We got set a project a few weeks back to pitch some kind of product to a panel of “judges” (tutors). Dragon’s Den Style to those who are familiar with it.
It was a pretty neat project, I decided to be completely unadventurous and one hundred percent predictable and stick with what I know. SO I put my efforts into producing a pitch for a series of children’s books, kind of like a dark Mr Men (not Little Miss though. We all know they were just a cheap money-making move. Little beetches more like…ahem)
And thus these guys were born. The Little Nightmares.
The idea is (yeah, there was one of those) that it’s a brand aimed at tackling bad behaviour in children come night-time. It’s like a whole subculture or misbehaviour; there’s so many variations of getting out of going to bed that I thought I’d characterise them. Each of my Little Nightmares is a different personification of night-time issue, and each book follows a short story about them being naughty and, ultimately, rectifying the behaviour and becoming well behaved.
Well, that’s the plan anyway. Obviously we only had to present the idea so the books haven’t TECHNICALLY been written yet. But some pretty artwork’s been done.
And that’s the important thing…right?
I pitched it at four books currently, although the intention is for the series to expand exponentially.
It’s one of those great things that can keep going for as long as kids are misbehaving…so pretty much until the end of time.
I also went on a lot about the potential for merchandise.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to make money off the back of books (specifically independently published books) but I’m telling you now, it doesn’t happen. Any return that would be made on this mythical Dragons Den money we were asking for, would most likely have to be made almost solely on the subsequent merchandise that the brand could potentially generate. Luckily, as it’s all about the night-time, it leaves itself open for that kind of thing. Not only in toys, bed covers, night lights etc, but also in company collaborations with various institutions that specialise in either children or night based products. For example, getting the characters on toothpaste and toothbrushes etc.
(See? I thought about stuff!)
But the books weren’t the only aspect to my brand. I did a fair amount of research into the issue of kids misbehaving at bedtime and realised there isn’t actually a whole lot of help for parents who have these problems. There’s websites like the NHS and shows like Super Nanny, (I slagged off the Super Nanny website A LOT. Because it’s shit.) But they seem to talk about bad behaviour in general and I’ve known kids who are perfectly well-behaved 90% of the time, but just hate bedtime. (Understandably I think. It’s boring.)
So I included a website plan in my pitch. Somewhere that has the aim of, not only furthering the child’s relationship with the characters but helping parents too via a parent portal of hints, tips, advice, forums etc.
So that was more or less my project. I hadn’t actually intended to take you through my presentation, I really just wanted to share the artwork, but apparently today is a digitally enhanced verbal diarrhoea day so there you go.
I’d like to carry on with the idea to be honest. There’s no reason why the books can’t be made and added to my ever-growing list of books and fanzines I’d like to sell. Won’t be in time for Comiket this April, but that’s just one of many event’s I’d like to take part in, so keep your eyes peeled in the future.
Now I just have to actually write them….huh.
Fraidymare said it.