Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday News!!!

After almost 100 years in publishing Harper Collins is introducing a change to their Children’s division which will alter the future of the way our nation’s youth reads. Do you remember reading about your favorite character and wishing you could be right there beside him/her? Well, the day has finally arrived, and for parents and children alike, the wait is over.

HarperCollins Children’s division has recently announced their partnership with Penwizard in an effort to make personalized children’s books available to the masses. This opportunity will allow children to see themselves in an interactive role, right beside the action with their favorite characters.

HarperCollins is very proud to be the first major publisher entering into this new venture which will change the face of “personalized publishing”. Amanda Ridout from HarperCollins said: "As part of our ongoing commitment to expanding the boundaries of traditional publishing we are proud to be first to market with a leap forward in personalized publishing."

In my opinion this is a brilliant marketing move. What better way to not only encourage children to read, but also offer huge marketing potential to a variety of debut and established authors? HC’s research and marketing teams seem to really be putting themselves in the shoes of their intended audience. I know that if I had found my name in a book with a favorite character when I was younger, it would surely encourage me to fly through pages to see what happens at the end to “me” and my new friends!

So holler out everyone, what are your thoughts? Do you see this as a good move for HarperCollins? Would it be something you’d be interested in giving to a child? I’d love to hear any feedback you have.


Blogger Katie Alender said...

It sounds really cute... I had dot-matrix-printed personalized books when I was a kid -- my parents sent in my birthday and my dog's name and voila!

The only thing that kinds of "sticks" for me is that it seems like another indication of how self-gratifying and self-serving society continues to become. The cranky old person in me wonders if everything has to be all about the almighty "me" in order for people to enjoy it these days.

But yes, if I were a kid, I would totally dig it.

Monday, May 21, 2007 at 3:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Keri Ford said...

I think it's wonderful. I remember being in elementary and thinking how neat it was to see my photo and name in the yearbook!

And you know it's going to be one of those things where if Jimmy down the street has one, every kid on the block has to have their own too.

Monday, May 21, 2007 at 7:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Emma Sanders said...

I think any way in which we can get kids to reading more is a good idea! I grew up reading, started reading romance when now it'd probably be considered illegal, LOL, and it seems more and more that kids don't want to open a book.

When I was growing up, it was considered brainy to have your nose stuck in a book. I can't imagine what it must be like now for some kids. This is just another great way to help children appreciate the written word. I'd definitely buy one!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 7:52:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Patrick McNamara said...

It's not that new an idea; it has been tried before. The problem is with the stories. If the stories are not any good then it's just a gimmick. I don't know if it has really encouraged more reading amongst children. Reading to children still holds as the most effective technique.

For writers, this isn't that good. They will just hire writers on scale to write something and then sell it because it has the child's name in it, not because it's a good story.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 10:55:00 AM EDT  
Blogger PatriciaW said...

I also wonder about the quality of the stories. The personalized ones I've seen before weren't too great. More gimmick than substance.

As a parent of more than one, I also wonder about the cost. Probably more than a non-personalized book. More marketing pressure on parents' limited resources.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 1:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry, but the "up" side on this seems to be solely financial (for pubs, writers, illustrators) and not a real benefit for kids.

Part of the joy of books is learning to step outside of ourselves. Sure, we imagine we're having lunch with Piglet or Ramona or whomever but the point is the child is thinking of someone else, being someone else.

Sticking "sally" or "david" in a book will give a short thrill of gratification to a child...which will wear off.

Buy enough personalized books and I can hear the whining start. "Why can't I be in Charlotte's Web? Where's my name in Harry Potter? Waaaaaah."

IMHO this will not serve the interests of children or our society which indulges them.

How will they learn "it's not all about YOU?" if it IS all about them, even in the books they read.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 8:30:00 PM EDT  

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