Million Dollar Idea: Put a Nosferatu On It
I’m in the middle of ordering some high interest nonfiction for one of my school libraries. One of the heavily requested topics is vampires. I quickly realized I can go one of two ways – go for the illustrated vampire cover, which will circulate well…
…or go for the one with Nosferatu on the cover, which will cause a circulation melee.
Why? Nosferatu is truly creepy. This main character from the 1922 German horror film of the same name looks like a living vampire.
The difference between “safe” creepy and truly creepy can’t be denied. Case in point: the recent decline in student interest when the Scary Stories were de-Gammellfied (covered by Bookshelves of Doom, among others).
Okay, now bear with me here. My wife and I enjoy the completely hit-or-miss sketch comedy show Portlandia. One of their best sketches was about a couple who put images of birds on everything.
So, my million dollar idea is to sell stickers (about the size of the Newbery and Caldecott seals sold by ALA) that have an image of Noferatu on them. Something like this:
Not only can you retrofit your current vampire and monster books to up the creepiness factor…
…you can slap them on books that contain no vampires at all.
Want to sell a few more kids on an aging Newbery winner? Put a Nosferatu on it.
Print encyclopedias not getting much use? Put a Nosferatu on it.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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