June 27, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 46th Pitch

Boy are you guys going to be happy today!

Want to know why?

Because today's post is SHORT!  You will probably think you're on the wrong blog, it's so short!

This is for two reasons:  first, I know the last 2 posts were LOONNGG! and I appreciate you reading all the way through them.  There was no real way to shorten them except to do them in halves, and I felt they flowed better in one piece.  Also, I would have had to post every day to fit them all in that way!  Second, you may have noticed I've been a little absent.  That's because I'm technically on vacation with my family :)  So there you have it.  Short post :)

Today's pitch comes to us  from Anna who you may remember from April.  Anna has a background in teaching and strives to entertain and teach children about different cultures in her writing.  (I believe this book has been self-published, but Anna is still hoping to strengthen her pitch for marketing purposes.  Very appropriate that it is the pitch that falls in the middle of our self-publishing series! :))

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Hug-A-Bug Travels To Europe
Age/Genre:  Picture Book (ages 3-8)
The Pitch:  Fasten your seat belts and prepare for a high-flying trip with Hug-A-Bug to the famous Giza Pyramids. On his visit, he wows the reader with the exploration of hieroglyphics and Egyptian phrases. During his travels, he meets up with someone who needs a hug. Who will he meet this time? 

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Anna improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in August, so you have time to polish :) for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Anna is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

Reactions:

41 comments:

  1. Wow, Susanna, that WAS short!

    As for Anna's pitch, I love the hug-a-bug idea, but the Working title seems misleading to me...why "Travels to Europe?" I am a little confused, because it seems as though she's in Africa. You know how much I love multicultural stuff, so I enjoy books that take kids around the world. I'd also ask Anna to consider who is the audience for her pitch. If it's an editor, saying "the reader" is OK, but if it's a jacketflap type of pitch geared for kids or adults buying the book (which I get from the wording of the ending question), the "wow the reader" part may be a bit too sales-pitchy?

    But, I'd probably read this book anyway because I like the idea of this series (I'm assuming it's a series??) YAY!

    And...I have chocolate TRUFFLES this morning. Real ones. Celebrated my 8th wedding anniversary yesterday and my hubby is da bomb!

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  2. I am surprised - that really WAS short! :O

    About the pitch, I agree with Ms. Paul about the whole continent thing (I thought Africa). I would read the book. I think a book that can teach young kids about different cultures is great and It sounds cute. :)
    Erik

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  3. Hope you are enjoying your vacation Susanna! You deserve it. No one could doubt you are a hard working author.

    As for the pitch, I'm stuck at a Maybe.
    It read more like the tail-end of a commercial and didn't really give me any clues regarding what Hug-a-bug encounters that his hug could help. I'm also in agreement with Miranda. I was confused by the title including Europe but the pitch focuses on Hug-a-bug's trip to Egypt instead.

    Perhaps something along the lines of: Hug-a-bug smiles his way to the Giza Pyramids where he explores hieroglyphics and Egyptian phrases. It's not all fun and games when he crosses the path of a mystery man stuck with a frown upon his face. Can Hug-a-bug help lift his spirits or will the Mummy's curse have the man frowning all the days of his life?

    So I made up half of that because I'm not sure of what actually happens, but in that sample pitch, we see Hug-a-bug, gain a sense of his happy nature, see where his adventure is taking him and the conflict he encounters. It is sooooo far from perfect since I made it up with no coffee and am half-asleep, so I'm sorry I couldn't make up a better sample :-)

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  4. Thanks for your very helpful comments for Anna, Angela! And thank you for being understanding about my little vacation. Here is a bouquet of beach plum blossoms just for you :)

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  5. It's amazing how brief I can be when the beach is beckoning :) Thanks for your comments for Anna!

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  6. Almost shockingly short, wasn't it? :) Just goes to show I can be quick sometimes (plus it's hard to write much with my kids and their 8 cousins running and shrieking :)) Thanks for your comments for Anna!

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  7. Yes, I would read it, although I'm confused by the last two lines. Does this mean that Hug-a-Bug has had other travels that we don't know about? If the last line simply said, "Who will it be?" that would remove the confusion, I think.

