On August 17, professional wrestler, entertainer, and author John Cena announced a new pre-order campaign for his forthcoming picture book, Elbow Grease: Fast Friends (Random House), the third installment in his bestselling Elbow Grease series illustrated by Howard McWilliam. Due to the ongoing pandemic, in lieu of public appearances and book signings, Cena will record personal video messages for every reader who pre-orders the book from any retailer and then uploads their receipt by October 4.
Once readers share their receipt and fill out their identifying information, Cena will enter the system and record a personal video message for each receipt submitted, to be delivered by email within 30 days.
John Adamo, senior v-p and director of marketing at Random House Children’s Books, said that Cena devised the new promotional strategy himself, as connecting with readers at events and book signings is “so important” to him. “It was no surprise to us that he came up with the idea to send personalized videos in lieu of public appearances,” Adamo told PW. “No idea is ever too big for John when it comes to connecting with his fans, and this one is a perfect example of his boundless energy.”
The latest book in the Elbow Grease series follows the eponymous monster truck and his four brothers—inspired by Cena’s own familial experience—as they meet Chopper, a purple monster motorcycle, and deal with jealousy amid new friendships.