I'll Wait for the Movie: Media Tie-in Books in Special Collections at USM

The marketing of children's books and movies has blended into one seamless entity. Children's books are being made into movies/television shows while movies/television shows intended for children are made into books. Tie-in books, books linked to movies or television shows, have two major purposes. The first is to provide additional revenue to publishers and studios. The other is to stimulate interest in movies/shows for readers and to make movie and television watchers into readers. The tie-in has created a different group of readers - the television and movie watcher who becomes a reader.

Tie-ins were first produced in the 1930s. They were created to showcase popular actors like Shirley Temple or movies like The Wizard of Oz. One series of tie-ins produced in the 1940s used popular actors and actresses playing themselves in the original mystery novels. In the early days of television and film, avenues for advertising were limited. The publishers and studios wanted to entice people into watching the programs. The use of tie-ins was one way of doing this.

Identifying a tie-in is easy. The tie-in has photographs of the television/movie stars on the front, and they are often accompanied by the blurb "Based on the motion picture" or "Now on the big screen starring" Generally, tie-ins are in book form, but they are also seen in games, lunch boxes, or even clothing. Book tie-ins tend to come in several formats - original novels, novelizations (adapted from the movie or episodes), "the making of" books, or other variants (i.e. cookbooks, coloring books).

I'll Wait for the Movie: Media Tie-in Books in Special Collections at USM features books, board games, and manuscripts that are the basis of or based on popular television programs, movies, and plays. The exhibit will run through April 2010. It can be viewed from 8:00-5:00 Monday thru Friday in McCain Library & Archives room 305. For more information about the exhibit, contact Jennifer Brannock at  or 601.266.4347.