Very early in my writing career (or whatever this whole writing lark happens to be), when I was just starting up this blog, I did a post about merchandising. I imagined all the merchandising opportunities that would open up, now that I had let a book loose into the world. To be honest, I can’t remember exactly what I proposed, but I’m sure there were heaps of innovative and commercially attractive Neville Lansdowne inspired items that would one day be filling department stores around the world.
Of course, much has changed since I wrote that post. I now have numerous other books in circulation, including two more Neville Lansdowne adventures as well as a range of novels and picture books. But in other ways, very little has changed. That range of Neville memorabilia has yet to take the merchandising world by storm, and you won’t find any items in a department store (or anywhere else for that matter).
With both of these issues in mind, I thought that now was the perfect time to revive the merchandising idea. With so many books, surely I could come up with great ideas to capitalise on their full market potential. After all, look at something like Harry Potter. The books are only just a small part of the total marketing appeal. Why should my work be any different?
First of all, I need to think about the kind of merchandising that would best suit my writing. The obvious place to start is the Neville stories. In Doodling, Neville falls off the world because it’s moving too fast, in Scribbling, he pushes the world out of shape, and in Scrawling, he drowns in a sea of words. Seems like there’s a heap of ideas right away. We could create a globe that spins really quickly, and when you apply pressure to it, the shape changes. Or how about an aquarium full of floating words.
My fantasy novel, Magnus Opum, also offers plenty of fodder for merchandising ideas. In this story, I’ve created a bunch of creatures, like Doosies, with their three ears and prehensile noses, Pharsheeth, who are strange wiry figures with frizzy hair and multi-jointed limbs, not to mention the foul and disgusting Glurgs. The inspiration for spin-off products seems endless. Bendable, pose-able figurines. Hand puppets for acting out sections of the story. And who wouldn’t want to go to bed without a snuggly, furry Glurg bedtime companion.
This is on top of the more basic ideas. T-shirts and socks. Hand towels and fridge magnets. I tell you, I’m sitting on an absolute goldmine.
Now I just have to get started with putting it into action.
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