'Lost My Name' Personalized Books Are Killing It

by Caitlin White

In just a minute, you're going to thank me for finding the ultimate baby shower or newborn baby gift for everyone you know. Despite being published by its own start-up publishing house and not sold on Amazon, the Lost My Name personalized picture books were the biggest selling picture book of 2014 in the United Kingdom. And even more? They're just ramping up sales now. Lost My Name picture books have hit the pipe-dream level of 500,000 copies sold across the world.

Lost My Name picture books — published under the titles The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name and The Little Boy Who Lost His Name (though don't worry, they're not hyper-gendered) — are personalized to the recipient of the book, using an alphabet-long list of standard illustrations and pages for each letter in the child's (um, or adult's) name. The story is the magical journey of a boy or girl who loses his or her name and then sets off to find it, receiving each missing letter from a character they meet along the way.

Avid Dragons' Den watchers on the BBC (also known as the British Shark Tank) probably already know David Cadji-Newby, Tal Oron, Asi Sharabi, and Pedro Serapicos, the team behind Lost My Name picture books. Their pitch won the creators the highest valuation in the show's history. And it's only gone up from there. Cadji-Newby talks about how Sharabi came up with the idea after his daughter received a personalized children's book of her own:

He thought ‘this isn’t very good, but there’s something here which could be done well’ — something that wouldn’t just take up shelf space, and be cheap and gimmicky, but something with real creative value. We thought we could definitely do something better, [where] the name isn’t just dropped into the narrative … something that people would keep coming back to.

The hardcover books are printed on demand, shipped to 136 countries, and offered in English, French, Spanish, and German, with more languages on the way.

You can preview a personalized book on the Lost My Name website, so yes of course I've already done mine: Cait.

First I got my "C"

...then my "A" "I"

...and finally my "T" from the troll.

Don't panic, though this is a U.K. company, the books offer free worldwide shipping so all of your Christmas shopping is now complete and it's only April.

Images: Lost My Name