Last week we joined the book world invasion on Earls Court to release our secret weapon. The Story Card.
We also took to the stage (The Children’s Innovation Stage that is) and presented ‘Cardooo’ to a crowd of very supportive book lovers. I have picked out key excerpts from our presentation and hope you find the following of interest.
We are passionate about making learning fun and strongly believe in the power of reading. When poor literacy levels are constantly in the news we are proud to have developed a product on our list to encourage reading. The London Evening Standard’s front page last autumn was that most girls were embarrassed to be seen with a book. But those girls will probably become the women that buy a staggering 85% of all cards sold in the UK. We have to face it that the vast majority of young boys and girls would rather spend their ‘gift money’ on something other than a book, but if we can subtly introduce stories into their birthday cards and get them reading then we know they, like us, will be hooked for the rest of their lives. After all it is not ‘uncool’ to get a birthday card.
So we have created the ‘Story Card’ which are very simply ‘books in cards’ and we launch with;
10 Fairy Stories cards
Little Red Riding Hood
The Three Little Pigs
Billy Goats Gruff
Jack & the Bean Stalk
The Enormous Turnip
Puss in Boots
We have left them blank because is there anything nicer than a Grandparent giving ‘The Enormous Turnip’ in a birthday card? Or Goldilocks in a Get Well card? Or ‘Missing you’ with a Snow White? They are all originally illustrated, with text that is brought into 21st century, appropriate for ages between 5 to 90 years old.
At Christmas we are continuing the ‘Story card’ theme, with: ‘12 Days of Christmas’, and ‘T’was the Night before Christmas’, beautifully illustrated, pure Christmas, and a complete must for those holding onto the Seasons joys.
We are also dropping into the covers two classic Christmas stories: ‘The Gifts of the Magi’ and ‘The Little Christmas Tree’, I hope you’ll agree, aside from their commercial uniqueness that they renew some of the missing Christmas magic?
We have plans to launch a comprehensive range of short stories, not just for kids, but also for adults, and are working with authors as we speak. We see no reason why a range of Contemporary Adult Short Stories and Poetry cards would not sell well in book shops. We are looking to cover the plays of Shakespeare, the novels of Dickens, even the parables of the Bible. We are already meeting with football clubs, museums, tourist sites, cooks, astrologers, and charities to publish bespoke product where they can expand their offerings. There is no reason why in the future book publishers cannot take advantage of our format to publish sample short stories by their leading authors to advertise upcoming novels.
A very senior publisher once said ‘If you carry on like this you could save the short story’. Short Stories struggle in book format, but in a card they could have a whole new lease of life and their natural place would be in a book shop. The great thing about Cardooo is it straddles both card and bookshop markets, a combined market value of £2.6 billion, taking the published page where it has never been before. We believe we are offering the trade an opportunity to take a larger share of the booming card market, with a unique book related product, that will appeal on many different levels to the customer. And while yes some of it will be ‘replacement sales’ but it will be higher margin sales at £3.50.
Afterall what makes more sense? A folded piece of card? Or a card that entertains and stimulates imaginations and creativity? If you had the choice what would you buy your loved ones? We are not claiming our story cards will dramatically improve literacy levels. We are not claiming we can replace all bookshops losses to digital publishing. Nor are we claiming we can muster a huge increase in footfall. What we are saying is our product can help with all of those things, and given time could be a considerable income stream within the book shop, because it is so book related. If we can just get kids imagination sparking by reading one of our cards, it might just encourage them to next try a book. We are obviously not suggesting you don’t sell conventional cards, but we are asking if you could also sell some Cardooos, because you never know, that Cardooo might just set a child off on a lifetime of reading, which I can promise you, a conventional card will not!
We were also very impressed with the illustration talent and enjoyed the portfolio presentations immensely. We hope to work with you in the very near future.