April 30, 2012

Oh Susanna - How To Explain Your Vision Of Marketing Strategy To A Publisher That Requests It?

Wow!  That was such a long title I feel like I've already written the post! :)

How is everyone this morning?  Feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?  I will readily confess to "bright-eyed", but I'm not sure I'm up for discussing the rest of that question at this hour on a Monday morning :)  (Who thought up that question anyway?  I have a feeling it was a member of the marmot family...
... not that I'm mentioning any names.... :))

So anyway, being as how it's Monday, which means the first day of May is on a Tuesday when I don't post, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you all, so that you'll have plenty of time to work on it, that we're having a contest this month!!!  I'm so excited, because we haven't had a contest since the Valentines one which was AGES ago and I miss them! :)  I do so hope someone will want to enter! :)
The contest is to write a children's story about a very creative and/or unique birthday celebration in 300 words or less.  Poetry or prose, your choice.


Entries must be posted on your blog (or in the comment section of my contest blog post on May 19 if you don't have a blog) between Saturday May 19 and 11:59 PM EDT Tuesday May 22.  Add your entry-specific link to the list that will go up with my special post that Saturday.  I will not post on Monday May 21 so the list will stay up.)  I'm still picking out prizes, but there will be prizes and they will be good and they will include things like a 3 pack of Perfect Picture Books, a duo of craft books, and/or a PB MS Critique by Yours Truly, or maybe something else awesome that I haven't thought of yet... :)  (You are invited to suggest prizes if there's something your little hearts especially desire :))  If there are fewer than 20 entries there will be one prize.  If there are more than 20 entries there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes!)  Finalists will be chosen by me and my assistant judge and will be posted for you to vote on Monday May 28.  (I'm trying not to skip Would You Read It or Perfect Picture Books or overload you with extra posts, hence the wait til Monday the 28th, which I realize is Memorial Day so the voting will stay up throughout Tuesday!)

I hope we'll have lots of enthusiastic participants!  Remember, 12 X 12ers, this can do double duty as your May MS! :)

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that I'm planning on taking a stab at NaPiBoWriWee this week... anyone else a glutton for punishment feeling motivated?

Also, Phyllis had an awesome Visit to Seattle where she made friends with A-Wall (gorgeous!) and saw the Space Needle :)  Please hop on over to Saba's and read all about it!  And, if all goes according to plan, there will be a post up tomorrow (Tuesday May 1) about Phyllis's Visit to Rosalind in England! (But it's not there yet because she's finishing A To Z!)

Now then!  Onto today's Oh Susanna question, which comes to us from the lovely Jen:

"Submission guidelines to Sylvan Dell Publishing request that you include an explanation for how you envision the marketing of your book.  Besides stating that your marketing strategy would consist of book signings, blog tours, using various social media, and press releases, how else would you state on a query letter how you would envision the marketing of your book? Also, I’m not sure how to go about targeting an audience for my “platform” part of marketing my book. Any suggestions?"

Well, Jen, as to the first part of your question, I think you've covered most of what they would be looking for.  Certainly you would want to mention book signings, blog tours, social media, and press releases.

I would also mention school and library visits if you plan to do those.

But I think they're looking for you to go a little further than that.  The publishing world is in a state of flux these days.  No one is anxious to take too much of a risk.  If possible, they'd like to know who exactly you think is going to buy your book - in other words, where you think the market is.

Identify the themes/topics/subjects of your story and present them in terms of market.

Is your story about a new baby?  Then it will appeal to parents who are expecting a second or subsequent child, be useful to preschool teachers, and make a great gift for relatives and friends to give to new big siblings.

Is your story about a very hungry caterpillar?  Then it will be useful in preschool and early elementary curriculum units on science, insects, metamorphosis, nutrition, and basic concepts like color and food types.

Is your story about a child in a non-traditional family?  Then it will be valuable to non-traditional families where children will be helped by knowing they aren't alone, useful in curriculum units on family or acceptance/tolerance/difference, and helpful to traditional families who want to expand their children's understanding of what makes a family.

Think about who your book would appeal to AND think specifically about the types of books this publisher tends to publish and where they market other books on their list.  Are they a big publisher with traditional marketing, or are they a smaller publisher who might only publish books about Maine (like Down East) or who might sell their books in zoo or museum gift shops, or other types of niches?  Make sure you're directing your helpful marketing ideas in the right area.  A niche publisher might be thrilled to know that your book will appeal to everyone who has ever spent time on Monhegan Island, but a big six publisher isn't going to want that book unless the setting is more incidental to a story with a much broader theme and appeal, in which case you would emphasize the broader theme rather than the niche setting... if that makes sense.

