Friday, September 19, 2008

Marketing Genius?

Can gamers, collectors and bookworms coexist peacefully? Scholastic hopes so. They have recently published The 39 Clues which is being billed as a “groundbreaking multi-platform new series for children ages 8-12”. This series includes 10 action adventure books, 350 collectible cards and an online game to compete for prizes. The first book in the series, Maze of Bones , was written by Rick Riordan who you may recognize as the author of the Percy Jackson series. The book comes with six collectible cards and packs of sixteen cards are available to purchase separately. Kids can register their cards online where they can also track their points and their clues. Finding clues and earning points results in prizes including the grand prize of $10,000.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the cash prize involved, especially for kids and some have complained that this is no more than a marketing scheme to sell the trading cards. However, I am all for any new tactic to get kids to read, which I believe this series will accomplish. Another big plus for the 39 clues is that each book in the series is written by a different author. I had difficulty trying to get my own son to read, but once he discovered one book he liked, he read every other book by that author. This was great, but let’s face it – no author can write as fast as the average person can read. Once he ran out of titles by “his” author the struggle started all over again. This series will introduce kids to 10 different authors, which should provide them with enough variety of books until they become teenagers and develop strong opinions of their own on what they should read.

What do you think?
Brilliant marketing ploy or great new series?

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