Prison Stripes

At TLA, I met one of the marketing directors for Penguin Books and she asked if I would like to be added to their mailing list for advance copies of books. Needless to say, I said yes.

However, now, after having received a few books from them in the last two months, I’m not only thrilled, but deeply impressed. Whoever their packaging/marketing people are, they are brilliant.

Does a book show up just in a nondescript box? Oh no. (Well, sometimes).

But some of them? They show up like this:

You can’t help but at least be CURIOUS about the black envelope with the sticker telling you what book it is.

And if you haven’t read the first book (Al Capone Does My Shirts), let me tell you that it’s about a young boy who lives on Alcatraz (his dad is an electrician hired by the prison). I tell that so you’ll appreciate how awesome what’s INSIDE the envelope is.

The book, obviously, but not just shoved in and flung into the mailbox. Oh no.

And even more impressive – when you flip it over, it’s got this on the back:

I’ll tell you what, I haven’t even started reading the book yet and I’m already raving about how awesome the packaging is to anyone who will listen. Because, seriously, PRISON-STRIPE tissue paper. Brilliance.

A few days before this book arrived, I got copies of Richard Peck’s books “A Long Way From Chicago” and “A Year Down Yonder” and then the newest one in the series, which is coming out this fall and is Christmas themed. It came in a silver mailer and the books were tied together with a long shiny red ribbon.

Penguin, I am in awe of your marketing prowess.

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  • Reply TheMoncurs June 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Dude, I am such a sucker for good packaging. You are so lucky!

  • Reply Jess June 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Packaging is SO important. We worked with an ad agency once who sent out demos in the COOLEST package. I still haven't gotten over how exciting everything looked, even though the stuff itself really was not that exciting.

  • Reply emily kate June 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I love good packaging, and that is awesome! I bought the first book at Alcatraz in April but haven't read it yet.

  • Reply Tina's Blog June 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I would love to know how you signed up to receive advance copies. I am so jealous—you have the new Al Capone book AND the new Richard Peck!

  • Reply Heather June 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Oh, how I would love to be on that mailing list. How do I do it? Must I become a paduan to master Janssen? Loved Al Capone does my shirts, btw.

  • Reply tootie June 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Creative packaging! I'd be excited to get that, too.

  • Reply Norby Family June 8, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Ummm, you may be the luckiest girl ever!!! How in the world do you get on the list? BTW, those two RIchard Peck books are my all time favorites and I can't wait to read the next one. Those are part of the books I want my kids to read.

  • Reply RA June 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Whoa. My Harper Collins books look totally lame in comparison.

    However, what poor intern has to wrap all of those books? I pity that person.

  • Reply Shelly June 8, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    That is awesome! Very, very creative.

  • Reply Ben and Summer June 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Al Capone does my Shirts is one of my favortie books so far. LOVE IT! OK, so now I'm curious, can anyone sign up or be put on the list for advance copies? If so, do you know how or who to contact? I got some advance copies in a children's lit class once and thought it was the greatest thing ever. Free books – how great! (right, they're free?)However, I don't have a reading blog that hundreds of people read, so I don't know if I'd be one of the chosen few. What do you think?

  • Reply KT June 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    That wrapping is awesome.

    Though I have to agree with RA that the poor intern that has to wrap them probably didn't think that's what he was signing up for 🙂

  • Reply Lisa June 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Well, now you have to take pictures of everything they send. Your readers demand it.

  • Reply Peacefull Reader June 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    This is an awesome coup for you! Al Capone shines my shoes is fantastic also…once you get past the fabulous packaging-the book is def. worth it.

  • Reply Jen Robinson June 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    That is great!! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply Jenny June 9, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    BIG. No, HUGE. fan of Richard Peck's two books… didn't know there would be a third. I'm all over it at Christmas time! UNLESS, that is, you decide to give it to ME.

  • Reply Miriam June 9, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    wow! Wish I was close enough to enjoy your cast offs!

  • Reply Kim June 9, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Janssen, first of all – I added my email to my blogger as directed 🙂

    Second – freakin awesome you're getting free books to review!! And gorgeously packaged ones to boot! Love it!

  • Reply Miri June 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I am basically burning with jealousy. 1) I just read the first one about a month ago and I LOVED it, and was thrilled when I found out there's a second coming soon. 2) Getting advance copies of books! Amazing! You are a lucky girl.

  • Reply Rhiannon June 15, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Fantastic! I work in marketing, but I am NOT that creative.

  • Reply Trish June 19, 2009 at 2:50 am

    It's a really fun book. After I finished reading it I passed it onto my little brother and it would have been SO cool to pass it along in this packaging. Way to go marketers for making it fun!

  • Reply blakspring June 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    i too am a packaging lover. and that is a fantastic book. enjoy!

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