Elves? Yeah, Elves with candles on their caps! They're selling thousands of books a month. Many millions already sold. Books are translated into more than 16 languages.
You ask, "How do you put together a small publishing firm run by the Benedictine Monks, and a delightful family of elves?" Abbey Press says, "Very successfully!"
In 1987, Abbey Press Publications, St. Meinard Archabbey, St. Meinard, Indiana released its first Elf-Help book - Be Good To Yourself Therapy. "Reader response to this little self-help volume was simply extraordinary" says Linus Mundy, publisher at Abbey Press.
Cherry Hartman, first Elf-Help author, said her book was for "those who desire to rejoice in their own lovability."
But it was the artist R. W. Alley's development of a loveable elf-like character that tied the publishing package together and gave it life. Alley, the illustrator of all titles, says he knew immediately that "a pointy nose and ears were a given." He made the nose generously long - to make sure the character didn't look so kid-oriented "cute", he says, and he added a cap with a mood reflecting candle in its peak." The dynamic Elf-Help series was born. There are 37 titles to date!
Robert Alley, who has spent more time with elves than Santa Clause, explains the universal appeal of his wise and whimsical elfin stars by saying, "I try to get adults to peel away what's on top, to get rid of the socializing stuff and concentrate on those emotions that come out if you just let them. Though they're not children's books, they get at core feelings much as a children's books do."
Says Linus Mundy, former publisher at Abbey Press, "I like to think Elf-help is in its adolescence. There's a lot of life left in this series." Yes, elves are selling books at Abbey Press!
Available at www.onecaringplace.com
Published in Taiwan,Brazil,Belgium, Indonesia,Norway,Spain,Portugal,
Denmark, South Africa, Sweden
and in 2006 - the Phillipines.
Chris Adams And The Elves
In 1990, Abbey Press asked Christine Adams to write One Day At A Time Therapy, a book that helps the reader focus on one day - today. It remains a top seller and sells in 25 countries.
"This book has made me an internationally published author," says Adams.
In 1999, Chris Adams presented another title, Gratitude Therapy, which was sold in 15 countries.
In 2000,Abbey Press introduced their colorful children's Elf-Help line, also inhabited by Bob Alley's charming elves.These elf-help kids books took off in sales.
In 2001, Chris Adams collaborated with her husband Robert J. Butch who is a licensed social worker and family therapist to publish Happy to Be Me; A Kidís Guide to Self-esteem.
Then in 2003, Learning to Be a Good Friend: A Kidís Guide To Friendship was published.
Happy To Be Me is in 25 countries and Learning To Be A Good Friend is in 25 countries.