Pop Culture Book Hooks
I loved the recent post at the Nerdy Book Club blog about taking advantage of the hype and publicity surrounding the publishing of a book to ramp up excitement in the library. I would also include the debut of a movie or DVD in this strategy to get kids interested in books and characters. And of course just linking in to popular series and trends that kids are interested in is golden too!
Over the years we have found that this is a great way to get kids excited AND to take advantage of material and activities provided by the publisher or movie studio to enhance the fun. And often, since the media is also participating in publicizing the book/movie, it creates a higher awareness among the kids and parents about the material and a ready-made audience for anything you do.
In past few years, there has been a bonanza of movies out based on children's and teen books. It's great fun to use the movie PR to link back to the book. Most recently, we (and many others in school and public libraries) had fun with the Hunger Games. Our teen librarian got some movie posters available at the theater that added fun and a look of authenticity to her party before the movie premiere. When we did Diary of a Wimpy Kid (both movies and books) parties, we found Abrams to be extremely helpful with PR and activity kit material.
Book debuts are fertile ground for fun too. Many libraries participated in Rick Riordan's roll-out in May of his Serpent's Shadow, last book in the Kane Chronicles series heavily hyped through social networking sites and by his publisher. My colleagues at Hedberg Library in Janesville just did a Zombie Prom to coincide with Friday the 13th and the general interest in zombies. Libraries have focused fun teen parties on steampunk, Harry Potter, Twilight. Kids parties and workshops are also abundantly represented - Captain Underpants, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, -Ology (based on the Drake books), Mo Willems and more. Book trailers, which are becoming much more prevalent, add to the fun.
By keeping a weather eye on and hooking up to what is popular and trending with kids in the book and media world, we can create fun events for kids that celebrate books and bring in eager kids to our libraries.
Has it worked for you?