Writing a children’s book appears to be the latest celebrity tactic to earn a few extra pennies with Idris Elba joining the list of famous faces with their own series of children’s books.
While most savvy celebrities still have an eye on expanding their growing empires with endorsements and branded deals, writing a bestseller for the younger generation seems to have become a growing endeavor. more popular for celebs in recent years.
It was announced earlier this week that Luther star Idris, 48, has signed a global deal to write a series of children’s picture and fiction books inspired by his teenage daughter Isan.
He joins a long list of famous faces who deploy their star power with their own series of books, including royalty like the Duchess of York, bestselling authors like David Walliams and even rising stars like Emerald Fennell.
Pop culture and branding expert Nick Ede said it’s a status symbol for celebrities who feel it’s a “smart way to earn money. money, maintain fame and guarantee years of royalty.
Writing a children’s book seems like the latest celebrity tactic to earn a few extra pennies, as Idris Elba has joined the list of famous faces with their own children’s series.
Nick suggested that the famous author’s popularity was boosted after many saw the runaway success of comedian David Walliams’ book empire.
Walliams has become increasingly well known as a children’s author in recent years.
The Boy In The Dress was released in 2008 and was followed by 14 other children’s novels, including Mr Stink, Ratburger and Billionaire Boy, which have sold over 35 million copies worldwide.
At over £ 100million, his book revenue exceeds his show revenue and when WH Smith listed his most popular children’s books of 2020, three of them were in the top ten, even beating JK Rowling. .
Nick suggested that the popularity of the famous author was boosted after many saw the meteoric success of comedian David Walliams’ book empire.
Its production is prodigious, publishing at least two books per year, including picture books for the youngest and collections of short stories.
Seven novels have been adapted for television – which he also produces and stars in – while five have been made into shows.
Walliams has indeed become a brand that children will claim with each new title.
Other stars to release children’s books include Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, whose bestselling Sulwe will become a Netflix-hosted musical.
Presenter Fearne Cotton has written several children’s books, while the Duchess of York is also an acclaimed children’s author (left and right)
And last year, Natalie Portman released Fables, picking three classic tales and giving them a new overhaul.
Nick revealed: “The celebrity call to write children’s books really started with the David Walliams phenomenon.”
“He saw a market where his books could sell, but where there would also be a lot of filming of theatrical performances, animation, audiobooks and merchandise.
“It allows the author to only maximize in a way that someone like JK Rowling could imagine.”
Meanwhile, presenter Cat Deeley has also written her own children’s book, The Joy in You, and Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s bestselling Sulwe will become a Netflix-hosted musical.
Hollywood actress Natalie Portman released her children’s book Fables last October after reimagining several classic tales
Nick continued, “Stars like Konnie Huq have gone on to become bestselling authors and even fitness trainers like Scott Harrison are dabbling in children’s books to educate about healthy eating and exercise in a fun way.”
The branding expert said Hollywood stars could earn “years of royalty” by writing a children’s book that could become a classic for young readers.
He explained: “Celebrities like Idris Elba who have mass appeal in movies and television and who can write compelling stories that children learn from are a nifty way to make money and keep your fame and fame. ‘get years and years of royalties.
“I think this is a smart way to stay relevant, build a new fan base and earn money and build a legacy like famous writers from Enid Blighton to Roald Dahl who still have their intellectual property. used for modern adaptations. “
Tom Fletcher, who rose to fame as the lead singer of the McFly band, has written a host of popular children’s books.
Meanwhile, Jamie Williams is managing partner of the London-based advertising agency, isobel agreed, saying: “Recently I think there has been a general shift towards side projects with celebrities helping to build a brand. celebrities, rather than just making money for them.
“This is probably related to the fact that many celebrities now share their lives with everyone, and the measure of the true power of celebrities is now largely the number of their followers.
“As a branding side project, children’s books seem to fit the brief well because they are definitely seen as a positive thing to do, and they can help engage a whole new audience, with the chance to earn more. followers and more fame.
Meanwhile, cleaning expert and Netflix star Marie Kondo also wrote her own children’s story called Kiki and Jax.
“Of course, there’s also the fact that, like most other people, celebrities have kids, they read children’s books and think ‘I can do this’.
“And many have the writing skills and names the editors will fight over.”
Meanwhile, Andy Barr, CEO and founder of 10 Yetis Digital, suggested the move could “expand a star’s potential reach to new and younger audiences,” adding: “Tthis will have the added benefit of softening a personal brand and potentially opening up new, high-paying acting roles.