    Wow what a short post. But being on vacation with your family is an excellent reason. When you get back, I hope you'll check out my Monday celebration post about 12 x 12's halfway mark -- there's something in there I think you'll particularly like. ;)

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  8. Hug-a-Bug sounds very cute, and so Yes, I'd read the book. However, it should say Hug-a-Bug Travels to Africa. I like the first sentence of the pitch, but I think "wows the reader" should be deleted. If this is a series, maybe that should be mentioned in the pitch? The last line makes it sound like it is. I love the concept of Hug-a-Bug looking for someone who needs a hug!

    Hope you're having a nice vacation, Susanna!

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  9. Dang, you're serious when you say short, you mean short! Just sayin'... :-)

    Anna's book sounds awesome, but the pitch has left me confused. Is Hug-A-Bug in Egypt or Europe?? I think Anna can think up a much livelier introduction to her book. I mean anyone who can write such an interesting story, should have a GRAB YA, first sentence. And write it to the kids. They're the ones who are going to love traveling with Hug-A-Bug, right? Well, I will too, but you know what I mean. I would read the book though. It sounds super! The pitch needs tightening. But you can do it, Anna! *waves*

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  10. Penny KlostermannJune 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I think the book sounds cute. The hook to me is Hug-A-Bug and not the way you have worded your pitch, Anna. I read through others comments and I agree about the confusion...Europe or Africa??? And I, too, think you should delete the "wow the reader". We don't want to be told that we will be wowed...we want the pitch to wow us. Angela's suggestion was really nice and I know that if you came up with a character with an appealing name like Hug-A-Bug that you can polish this pitch to perfection! And...I would say "Yes" to reading it because I would want to read about Hug-A-Bug.

    Susanna....very short!!! Amazingly short! Enjoy your family and your "technical" vacation...LOL!

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  11. Thanks Miranda for your comments. Yes, I did gear this toward the adult to read instead of putting it on the jacket flap for children to read. Yes, it is part of a series and the book comes with a passport and a sticker for children to utilize.

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  12. I now understand what happened with all the comments about Europe. The title was miswritten. The title of my book is "Hug-A-Bug Travels to Egypt" not Europe. So sorry for all the misunderstandings.

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  13. Thank you Robyn for your comments. The title was miswritten. It is "Hug-A-Bug Travels to Egypt."
    I was gearing it towards adults to read the pitch instead of children. I will keep everyones suggestion in mind on my revision.

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  14. Thanks Tina for your comments. The title was miswritten. It is "Hug-A-Bug Travels to Egypt" and it is a series that comes with a passport and a sticker for children to enjoy.
    If you click on my name above, it will take you to my website.

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  15. Thanks Beth for your comments. I will take into consideration of putting in my revision that this is the starting a of a traveling series for Hug-A-Bug.

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  16. Angela thanks for your comment. The title was miswritten. It is "Hug-A-Bug Travels to Egypt" and it is a series that comes with a passport and a sticker for children to enjoy. Just to let you in on a secret, Hug-A-Bug meets up with a scarab beetle, but a mummy is a cute idea too!

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  17. Thanks Kids Reviews Books for your comment. The title was miswritten. It is "Hug-A-Bug Travels to Egypt" and it is a series that comes with a passport and a sticker for children to enjoy.

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  18. MAYBE-based on pitch--a little wordy but YES based on extras in the comments. I LOVE the idea of a passport to go with the series. Perhaps something like 'Fly off with Hug-a-bug as he/she visits the pyramids and learns about hieroglyphics and Egypt and meet the sad scarab beetle who needs a hug.' This sounds like a fun series with much potential. Maybe at the end of each story you could leave a clue as to where Hug-a-bug is going next? Blessings!

    Susanna---best of vacations to you, and may it feel l-o-o-o-ng and refreshing!

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  19. Susanna...enjoy the beach! Anna...I love your story and would definitely read it...and I agree with the others that "wow the readers" can be deleted. I liked some of the other suggestions about how you might word it better. The sticker/passport idea rocks...best of luck with everything. :)

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  20. Vivian thanks for your comments. I will delete the WOW in my pitch when I revise it.

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  21. Thanks Laura for your suggestions. You don't think I should keep the children guessing on who Hug-A-Bug hugs? Hmmm... I will have to think about that a little bit longer.

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  22. Penny- thank you for your comments.