As to the second part of your question, about targeting an audience for your platform, that is something I think a lot of writers struggle with.

Writers tend to gravitate toward other writers.  If you're a writer who writes a blog, chances are high that the vast majority of your followers are other writers, and a significant portion of the blogs you follow are also writing blogs.  Many of these people may also be parents or teachers or librarians or grandparents or others who have children in their lives for whom they buy books, but they may just as easily be people who don't have kids yet, or whose kids have grown past the picture book age, or who aren't around kids much.  I think it's hard, as a writer, to get a huge following of your target audience in this instance which is, bluntly put, consumers.

The easier answer is for people who write non-fiction.  In that case, you always have a topic.  You are something of an expert on that topic (because hopefully you did your research well :)) so people may seek you out and you can also look for blogs and groups who are interested in that topic and get to know people there so you can eventually spread word of your book about butterflies, Martin Luther King Jr., saving wetlands, or whatever you happen to be writing about.

But for those of us who write children's fiction, it's much harder.  Our target audience is two-fold: the kids we write for who, unless we write upper middle grade or YA, are most likely not online, and the parents/teachers/librarians who buy books for them and read to them and who may or may not have much time in their busy days to be online.

It is great to connect with teachers and librarians who blog, as well as with mommy bloggers out there, but it is hard to do and it takes a lot of time - time to research which blogs might fit with your personality/style/books, time to forge relationships with those blogs, and time to see if and when a review of your book might fit into those blogs' schedules.  And it can be hard to find that kind of time and still have time to write.  It's a work in progress for most of us, I think.

I hope that answers your questions, Jen!  If you have any follow-up questions, please ask below.  As always, I would be thrilled if readers with experience in these areas would chime in with their thoughts - please comment!  It takes a village :) and that's one of the nicest things about the writing community - we are a village! :)


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April 27, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - My Side Of The Car

Happy PPBF everyone!  I've got such a good one today - I think you're going to love it :)  And please stay tuned afterwards for the winner of the Lisa Thiesing giveaway, as well as the winner of the Puzzled By Pink giveaway!

OK.  Ready?  Fasten your seat belts because here we go! :)

My Side Of The Car
Written By: Kate Feiffer
Illustrated By: Jules Feiffer
Candlewick, April 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: patience, imagination, father-daughter love, optimism

Opening:  "My dad and I are going to the zoo.  We've tried to go to the zoo before.  But we never get there.  Something always happens."

Brief Synopsis:  Sadie and her dad are going to the zoo.  Their plans have been thwarted three previous times, but this time they're really going.  Except... on the way... it starts to rain.  They can't go to the zoo in the rain.  But Sadie's not about to let the fact that her dad sees rain deter her.  "I look out my window, and the sun is shining on my side of the car. People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car." While her dad sees nothing but rain, Sadie sees people mowing their laws and eating ice cream.  Is it raining or not?  Will Sadie and her dad get to the zoo this time or will they have to wait for another day?

Links To Resources:  Fun Zoo-Related Activities, Zoo Lessons And Activities, a page in the back of the book tells the true story of what happened (which is always fun :))

Why I Like This Book:  Anyone who has lived with kids knows that their perception of reality is not necessarily the same as yours... especially when they really want something! :)  What's wonderful about this book is both Sadie's determined optimism and her father's patience and his loving understanding of how she needs to cope with her disappointment.  This book is also delightful because it's written and illustrated by a father-daughter team about an incident that actually happened.  I'm not going to tell you whether they get to the zoo or not, though.  You'll have to go read the book :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then!

I know you've all been holding your breath in anticipation of the winner announcements, so I won't make you wait any longer :)

The winner of a signed copy of Lisa Thiesing's wonderful book, A Dark And Noisy Night, is Catherine Johnson!  Catherine, come on down!  Pleas send me an email with your address and who you'd like the book signed to and Lisa and I will get right on the job of mailing it out to you!

And I want to extend a hearty thank you to everyone who tried to help me with my theme struggles.  I got quite a few good examples, and also discovered that I am not alone in my inability to articulate theme in a meaningful way, so all in all, it was a good exercise :)  And the winner of Puzzled By Pink is Beth!!!  Thank you ALL for your help! and Beth, you'd better email me your address.... :)

PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific link to the list below so we can all come visit you :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

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April 25, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 37th Pitch... And A Challenge!... With A Prize :)

YIKES!

