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Making the book feel real

This afternoon I was feeding Milo and watching TV when I came across a series called Half Moon Investigations on CBBC. I decided to keep watching, as it was obviously based on a children’s book of the same name by Eoin Colfer, which we published when I was still at Puffin.

From the TV show

I’m sad to say I found it dry and a little bland – it wasn’t all that funny and it certainly didn’t conjure up the spirit of film noir in the brilliant way of the book. And what’s more, it didn’t seem to credit the author or the book anywhere as a source of inspiration.

Book jacket

That’s a shame, because I remember we had great fun with the marketing of it. Alongside the press and poster advertising campaign, we created miniature business cards for the main character, Fletcher ‘Half’ Moon and mailed them out to booksellers, and created competitions to win a day at the spy academy featured in the novel.

That’s the way children’s books marketing works best, I think: when it extends the experience of the fictional world into the real one!

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