Designer fragrances have lost their spot as the hottest self-designed celebrity status symbol.
Taking their place: children’s books.
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Don’t put your name on a handbag, pen a kiddie novel.
Tim McGraw has one. So does Jamie Lee Curtis. Yep, Peyton and Eli Manning, too.
We recently learned actress Tori Spelling will write her first children’s book.
And a New York Times blogger reported this week that author John Grisham — who for years wrote courtroom page-turners geared toward adults — will write a new series for children.
The genre’s appeal is easy to understand.
Penning a family-oriented book automatically boosts your nice guy appeal.
Unless, of course, you write about a bizarre universe where kids hurl paralyzing vegetables at their parents. Plus, the genre seems to require a different author mindset than what you’d expect from, say, a 300-page novel.
It’s easy to look at a 15-page book about talking ladybugs and think, “Hey, I could do that.”
But don’t be fooled by its thin binding and pretty pictures. The genre isn’t for everybody.
Listen up, celebrities: If you want to break into children’s lit, we recommend you follow these tips:
First, know your audience. Kids will see right through your efforts to use a family of lovable bears to symbolize the turbulent cast relationships on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” (Are you listening, Tori?)
Second, promote carefully. If you plug “Picnics With Mommy and Daddy” while you’re on stage in a sequined bikini, your literary plan will backfire.
Finally, don’t give up your day job. Your first book will likely be successful. But permanently describing yourself as a “singer/author” or “actress/Hemingway” is a bit of a stretch.
Remember: Your book is just one chapter in a celebrity lifestyle that thrives on multiple forms of name recognition.
With that in mind, you might just be able to manage a happy ending.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, 706-571-8516.