The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 6, 1996 · Page 57
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 57

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 6, 1996
Page 57
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Give your hair that $30 Professional Salon Look... with TAP TEASER " |TH| * 1-800-811 "8802 24 Hour Toll Free Order Number HERE'S WHAT YOU GET; more feathered look, a meflHum point TAP TEASER for tWcter, chunkier layers-plus an easy Styling Owldel HERE'S HOW TO ORDER: Please specify Tap Tenser - Item #W832 or Tap Teaser Deluxe - Item #W833 (Includes step-by-step video). Along with your name, address, and zip code, please send $12.95 plus $2.95 postage and handling for the Tap Teaser or send $19.95 + $4.95 post. & hdlg. for the Tap Teaser Deluxe. Make check / M.O. payable to Elizabeth Kaye Collection, and mail to: Elizabeth Kaye Collection, Dept. TX- 2 Box 9001, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724-9001 NJ residents please add sales tax. Credit cards welcome - Visa or MasterCard only. Include card name, account number, and expiration date. (••uUilluKm: G*C AwclMu Pk_w ilknr up lu +4 wcdu tor iWivtiy. Kids' new heroes Mega-sales of children's books are creating legions of little fans, as authors turn celebrities W HO ARE THE superstars of publishing? If John Grisham and Stephen King come to mind, try again. When it comes to raking in the biggest bucks and drawing the largest, most adoring crowds, children's book authors win hands down. Take Jan and Stan Berenstain, creators of the Berenstain Bears series. They live a quiet, unassuming life outside Philadelphia. But their books are the biggest sellers in the history of publishing, at 167 million sold. This year, the elderly couple will take in $90 million in retail sales from licensed products alone. With stakes this high, others are bound to vie for the throne. R.L. Stine, creator of Goosebumps, is right up there, of course. But have you heard of JCA. Applegate? In August, after just three months on the market, this romance novel veteran's .<4/«wiofp/Js series was No. 4 on Publishers Weekly's list of best-selling kids' paperbacks. The first ibie&Ani- morphs books for Scholastic Inc., about kids who morph into animals to save the human race, are selling ferociously — even better than Goose- bumps did when it first hit. Thanks to baby boomers' insatiable desire to entertain and enlighten their precious progeny, the once-sleepy world of children's books has gotten a huge shot of adrenalin. But books alone don't get the money machine rolling. Inevitably, the slightest interest from the pint-size public launches a media blitz, including toys, movies, videos, CD-ROMs and even glow-in- the-dark boxer shorts. As a result, the authors themselves morph into Hollywood-style stars. "It has changed," says Jon Scieszka, 41, author of The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and a regular on the school tour circuit. "When I was growing up, I really liked Dr. Seuss books, but I never thought there was a real person writing them." TV is a huge factor in transforming children's authors into animated kids' series on PBS. Book publisher Little, Brown hopes it will create the same kind of cross-promotional magic for Arthur series author Marc Brown. Schools also are helping turn kids' book writers into celebrities, with the new emphasis on children's literature in the classroom and "author of the month" programs. Kids are meeting more authors in the flesh with appearances at schools, libraries and bookstores (the writers collect up to $2,000 a pop) to spur book sales. And sales have surged. Between 1982 and 1995, according to the Asso- ciation of American Publishers, revenue from children's books increased sixfold, to $1.2 billion. Paula Danziger, author of the Amber Brown series, never dreamed she could make a living writing children's books. But while recovering from a car wreck in 1970, she gave it a shot. Now she gives talks to schoolchildren nationwide, dressed in her trademark zany outflts: gobs of jewelry, colorful scarves, sequined sneakers. "I haven't had a real job since 1978," she says proudly. Authors like Danziger and Eric Carle, Jan Brett, Tomie de Paola, Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein and Chris Van Allsburg are almost as well- known to children today as I! Mickey Mouse. R.L. Stine, named America's best-selling author for || the second consecutive year, I is more like the Godzilla of kids' book authors. His books for 8- to 12-year-olds sell at an astounding rate of 4 million a month (see box below). Yet Stine, like most other children's authors, is slightly embarrassed by his riches. He donates a portion of the proceeds from his books and licensed products to charity. But the money keeps rolling in. At a book signing in Watauga, Texas, last spring, Stine tried sneaking out the bookstore's back door, causing a near riot among the crowd of 3,000. The police were called in. The soft-spoken superstar shrugs: "No one is more amazed than I am over what's happened." ra OB PBS. sought-after personalities with devoted fans. Sales of the Magic School Bus books doubled after PBS started the show in 1994. Now when authors Bruce Degen and Joanna Cole visit bookstores, they're bombarded by as many as 700 eager autograph-seekers and need handlers to manage the multitudes. "We have to fight them off," says Cole. The latest multimedia wannabe: Arthur, premiering Monday as an 20 USA WEEKEND • Oct. 4-6, 1W6 USA WEEKEND • Oct. 4-6,1906 31 Please mail by November 5,1996. Franklin Mint Precision Mwtelt * Frwklln Center, PA 19091-0001 Please enter my order for the die-cast replica of the 1957 Chevrolet* Bel Air*. I need SEND NO MONEY NOW. I will be billed a special introductory price of just $29.95* when my model is ready to be shipped. SIGNATURE. ~iOHOB_«aSUWCTTO«C«l'WNC«. MR/MRS/MISS- APT * CITY/STATE. ZIP TELEPHONE *(

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