Sunday, December 20, 2009
I have some serious ground to cover! As if December isn't busy enough, our son had a birthday on Friday (and we gave him a surprise "retro" party, which was quite a trick to pull off), and I only today got my head into the fact that Christmas is less than a week away. But concerning this blog, I really need to celebrate the contributions of people who participated in the Exercise the Right to Read campaign, as this cycle comes to a close at the end of the calendar year, and I have some spotlighting to do! But I've also promised the Sammy fans following this blog that I'd present them with an idea this week, so for this entry, I'm going to focus on that. The people at Random House are looking at different ways to generate sort of a drum roll about Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher. After all, it's the 13th book in the series, and there are some pretty major developments in the overarching storyline. RH has some cool ideas, but I'd be interested in hearing what would appeal to you, or what you think might help spread the news that there's a new Sammy Keyes book coming out. Now, let me make really clear that "dumb" ideas can lead to good ideas, and believe me, I've had many dumb ideas...but you have to start somewhere, right? So if you think something's "dumb", maybe it'll spark an idea for something better--which means that the original idea wasn't really dumb at all, but a catalyst for something cool. Also keep in mind that ideas will only work if they are practical and affordable. If it's not both, it won't fly with my publisher. So to get the ball rolling, let me give you some of the ideas I've had: My awesome sister-in-law has given me a charm for every SK book that has come out. I have this amazing charm bracelet with a charm that symbolizes each title -- binoculars for Hotel Thief, a jack o' lantern for Skeleton Man...you get the idea. I've always thought that having a charm that went with each book would be very cool... But how would they get distributed? Packaging them with the book is not practical....mailing them to readers is not practical...distributing them at the POS (point of sale) could be...but the whole idea is a little fussy. and really, are charm bracelets even in style for teens? I don't think so. Which brings me to an adjustment on the idea. How about a leather band that you could add beads to? A bead for each book? Does the idea have any merit at all? What would YOU think was a cool thing to have / collect? Another idea: shoelaces. I've thought it would be so cool to give away Sammy Keyes shoelaces with the purchase of a book -- ones you could lace through your own high-tops ('cause, of course you've got high-tops, right?). It's more practical than a charm bracelet (because it's a one-time thing)...but I don't know if other people will think it's as fun as I do. And what would you want to see printed on the shoelaces? A string of all the titles? Or just "Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher"? (Seems too "commercial" to me.) "SK" repeating? (Don't say SK + CA, 'cause much as I love him, there's more to Sammy Keyes than Casey Acosta :-)) When it comes to practical and affordable, the Internet is king. So Random House has tossed around ideas about maybe having "Sammy" tweet, or blog, or...have some sort of Web presence which was more personal than the sammykeyes.com website. My reaction to this is that it might be more interesting to hear "tweeting" or on-line comments from Sammy's friends...Marissa and Holly and Dot and Billy and (especially) Casey. And of course we'd have to include Heather :-) Does that idea have appeal to you? Do you think people would follow? And anything that could be downloaded from the website...that would be practical and affordable...but what? Educators (and publishers) tend to think in terms of bookmarks and test-your-knowledge quizzes...but I'd like to know what YOU think would be a cool thing to find you could download from a website. Maybe you like the idea of a bookmark...maybe you've got an idea that's new and unique and, you know, more Sammy. So send me your brainstorms, your preferences, your "that's cool" and "that's lame". I want to hear what you think. I'm excited to invite you to be part of this process--from the comments some of you have posted, I know you're the right people to ask! If you don't want your comments / ideas to go public, you can always send them to me via the "Contact Us" button at the Exercise the Right to Read website (www.exercisetherighttoread.org). So get on your idea skateboard and ride!