I moseyed on over to my blog to write today's post and everything looks totally different and unfamiliar!  We're not in Kansas anymore!
What happened to blogger?

I guess this is that new format they've been threatening and I've been avoiding.

Well.

Let's just hope this post goes up the way it's supposed to!

Harrumph!

First things first.  Your friend and mine, Phyllis, cutest and fuzziest of all groundhogs, is still on tour.  Wonderful, amazing, awesome people are still hosting her and putting up terrific posts about her visits.  So if you have a second, please hop over and see what kind of high jinx and shenanigans she got up to with Saba in Washington!

Next, I'd like to throw out a challenge to all of you - and this is for everyone because you don't have to be a writer to do this.  In fact, some of you teachers might be really good at this!

It has come to my attention that I'm very bad at distilling picture books (or any other books for that matter) down to the nitty-gritty of their themes.  So for anyone who would like to take pity on me (and I'm guessing there are a fair number of others out there who could benefit from this as well :)) please be so kind as to give the title of a well-known picture book in the comments today along with a few words or a sentence that crystalize the theme of the book.  You may also do the plot if you want, but it's really the theme I'm interested in.

So, for example, what the flinging'-flangin' heck is the theme of Fancy Nancy?  Pinkalicious?  I Want My Hat Back?  I mean something like "love conquers all" or "if at first you don't succeed, keep trying"... that kind of thing.  Gosh.  They sound like proverbs.  Is that how this works?  You can see I need help :)  So PLEASE help!  For every book you put with a theme in the comments below today or tomorrow, I will put one entry into random.org and then on Friday, during Perfect Picture Books, I will give one lucky winner a copy of the brand new and fabulous Puzzled By Pink (of which I also can't state the theme) by Sarah Frances Hardy!!!

See how this works?  My desperation equals a great exercise for you and the possibility of an awesome book! :)  Nice, no?

Third, by popular demand, we will be doing one (or possibly a couple) of Q&A posts with editor Erin Molta, so if you have questions for her, please get them to me ASAP, either in the comments or by using that handy Email Me button over there on the right :)

Now then.  Time to get down to business.  Would You Read It business, that is.  Today's pitch comes to us from Anna who 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.)

Ready?

Working Title:  A Bug Who Needs A Hug
Age/Genre: Picture Books (ages 2-7)
The Pitch:  A Bug Who Needs A Hug is about a fuzzy little bug that goes out into the forest looking for someone to hug. The vivid and colorful illustrations in the book emphasize the importance of friendship and leave a positive message for children at the end of the story.

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 early July - not that far away! - so go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Anna is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

And I am looking forward to your succinct statements of picture book themes and your questions for Erin!

Have a happy Wednesday everyone! :)

Wait!  Stop the presses!  I forgot to say that if anyone hasn't had a chance to read Monday's interview with Lisa Thiesing and enter the awesome book giveaway, there is still time!  Hop on over!
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April 23, 2012

Meet Lisa Thiesing Author/Illustrator!... And A Giveaway!

I know.  It's Monday.  It's raining.  And if you're like me you've eaten all of your black jelly beans.  Also the red and orange ones.  Also the yellow ones.  And you're down to the reject colors like white and pink.  Seriously, does anyone like white jelly beans?  Why do they even make them?

But cheer up!  You're here, among friends, in our happy little corner of the blogosphere!  And I have someone awesome for you to meet, AND you could get a present!

So tell me, doesn't the day seem brighter already? :)

(Oh, but just one tiny thing before we get started.  Tina put up an awesome post on Phyllis's visit to South Korea!  If you haven't had a chance, please check it out!  And I heard a rumor that her visit to Corey in New Jersey might be up today... fingers crossed :)  Also, fabulous news, she will be visiting St. Lucia and maybe, hopefully Africa!!!  Okay!  Enough digression... :))

Today I am so excited to be introducing a fabulous author/illustrator to you all.  Please give a warm welcome to the wonderful and talented Lisa Thiesing!
Author/illustrator Lisa Thiesing

Hi Lisa!  Thanks so much for joining us today!!

Hi Susanna!  Thanks so much for inviting me!  I’m excited to be here!

SLH:  When did you first become interested in writing and/or illustrating?  Was it something you always did, or something you came to later in life?

