Most authors are content to toil away on their work just hoping for commercial success in the conventional sense. Getting a book published would be nice, for instance. But a select few have created not only tomes but also expertise, a niche, a media presence and a brand that they can take to the bank in all sorts of different ways.
J.K. Rowling created that sort of property with the Harry Potter books. And Heidi Murkoff is a virtual best friend to legions of pregnant (especially first-time) moms thanks to the What to Expect When You're Expecting series, whose flagship title is now in its fourth edition.
A movie of the same title is due out on May 18th, starring Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Matthew Morrison, Anna Kendrick, and Chace Crawford (watch preview clips above and below). And in another extension of the What to Expect brand, mass merchandiser Sam's Club has produced a line of WTE-branded baby products, while Murkoff has signed on to write for every issue of Sam's new bimonthly magazine.
While optioning your book and seeing A-list stars on the big screen is no doubt a thrill, there's nothing like tapping into the Walmart network to gain even more commercial exposure and boost your brand (and sales) is a sweeter pay-off.
"When you add up all those nursery needs and baby-care necessities, little ones can come with a big bottom line, and for many parents, it's a super-sized stretch for their budgets," Murkoff said. "By collaborating on this exclusive retail program with Sam's Club, we'll be able to help moms and dads provide the best for their babies without breaking the bank."
Murkoff has steadily built her personal brand and franchise since writing what the New York Times famously called the "pregnancy bible," adding not only fourt other books but also the WhatToExpect.com online community and a WTE Pregnancy Tracker app.
Below, watch a clip featuring Cameron Diaz's character in a TV dance competition ("Celebrity Dance Factor") from the upcoming What to Expect movie: