So, why are teens fixated with programs and books about young folks with gnarly powers? ‘I think teens find it empowering. Most shows targeted to them are all about who’s sleeping with whom. This gives them some substance,’ says Kathryn Briggs Gordon, director of marketing for Pocket Books.
Like the show, the Charmed books follow the travails of three 20-something sisters who, as modern day witches, try to keep the evil forces of the universe at bay. PB shipped the inaugural Charmed title, The Power of Three (a straight adaptation of the series’ pilot episode), to stores last month. Subsequent titles, which PB is releasing bimonthly to mass market under its Pocket Pulse teen imprint, will weave separate stories around characters and themes that appear in the show.
Picking up the pub rights to Charmed (which, in its rookie season last year on the WB, averaged a 3.8 rating) was a way for PB to try and expand the teen audience it’s been targeting with the four-month-old Pocket Pulse imprint, says Briggs Gordon.
In order to help guide teen eyeballs from Charmed on the small screen to Charmed on the page, Pocket Books has put together a sweepstakes for a chance to win a diamond pendant, similar to the one the character Prue wears in the show. From February to August, teens can vie for the item by filling out entry forms in the Charmed books, or on PB’s Web site at http://www.simonsayskids.com. Secondary prizes will include Charmed T-shirts.
To attract the attention of teen shoppers in stores, PB is in discussions with existing Charmed licensees about developing cross-merchandised displays. In June, it will package Charmed books in a special display it’s constructing to showcase all of the WB teen titles it currently publishes-titles that make up 62% of its teen catalog.