LT:  I first became interested in children’s books when I was very little.  My mother always read to me and she was very excited about all the new books that were coming out at the time.  Things like the Little Bear books and Eloise were brand new!  Can you believe it?  Eloise was a character I particularly related to since I grew up in Manhattan, just a few blocks away from you!   We even had a mail chute by the elevator.  It was tempting but I never did pour water down it! Oh! and Harriet the Spy…. I often ran around the park pretending to be her. These characters seemed so real and were my friends.  My mother would also point out interesting things in the drawings, like how a certain expression on a character was just so perfect for the story.  She made books seem important and fun.  Also, this is probably bad, but she would let me stay home “sick” from school so that I could work on my tremendously original novel about Old Boy, a dog that was constantly saving his boy from falling down wells and other disasters.

SLH:  Were you encouraged by family/teachers?
     
      LT:  I was definitely encouraged by my mother.  I was VERY shy as a girl and I think she saw writing and drawing as my way of communicating.

SLH:  You are both an author and an illustrator.  Which comes first for you, the story or the art?

LT:  The story comes first.  When I write a story, what usually happens is that a certain phrase will keep repeating in my head.  Sometimes it’s the beginning of the story, sometimes it’s the ending.  When I wrote my first picture book, Me &You, my daughter was very little and she kept doing things that I used to do when I was that age.  So I kept saying to her that I used to do whatever it was, just like you!  That would be my beginning.  And I knew I wanted to end it with And when I grew up, I wanted to have a little girl…just like you!  I had a beginning and I had an ending.  I just needed to fill in the middle.  I had lots of photos of me and Katherine doing the same things but completely differently.  So that took care of the middle.  And with the photos for reference, I was able to tell the other part of the story – the differences in time, place, personality, attitude - through the illustrations.
                        
SLH:  Is there an author/illustrator who has been especially inspirational or instrumental in your own development as a writer/illustrator?

      LT:  I really like the early reader genre.  So people like Arnold Lobel, Syd Hoff and James Marshall are particularly inspirational.

      SLH:  What was your first published children’s book?  Tell us about the moment when you got your first offer!

      LT:  My first book assignment was The Ghosts of Hungryhouse Lane by Sam McBratney.  I had been taking my portfolio around to all the various publishing houses for a couple of years, with no luck.  I did keep working on my portfolio, showing it again and again, and kept sending out postcards to editors.  I was close to giving up when the phone rang and it was Brenda Bowen, then at Henry Holt!  She asked if I might be interested in illustrating a middle grade novel!  I nearly fell on the floor!  I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me?!?!”  But I was cool and instead shouted, “YES!!!!”  I got to go to her office, but now as an actual illustrator because I had a real book to do and we’d talk about our project!  It felt wonderful.

      SLH:  Where/when/how do you get your ideas?

      LT:  It seems I often get ideas for stories while driving.  I don’t know why that is.  Or doing the dishes.  My Peggy the Pig books were adaptations of stories I already knew.  The Viper is based on the old campfire scary joke.  The Aliens Are Coming!  is a variation on War of the Worlds.  A Dark and Noisy Night is a combination of The Tell Tale Heart and my cousin’s daughter’s fear that the tree branches scratching at her window were witches’ fingers!  And The Scarecrow’s New Clothes is from an old story a friend’s mother used to tell. 
      If I’m illustrating someone else’s story, then the ideas, of course, stem from the story.  Except that I do get to make the characters look how I want and set the scenes where I want.  It’s like being a movie director.  You get the story and then you can interpret it visually as you like.

SLH:  What has been the most challenging thing you have faced as an author/illustrator?

      LT:  The most challenging thing I have faced is the current climate of publishing in general.  It used to be that even if you were not a super star, bestselling author/illustrator you could still work and still publish books.  It seems that now you are given a small window of opportunity and if in that time you don’t produce a best seller, that’s it.  As Heidi Klum would say, “One day you’re in and the next day you’re out.”

SLH:  What has been the most wonderful thing that has happened to you as an author/illustrator?

      LT:  That’s a difficult question.  A couple of things come to mind.  A few parents have told me that their children actually learned to read with my All Better book. That is really gratifying.  There is a lot of repetition in that book and it was my goal to help kids learn to read and to enjoy it.  And they did!
      Also, the first time I saw my Two Silly Trolls in the front of the I Can Read display at Barnes & Noble.  I took a picture of that and then the sales person said I wasn’t allowed to do that.  And I said, “But that’s my book!”  And he said, “Well, it’s our policy, blah, blah, blah…”
      It’s also really wonderful at school visits when kids say, “I LOVE you!  You are the best writer and illustrator ever!  Don’t ever leave!!!”

