BACKGROUND – Skylander’s connection:
In November of 2012, Tyler’s second grade teacher informed us that he needed to “work more on his writing by focusing on the transitions between thoughts.”
Returning home, we told Tyler that he would work on a book over the Thanksgiving break but that Tyler could pick the subject. Not surprisingly, he picked a story based on the popular game “Skylanders” by Activision. Each night for the next two months, I would return home to a an excited young boy who would relay “chapters” of his story to me so quickly that I eventually started relying on video to capture the story. Not being a writer, I referenced “Dummy books” on writing to help elicit details from Tyler about his story to fill in the “gaps” that a seven year old naturally leaves.
Eventually, Tyler had enough details to take his “work in progress” to his teacher who decided it was good enough to read to the class. Since Tyler had written his classmates into the story it was no surprise that we started getting interest from parents to provide a copy of the book to them.
In attempting to upload the book to an online book printing service, we noticed a copyright notice that gave us concern, so we sent a copy of Tyler’s book to an individual we found on the web with a @Skylanders email address and asked if we could receive permission to use the images of the Skylander’s characters in Tyler’s book.
You can imagine our surprise when In January of 2013, we received an email and a phone call from a Skylanders executive who was very interested in Tyler’s book. They indicated they were considering publishing it but needed to run it past their ACTIVISION parent company.
In late January, we were contacted by Activision where we were told by executives that they “loved the book” but that Penguin Publishing was already considering publishing books on the famous game and that they could not grant us permission to publish under the Skylanders’ name because of their contract with Penguin. Because Penguin was already in the process of publishing some Skylander’s books, we were unable to receive permission to publish the book with the Skylander’s artwork…
Although Tyler was disappointed, Sklylanders executives sent him a wonderful care package with rare Sklyanders characters, dog tags, and Sklyander character bags. Tyler felt as if he had hit the jackpot.
Tyler continued to finish his book and he continued to be asked by his friends about when his book would be published. When we discussed the dilemna with him, he simply decided to change the characters and part of the story. The first book is around 90 pages long but lacks illustrations.
We now need to hire an artist to draw the illustrations to Tyler’s book so we can finish self publishing and get it out for the world to enjoy. The money will be used to hire the illustrator, have the book designed, pay for the online publishing service, and fulfill the “real book” orders that some have indicated they would like.