2022: The Year of White Elephant

By Sarah Yurch | July 6 2022 | Promo OpportunityNonfictionHumorHolidays

With costs rising across sectors, we’re all a little extra price sensitive. And while there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy, the holidays are coming faster than we might like to admit. So how can we prepare for the holiday season while staying mindful of increasing cost consciousness?

White Elephant gift exchanges. You’ve probably heard about White Elephant gifting opportunities for our books in previous years, but 2022 could be the biggest year yet. Hear me out:

In case you’re not familiar, White Elephant is a holiday gift exchange game where participants select, swap, and steal gifts from one another. The game aspect is at least as important as the gifts themselves, so gag gifts and novelty items abound. During Q4, we’ve seen books being purchased as White Elephant gifts sell up to 16 times what they do during Q1, and on TikTok, the hashtag #whiteelephant has over 130M views.

White Elephant exchanges only require each person in attendance to purchase a single gift, usually capped at around $20—perfect for staying within a tighter budget. We’re also seeing discretionary spending shift toward experiences, and since White Elephant is as much game as it is gift-giving, it’s aligned with consumer sentiment.

Plus, after the dip we observed in 2020 when most holiday gatherings were canceled, interest in White Elephant surged back in 2021 as families and friends celebrated together again. And now, with younger children eligible for vaccination, we can expect even more gatherings during 2022’s holiday season.

All of this points to 2022 as the year to convince friends and family to try a White Elephant gift exchange. PRH has a long list of trivia, novelty, humor, and activity books that already have a proven track record of selling as White Elephant Gifts.

See some examples below, or click through to the complete list:

  • On Edelweiss, click here
  • On the Backlist Vault, click here
Wreck This Journal (Black) Expanded Edition
“Not gonna lie, this is probably the coolest journal you’ll ever see. . . . Wreck This Journal is here to inspire you.” —BuzzfeedThe internationally bestselling phenomenon with more than 10 million copies sold—and an excellent holiday gift! Paint, poke, create, destroy, and wreck—to create a journal as unique as you are For anyone who's ever had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook comes this expanded edition of Wreck This Journal, a subversive illustrated book that challenges readers to muster up their best mistake- and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book—or destroy them.Through a series of creative and quirky prompts, acclaimed guerilla artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in destructive acts—poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting pages with coffee, coloring outside the lines, and more—in order to experience the true creative process. With Smith's unique sensibility, readers are introduced to a new way of art- and journal-making, discovering novel ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.To create is to destroy. Happy wrecking!
$15.00 US
Aug 07, 2012
Penguin Books

How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety
And Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives
Based on three 'zines that have collectively sold 35,000 copies, a parody guidebook for people to teach their cats about gun safety, abstinence, evolution, and other important right-wing concerns, which crosses the whimsy of Cat Fancy with the paranoia of a Chick Tract
$14.00 US
Oct 04, 2016
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information
Weird and amazing facts for curious minds of all kinds   Looking for fascinating facts and trivia that readers of all ages can enjoy? The Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information is filled with the oddest and funniest tidbits about history, science, food, animals, and more.   A great gift for kids of all ages, this book features: 200+ interesting facts and trivia Engaging illustrations and easy-to-read format Portable size, great for road trips and family vacations This compendium is perfect for trivia buffs, history lovers, and anyone who loves to learn new things. For example, did you know that the Pilgrims ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving? Or that the peach was the first fruit eaten on the moon? Or that there are oysters that can climb trees? You'll find all this and more in this amazing collection of useless information.
$14.00 US
Jun 05, 2012
US, Canada, Open Mkt

A Card Game for Pun Lovers
From rising comedy superstar Jo Firestone, Punderdome is a lively judge-based card game in the spirit of Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity.
$20.00 US
Jun 21, 2016
Clarkson Potter

Fifty Shades of Chicken
A Parody in a Cookbook
For the can't-get-enough fans of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (20 million copies and counting)--and foodies who love food porn--Fifty Shades of Chicken is a cookbook serving up epicurean double entendres and 50 excellent chicken recipes all while telling the story of a young free-range and very fresh chicken who, like Anastasia Steele, finds herself at the mercy of a dominating man, in this case a kinky and very hungry chef.
$19.99 US
Nov 13, 2012
Clarkson Potter