SLH:  Do you do school visits?  Would you be kind enough to briefly describe your program/presentation?  What is your preferred age range and group size?  Do you have materials available for parents/teachers to go along with your books(s)?

kid's drawing of Peggy :)
      LT:  So, yes, I do school visits.  I have a PowerPoint presentation of one of my books, complete with sound effects!  Currently I’m doing The Viper.  There’s also a little bit about printing and binding because I have found that kids really want to know how a book is actually made.  My books are geared toward K-4 and I prefer smaller groups.  After we do questions and answers, I also give a short drawing lesson.  I’ve been using basic shapes and have the kids follow me step by step. We draw Peggy and also do other animals or a scene.  All of them, even the youngest, have made beautiful, wonderful pictures which they are really excited about.  

SLH:  Can you give us any hints about what you’re working on now?

      LT:  This seems an unlikely turn of events.  But recently I was contacted by someone from The Guggenheim to work on a project with them!  I will be writing a narrative for children that will be performed at the end of the month for the museum’s Family Day.  It is part of the “still spotting” project, which finds different places in the city that inspire peace, quietness, “home”, transformation. This will be in Jackson Heights, Queens. http://stillspotting.guggenheim.org/about/

SLH:  Do you attend writer’s conferences?

      LT:  I have attended conferences.  I think they are valuable when you are starting out because they do provide a lot of information.  Sometimes there is a really great keynote speaker and that can be inspiring.

SLH:  What has been your best-selling book so far?  Which book's sales (if any) did not do as well as expected?  Why do you think that might have been?  Have all your titles earned out?  Are they all still in print?  Have sales affected publishers' willingness to do further projects in a good or bad way?

      LT:  My best-selling books so far have been the Two Silly Trolls books.  They were part of the HarperCollins I Can Read program, which is one of the best, most trusted and well-loved group of books ever.  So there is a built-in safety umbrella.  Both retail customers and educational outlets are going to buy books that are published by them.  That doesn’t happen with most books.
Lisa's studio (nice, isn't it?:))
      Most of my books have earned out and I’ve received royalties.  But ALL of my books should have sold better than they did and they are now out of print.  And that, of course, does affect publishers’ willingness to publish more.

SLH:  Where can we find you?

Website:           

Facebook:

Info on School Visits:

I’ve started giving art lessons to kids in my studio!  It’s been really fun!
Info on Art Lessons:

Also, I’ll be participating in the Hudson Children’s Book Festival on May 5th.  I would love to see everyone there!  It’s a great opportunity for people who love children’s books to come out and meet some of their favorite authors and illustrators.  Bring the kids!

Reader question:  how important is it to have a story?  Can you just entertain and make people think, or do you have to have a story to make a picture book?

LT:  A story is very important.  But I’m not sure what you mean by story.  Even a concept book about color, for example, is a story.  And I think it is tremendously important that a book be entertaining.  Reading is fun!  A silly book can also be thought provoking and that’s a challenge as a writer for children.
  
Just for fun quick questions:
Agented or not?  Not.

Traditionally or self-published?   Traditionally.

Hard copy or digital?   Hard Copy.

Apps or not?   Not.

Plotter or pantser?   Don’t even know what that means!

Laptop or desktop?   Desktop.

Mac or PC?   PC.

Day or night worker?   Day worker.

Coffee or tea?   Coffee!

Snack or not?   Not.

Salty or sweet?   Both.

Quiet or music?   Quiet for writing.  Music for drawing.

Cat or dog?   Dog.  (But I have 3 cats, too.)

Thanks for visiting everyone!  And now you have a chance to win a personalized signed copy of Lisa's fun and popular book A Dark And Noisy Night!  (And I just want to say that I'm trying out Rafflecoptor for the very first time and pretty much just hoping it works!!! :) - If you don't' see the Rafflecoptor widget, try hitting the comments button and see if it shows up!)




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April 20, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Bear Went Over The Mountain

Today I am thrilled to be showcasing a truly perfect picture book by one of my favorite author/illustrators!  It's brand new, and if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, rush right out because it's wonderful and you're going to love it :)

The Bear Went Over The Mountain
Written & Illustrated By:  Iza Trapani
Sky Pony Press, April 2012, Fiction

Suitable For:  ages 3-7

Themes/Topics: Animals, Language Fun, Nature, Seasons, 5 Senses

Opening:  "The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain
To see what he could see.
He saw a dragonfly,
A bluebird flitting by,
Three fuzzy rabbits skipping,
Five happy ducklings dipping..."

