A report from last week's Publishers Weekly: Last month St. Martin's Press announced a worldwide rights deal for books from the Shushybye brand. . . .
Last year Steve Syatt, a public relations veteran who helped launch children's brands including Bob the Builder, decided to launch a brand of his own called Shushybye, with stories about dreams and sleeping. He self-published the first book, Shushybye: Snoozles Saves the Night, and sold over 3,000 on consignment at Borders stores throughout California. Inspiration for self-published authors? Not really. For one thing, the Shushabye.com webpage says that this company has been around since January 2004, so Syatt has been working on his vision at least twice as long as the Publishers Weekly article implies. And it's clear that the company's goal is to create a brand, not to tell stories. Books are only one part of a product mix that includes DVD, TV show, sleepwear, toys, music, and a concert tour.
Remember how the Smurfs had only one, stereotyped female character when they began? Take a look at the "Meet the Shushies" page. Out of five characters shown and two more named, all but one is male. But don't worry--a little obvious reverse sexism should make that tokenism go away, right?
DOZIE is a girl Shushie, so she has all the smarts (of course!). DOZIE is always coming up with great ideas. She also loves to dance and has a bit of a crush on SNOOZLES. Children can always rely on DOZIE for the most wondrous dreams - and for her sweetness and joy.I'm not sure I'll sleep better tonight.
Last month St. Martin's Press announced a worldwide rights deal for books from the Shushybye brand. . . .