This could be the year for children’s book parodies—for parents. Next month Akashic Books is releasing the highly anticipated Go the F**k to Sleep, currently in the #1 spot at Amazon. And in October Adams Media is aiming to knock a holiday favorite off its perch with the publication of The Elf Off the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition Gone Bad by Horace the Elf.
“Elf on the Shelf is just such a phenom,” says publisher Karen Cooper. “When you’re the parent of young children, it’s hard to ignore. We just started talking about the ubiquitousness of it during a pub board over the holidays, and from the first mention we immediately knew we had something.” Five months after adding the book to its schedule, Adams is going to press.
The whole Adams family worked to make the story of Santa’s not-so-nice little helper happen. The poem about an ill-tempered elf who hates his job and tries to get in bed with Barbie—yes, that Barbie—while everyone’s asleep was written by editor Brendan O’Neill. PR director Beth Gissinger came up with the angle, and her mother made the elf’s little green costume. The photo shoot was done at art director Frank Rivera’s house.
Adams hasn’t set the print run yet, but Cooper says that retail estimates are among the strongest of any of its titles this year. And the press is working on a big promotional campaign for the 10 x 10 hardcover, the same trim size as the original Elf on the Shelf. Its marketing plans include a promotional video, a dedicated Tumblr feed, holiday gift guide outreach, and a photo bomb app contest.