Sentimental stuff annoys me. It sends me running from the room screaming. Lifetime original movies, the Hallmark Channel and sensitive piano music makes my skin crawl as if someone dumped a bucket of cold butterscotch on my head.
Yet, I kinda like the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. O.K., a few of the stories read more like Internet glurge than anything credible. Otherwise, the books are fun. Each story has the protagonist being dealt an atrocious hand, yet they pull through. I'm a sucker for an underdog story if the underdog wins.
I went to the book store yesterday.
I couldn't believe how many niches have a Chicken Soup book aimed at them. Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, the Scrapbooker's Soul, the African American Woman's Soul, the Fisherman's Soul, the Country Soul, the Single Parent's Soul, The Ocean Lover's Soul, the Christian Teenager's Soul, and yes, there's Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul, the Shopper's Soul, even the NASCAR soul. Chicken Soup for everyone but the Chicken Lover.
They know how to market their stuff.
Not only that, on their website they even sell Chicken Soup for the Soul nutritional supplements and diet shakes (none of which are chicken flavored). Do the For Dummies and Complete Idiot's Guide series sell vitamins and meal replacement drinks?
How many more niches will they target? I have three suggestions:
Don't expect to see these ones at the local Barnes & Noble anytime soon.