HarperCollins Children’s Books has secured the rights to The Collective’s Annoying Orange property for a series of joke and storybooks, beginning with Annoying Orange: How to Be Annoying this fall. The animation property got its start on YouTube, where it has more than 2.7 million subscribers and has been seen more than one billion times. It also has been airing on Cartoon Network since June 2012.

“What appealed to us about it mostly was its phenomenal popularity,” says David Linker, executive editor. “It’s a juggernaut, and on its own merits, with very little marketing behind it. It’s also a great, creative property that appeals to our age group.”

Plans for fall 2013 through spring 2015 include two joke books for ages six to10, beginning with How To Be Annoying, and four holiday-themed storybooks for ages four to eight. “We wanted to do original stories with the brand and take the characters to places they haven’t been before,” Linker explains, noting that the property has a parody element that lends itself well to the familiar storylines of holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.

The animation production team is creating original illustrations for the books, in the 3D-animated style familiar from the YouTube and TV incarnations. “It will look of a piece with the rest of the property,” Linker says.

The Joester-Loria Group is the licensing agent for Annoying Orange.