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  23. I love the name Hug-a-Bug and Egypt is always interesting so I think you've got a strong hook with both of those. I think you could make it more active: Fasten your seat belts and fly high with hug-a-bug as he . . . I agree about taking out "wow the reader" and the idea of a passport tie-in is cool! That would work well if it were a series - you can include stickers that look like stamps you'd get on your passport. One thing I learned last week when I submitted my pitch here is to not end it with a question. Nice job, Anna!

    Have a wonderful vacation, Susanna!!

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  24. thefeatherednestJune 27, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    That was indeed a fast read.
    Yes I would read it....I spent half a day thinking about Europe and Egypt...now I see that has been cleared up. Phew.

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  25. Thank you thefeatherednest for your comment. I am glad you liked it.

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  26. Hi Anna-

    I'm a maybe on this one. My main concern is that, while my 6 year old is interested in Egypt and likes to read books about the pyramids, etc. the name "Hug-a-Bug," while cute, seems a little babyish for him. So I think it would be important to think about exactly what age level you are gearing this for since there is that disparity between the main character, which seems geared for 3-4 year olds, and the Egypt topic (esp. hieroglyphs) which is 5-6+ in my mind. Now -- the illustration might really change that so depending on what it looked like, an older kid could be lured in despite the name.

    I thought the pitch was could, but could be tightened up a bit. For example, I would take out the phrase "wows the reader" -- it's too removed from his actual actions. You could just say "he explores hieroglyphics." Also, the second and third sentences are structured in the same way (On his visit... During his travels...) You might want to change it up a bit, or even just delete that phrase in the third sentence.

    I love the passport idea, and would consider bringing that into the pitch a little more.

    Good luck with your project!

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  27. Thank you Ldgeman for your comment. Hug-A-Bug Travels is a series. Great minds think alike! It does come with a sticker of an icon to represent the country that Hug-A-Bug is visiting. My website lets parents make copies of the passport in case they need extras.

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  28. Thanks for your very helpful comments for Anna, Carrie!

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  29. Maybe I'll have everyone start calling me Speedy :) Thanks for your comment for Anna!

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  30. Thank you for the comment and the vacation wishes Lori :)

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  31. If only it was a complete technical vacation! I can't seem to get away from technology entirely... but thank you Penny, and the vacation has been amazing so far! Have you ever played frisbee golf? :)

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  32. Thanks for your comment for Anna, Robyn, and yes - I am familiar with the term "short" - a) because I usually am not when it comes to writing and b) because I am short :)

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  33. I'm a maybe.This pitch doesn't seem to stand on its on. Sounds like from the commets (and the Europe title and Eygpt pitch) it's a series. The phrases "on his visit" and "during his travels" seem repetitive to me. I'm always interested in travel series and learning about different cultures. So, I like this idea, but I'm not clear on Hug-A-Bug, etc.

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  34. Penny KlostermannJune 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Have I ever played Frisbee Golf???? Why yes! I was playing my version (I called it Fris-Golf) with the students in my PE classes before courses were even around. I made the course with hula hoops that either laid on the ground or were suspended from plyground equipment by being tied with a jump rope. I made score cards, and came up with pars, etc. The kids loved it! And besides playing it in prehitorical times LOL, I have played on courses with those modern day gizmos that are much smaller than a hula hoop!!!! I'm sure you didn't want the long version---but that's what you got :•)
    Glad the vacay is going so well!

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  35. Stacy, thank you for your comments.

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  36. Carrie, thank you for your suggestions.
    Just to clarify- Hug-A-Bug has been in my classroom for many years and I have taught 2 year olds-3rd graders with him and they always enjoyed him because everyone needs a hug. Life is tough for all of us young and old. Feel free to go to my website- just click on my highlighted name above and it will take you there.

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  37. The course we went to is relatively new and in need of serious mowing! We kept losing the frisbees (we're not that good :)) and i don't even want to know how ugh poison ivy may develop as a result but we sure had fun! :)
































    Penny Klostermann (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Have I ever played Frisbee Golf???? Why yes! I was playing my version (I called it Fris-Golf) with the students in my PE classes before courses were even around. I made the course with hula hoops that either laid on the ground or were suspended from plyground equipment by being tied with a jump rope. I made score cards, and came up with pars, etc. The kids loved it! And besides playing it in prehitorical times LOL, I have played on courses with those modern day gizmos that are much smaller than a hula hoop!!!! I'm sure you didn't want the long version---but that's what you got :•) Glad the vacay is going so well!


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