A series is good. Publishers like to think long-term, and if they see you as someone with more than one book in them, that is a positive. However, limit your series ambitions to three or four titles. Publishers won’t be thinking THAT long-term. And you still need to start with the basics: a good story, well told, with characters that children can identify with.
But merchandising? WHOA. Why would anyone turn an unknown story into a range of lunchboxes? We have Gruffalo pencils because The Gruffalo has sold in excess of ten million copies in fifteen years. Reign in your ambitions. It’s great to dream, but never approach a project with merchandising in mind.
Personally I think Ernie the Line-Dancing Earthworm would work well as a pencil. They share certain characteristics. But we are still some way from turning him into stationery.
For more, see Get Started in Writing an Illustrated Children’s Book, out now.