14 Apr, 2015

Personal touch makes children’s picture book a bestseller

The Guardian | Children and teenagers | Ebooks | Anna Baddeley | 1 March 2015

If you’re not a fan of Dragons’ Den, or the parent of an under-five, then you probably won’t have heard of last year’s bestselling picture book.

Lost My Name, a charming tale of a child on a quest to find their missing name, sold an astonishing 132,616 copies, knocking Julia Donaldson off the top spot for the first time in eight years.

Unofficially, that is: despite selling 20,000 more copies than Donaldson’s Superworm, the book is excluded from official charts as it doesn’t have an ISBN number.

It’s also impossible to buy from a bookshop. Lost My Name – which, as a single title from a company set up specifically to produce it, fits the definition of self-published – is available only from the publisher’s website, www.lostmy.name.

There, prospective buyers can order a bespoke, printed-on-demand copy of the book. Bespoke, because – literary purists look away now – Lost My Name is personalised fiction.