Sweet Valley Confidential: That's how it's done

News broke today about the cover of the upcoming Sweet Valley High sequel, Sweet Valley Confidential. Here's what made the execution flawless:

1. The Sweet Valley Confidential social media accounts: I follow SVConfidential on Twitter, and I "like" them on Facebook. And you know what? They do it right. I've always felt included in the excitement, like they granted me access to a secret sorority (like, I don't know, THE UNICORNS?!). (Although I do have a bone to pick with whoever manages their Twitter...I won a Team Jessica shirt in July and have yet to receive it, and my message to them went unheeded. But I'm nothing if not forgiving!) (Ha. Not really.)

2. The tie-in to traditional media: People broke the cover news. This is a great example of using an established outlet to house the content and then using social channels to market it. And really, what other mag besides People would make sense? Even though I don't read it regularly, it's the perfect choice. (Although now I know that Melissa Rycroft is having a girl, and frankly, I didn't care to know that, though perhaps it will come in handy if there's ever a Bachelor category on Jeopardy.)

3. The artwork itself: It's kind of gorgeous, yet totally predictable, and still somehow feels both modern and retro at the same time. $10 says it's Liz on the front and Jess on the back. (Though how cool would it be if they printed two versions with the front and back covers reversed?! You're welcome, St. Martin's Press.)

Of course, none of this would matter if there weren't throngs of people waiting to see the cover and read the book. When the content is stellar (or at least that nice mix of average-yet-appealing-for-nostalgic-reasons), the community will respond organically.

Snowbound! (Or, "we like a long holiday"*)

Last weekend I was feeling anxious, so I tucked into bed with The Baby-sitters Club Super Special #7: Snowbound. I am 30 years old.

Now, there are tons of blogs out there who re-read and re-analyze those oldie-but-goodies (like The Dairi Burger and What Claudia Wore) and they do it better than I could, so I’m not going to try. But I do want to thank those blogs, because my latent love for all things BSC (and, to a lesser extent, Sweet Valley Twins – not High, she said adamantly, Twins titles are far superior – not to mention Taffy Sinclair and Sleepover Friends and Girl Talk and Sunset Island andIcouldgoonbutwhybother,therearejustsomanygreatonesfromthe80sand90s) didn’t rear its pretty little Stoneybrook head until the internet came along and forced out my memories. And now here I am, with a recaptured collection of middle grade and young adult books, forgoing the large stack of to-be-read (TBR) titles by my nightstand to re-read Snowbound for the 50th time. (Yes, that is my best estimate.) Teen lit, it’s a helluva drug.

Anyway, there’s a reason I re-read books like Kristy and the Walking Disaster, and it’s not to get fashion ideas. It’s more like a form of comfort food. So instead of inhaling a bag of, say, Doritos, I can pick up Little Miss Stoneybrook…And Dawn and get my fix. So of course, I had to be the one to write the BSC post on my company's corporate blog when the big news came out. And wouldn't you know it, but a not-so-secret childhood dream of mine came true, when Ann M. Martin actually read the blog and sent us a note saying she liked it. (Would it be weird if I pasted her words, verbatim, here? Probably. I will refrain.)

Ann M. Martin, like, likes me. This is what dreams are made of, people.

*This quote from Snowbound has always stuck with me. It's from the man who saves Stacey and her mom when they're stuck in their car; they accept his invite to his house to ride out the storm, and he and his wife have already decorated for the holidays, even though it seems to be only early November. Sorry; I'll stop now.