the film. See, the thing about books is that they present you the pieces for a story – but your imagination has to bring it to life. Any child reading your book for the tenth time, probably isn’t living the exact same story twice. Creating your merch line is a fantastic way to let fans of your work interact with your brand. If you have a good enough character and story – the demand will be there.
And now is the best time to do this?
Actually, that was yesterday, but today is the next best time. See, it’s no secret that self-publishing has become far easier over the years, with many different outlets available to print and sell your books, both online and off. This is a great thing! More voices out there being heard, more opportunities for individual writers to make their mark and so many options for buyers.
Ah, yes. Many options for the buyer. So, how do you make your book stand out at the height to the self-publishing boom? That’s where your plush comes in. Think of everything we’ve spoken about and ask yourself – if people love my book, why am I not presenting them the opportunity to buy the merchandise they demand? Or if you haven’t launched yet, what better way to make your launch memorable, whilst building familiarity to your brand.
Building your brand is a huge part of being a successfully modern-day children’s author. Play your cards right, and you’re not just their favourite book anymore, they can buy and cherish a small part of your world. Something to hold and interact with whilst reading your story.