Brief Synopsis:  The bear goes over the mountain to see what he can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste, and he gets a few surprises while he's at it! :)

Links To Resources:  Classroom Activities, Coloring Page, Maze, Connect-The-Dots, Word Search, Bookmarks.

Why I Like This Book:  This book, like all of Iza Trapani's books, has impeccable, fun-to-read/sing aloud rhyme, a delightful child-friendly story, and gorgeous art that makes you want to crawl right into the pages and live there :)  The bear goes over the mountain and experiences nature through all five of his senses, some in rather unexpected ways.  Children will learn the song quickly because it's a familiar tune, and they will delight in singing along to the bear's adventures.  Perfect for bedtime, story time, preschoolers learning about the 5 senses, rides in the car - another winner from Iza!

Iza was kind enough to visit us here recently, and if you didn't get to see her interview you can read it HERE.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, before we all rush off to read the other PPBs and enjoy our weekends, I have two three other things to tell you:

First, in case you haven't had a chance to check it out, Phyllis visited Clar in Virginia, and Melissa in Australia.  She is currently flying home from England (I wonder if she'll have an accent :)) and arrived in South Korea yesterday which was tomorrow over there at the time :)  She should be arriving at Saba's in Washington today.  And this just in, she has been to see Alison in Georgia!

Second, by overwhelmingly popular demand, editor Erin Molta's visit to our little corner of the blogosphere will be a Q&A, possibly divided into more than one post, so please check the comments from Wednesday's post to see the questions currently on the table, and add any additional questions here when you think of them (or email me :))  There is not yet a set date for this extravaganza, but you can be sure I'll let you know! :)

Finally, on Monday we will have a visit from the fabulous author/illustrator Lisa Thiesing!  Because I know people in high places (that would be me) I have already read her interview, and I can assure you it is really good!!!  So I hope you'll all flock over here first thing Monday morning and show her some much-deserved love! :)

Now then.  PPB bloggers, please add your post-specific link below, and everyone have a super-fantastic fun-filled weekend!!!


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April 18, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 36th Pitch... And Some Fun Stuff For You!

Boy do I have an awesome surprise for you today!  Are you ready?  Can you stand the excitement?

I will tell you in one second, but please promise that, even if you're reeling with excitement, you'll remain calm and focused enough to read and comment on today's pitch! :)

Do you promise?

Cross your heart?

Okay.

Ready?

Really?

Are you sure?

Alrighty then...

I'm happy to announce that we have a great opportunity.  Editor Erin Molta (of Pitch Pick Critique fame :)) is going to visit my blog!!!  AND she is willing to do whatever would be most helpful to YOU!

So please tell me in the comments what you would most like Erin to talk about:  common mistakes editors see from writers? what editors look for in a PB ms?  how to tell if your book is a novelty book or a picture book? 10 best tips for writers from an editor?  what kinds of stories or non-fiction are needed?  a Q&A where you could submit questions ahead and Erin can answer....?  Use your fertile imaginations! :)  Sky's the limit - you guys tell us what you want to know about.  And I'd love to have it be something that hasn't been done before!  What do other posts/articles leave you still wondering about?

This is your chance to get questions answered by a real industry professional, so grab it by the horns (or something like that :))

Now.  Wasn't that an awesome surprise? :)

I'm also happy to report that Phyllis is back on the trail.  There are fabulous blog posts up from Clar and Melissa, with others coming soon from Alison, Renee, and Denise.  Tina, Saba,  Margaret, and Robyn will be receiving her soon, and Rosalind in the UK has a post scheduled for May 1!  So don't abandon our furry little friend yet! :)

Now, on to Would You Read It!

Today's Would You Read It pitch comes to us from the amazing and wonderful Kirsten over at Creating Curious Kids.  Kirsten is a former NASA PR princess, current college instructor, and mom to two curious boys.  When she's not breaking up wrestling matches she reads, writes, and runs (so she can keep up with the kiddos!)  Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Out Of This World Opposites
Age/Genre: Non-Fiction PB for ages 5+
The Pitch:  Space is a place of opposites. Burning stars and icy comets. Roaring rockets and silent stillness. An ancient universe and newborn planets. Everyday scientists discover something old, new, near, far, wet, dry, dark or light as they learn more about the cosmos. Come along and explore our amazing universe.

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 Kirsten 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 early June - not that far away! - so go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Kirsten is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

And I am looking forward to hearing what you'd like to hear from Erin!  Happy Wednesday everyone :)
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