One of our most loyal readers, Derek from Canada, gave me a heads up regarding a piece on We Love Soaps and daytime's biggest blunders:
13. Networks not merchandising the soaps
All the networks and soaps have missed a great opportunity over the years by not promoting their shows with books, tie-ins, and other merchandise... (W)ho knows how much more popular the shows would have stayed. Or how much more money they could have made to help contribute to production costs. There have been some examples of getting it right. The "Reva: The Scarlett Years" and "Roger Thorpe: The Scandal Years" VHS tapes released by GUIDING LIGHT were well done and are still fun to watch to this day. P&G wrote some books in the voice of AS THE WORLD TURNS and GL characters. ABC has released some wonderful wedding DVDs from their soaps. But think how much more of this could be done?
Read the entire piece at: http://www.welovesoaps.net/
I can't speak for ABC (or, obviously, for P&G, either), but as the author of the ATWT and GL books, I can contribute that while "Oakdale Confidential," "The Man From Oakdale" and "Jonathan's Story" made quite a bit of money for the publisher, the sum that P&G received was a tiny drop in the bucket, incapable of making a significant dent in production budgets. (Several hundred thousand dollars is considered a hit in the publishing world. It's virtually nothing to a television show.)
As for the GL videos, I was told "Roger" was profitably enough to justify the production of the "Reva" one, which did quite poorly in comparison, which is why no more were produced.
As a member of the International Tie-In Writers Association (and an avid reader of the genre), I would love for there to be more tie-in products released for all the remaining soaps on the air (and the ones now off, too). However, shows see the tie-ins as promotional vehicles, not money-makers (even the TeleNext-sanctioned www.AnotherWorldToday.com was to promote the reruns on Hulu).
And there's (currently) no perceived value to promoting an off the air brand.