March 11, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #165 - A Pup Called Freelance (PB)

So I was going to tell you the story of how Buddy became a bobcat, but I'll have to put that on hold.

Because, Dearies, you are not going to believe it!

Something happened that has never happened before.

Remember when I said good luck voting on the pitch pick last week because all the pitches were so evenly matched?

Well, we had a 3-way tie for first place!

I am not making this up!

So I don't know what to do.  Although Erin has very kindly agreed to comment on 2 pitches when we've had ties twice in the past, I think 3 is a little unfair to ask.

But I also hate to ask you all to vote again... what if the numbers come out exactly the same?

So I need your advice.  How should we handle this unprecedented state of affairs?

Please wow me with fabulous solutions in the comments! :)

To heighten your brain power (for wowing me and for helping today's pitcher) how about Something Chocolate?  (as if we really need an excuse :))

Death By Chocolate Icebox Cake
Recipe at Life, Love and Sugar HERE
Really.  Breakfast doesn't come any better than that :)

Today's pitch comes to us from Maria, whom you will remember from January with her pitch for The Trouble With Homework.  Maria is an educator with the best job in the world – she works as a Fire & Life Safety Educator for a municipal fire department! When she isn’t teaching others how to be safe, she can be found writing under a pecan tree, playing with her dogs and cats, or cruising around town with the top down searching for inspirational ideas or the next big story.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: A Pup Called Freelance
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Hard headed, stubborn, mind of his own - those are just a few of the ways the little, tan puppy was described.  That is why my dad and the other firefighters gave him the name, “Freelance.” 
 Freelance was so mischievous that he was destined for the pound, but his heroic actions during the night changed all that and earned him a place in our home forever!
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 Maria 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 September so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Maria is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to hearing whatever excellent solutions y'all come up with for the pitch pick conundrum!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! :)


Reactions:

52 comments:

  1. With the tie-breaker---can you get someone else to do the third pitch? : / And I'm VERY curious as to what heroic deed Freelance pulled off to keep him out of that dreaded POUND! :)

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  2. Could we give each pitch a score out of 10 and then add up the scores and hopefully there'll only be one winner!

    Great name for a puppy, Maria. Perhaps you could introduce Freelance straight up in your pitch - Freelance, the tan little puppy was hard headed, stubborn and had a mind of his own. Your last sentence is great - exciting, draws the reader in, they will want to know more about Freelance's heroic act.

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  3. I suggest that you post the 3 winning pieces and we can vote on just those to determine 2 to be sent to Erin. :)

    Chocolate cake for breakfast! I am all for it!

    I think the pitch sounds very interesting and I would definitely read it but the "other firefighters" part confused me just for a little bit. Maybe Maria can add a little something to make it more obvious that the dad is a firefighter and that he and his coworkers rescued the pup? Best of luck, Maria!

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  4. What a wonderful dilemma! I'd be happy to vote on all 3 again. As for today's pitch, it's very strong, but it'd be better if it were more specific: "Hard-headed, stubborn, and with a mind of his own is how Freelance the pup earned his name." Best of luck, Maria, with this delightful concept!

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  5. How great! Ideas to break the tie:


    1. Let the winners know you're accepting bribes (of chocolate).
    2. Play eenie-meanie-catch-a-tiger with the 3 pitches.
    3. Pick a rabbit out of a hat . . . see which pitch he picks.
    4. Take a nap. Wake up. See if you dreamed the 3-way tie.

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  6. I really like the story concept and the dog's name, Freelance. I would not begin with the adjectives in the 1st sentence, however. I'd like an example how Freelance is hard-headed, stubborn, (which i see as similar so you could drop one adj.) and has a mind of his own. That way your 1st line is show not tell.

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  7. How about starting the pitch with "Freelance was so mischievous he was destined for the pound." It's a great sentence, and it doesn't need and underline under "it." Powerful enough on it's own. I'd rather discover how he got his name while reading the book. Cute story line.

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  8. I would definitely start with the second paragraph rather than the first. Perhaps just switching them would do the trick. Yes, I'd read it. It sounds intriguing.

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  9. Susanna, I would definitely vote again or assign values out of ten. You could try the college TA approach and push them down stairs. One that reaches closest to the bottom wins. :-) Thank you, thank you, for the delicious chocolate.

    Maria - I would definitely read this book! Love devious puppies who save the day. What about something like this:

    Freelance, the little, tan puppy, was mischievous. His ___________ (an action/example), so frustrated my dad and the other firefighters that he was destined for the pound,. But his heroic actions during the night changed all that and earned him a place in our home forever!

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  10. I love the concept. Plus. I never met a dog story I didn't like. So YES - I would definitely read it. I think the second paragraph has the most important information, so I'd open there and add some of the first paragraph to it.

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  11. To break the tie--use random.org--super easy. :) I would read it. I agree that the 2nd paragraph is the true pitch.

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  12. Yes! Sounds like a great story. I agree with the other commenters about using paragraph 2 as the pitch. Or you could make paragraph 1 more active.

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  13. I like the idea of folks voting on just the three that tied (weren't there four or five total?). Or - when you get the votes, do you know who placed them? Could you ask (privately) the people who voted for the other pitches that did NOT tie to vote for one of the three? Just a thought. (Or, I didn't vote cuz it didn't seem fair to vote for my own. I could just vote and, assuming I am one of the three, it would all be settled. Right? - wink wink)

    And yes - I would read this - but I also think the second paragraph is the meat of this pitch, and you should definitely lead with it. I'm also not sure I like it written in first person (unless it is a true story, in which case I would include that in your pitch - and maybe still not first person). More detail on exactly WHAT the dog did would be good too.

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  14. Thanks, Joanne. It seems like I need to flip paragraphs and re-write a bit. The story is based on some true events, but most is a work of fiction, so I will keep the first person notion in mind.

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  15. Hi Marla,


    Everyone seems to have the same opinion about the information in paragraph 2 going first.


    I appreciate your comments.

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  16. Hi Heather - Looks like I've got some work to do on my pitch. Thanks for leaving your feedback!

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  17. Hi Genevieve,


    I'm like you... I LOVE animal stories. This one is based on a few true events, but is mostly fiction. I work for a fire department and our firefighters did rescue two pups, but they were both adorable.


    I'll be reworking the pitch getting it ready for the voting in a few weeks.


    Thanks for your comments!

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  18. HI Maria! Ohhhh... I like it. I think you are on the right track there. Can't remember where I saw it earlier, but someone said the firefighters seemed confusing so I might add in the part about dad being a FF. Would that make it a stronger pitch?

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  19. Hi Rosi!


    The vote is in - I'll be switching up the paragraphs. :)


    Thanks for sharing your comments!

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  20. Ah... Julie, you've given me some food for thought. I like it! Thanks for the comments. There is such a fine balance between telling enough and telling too much.

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  21. Thanks, Kathy. It's hard to get out of the "telling" habit. I'm glad you spotted that and brought it to my attention.


    All these comments are so helpful. Thanks for contributing!

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  22. Thanks, Linda! I love WYRIW! All of the comments have been so helpful and everyone is so supportive! Wish I could do this with every pitch! LOL!


    Can't wait to re-work this pitch to get it ready for the end of the month.

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  23. Thanks Teresa,


    I knew someone suggested making sure it was obvious that Dad was a firefighter. I'll work on that!


    Thanks for the helpful comments!

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  24. Thanks, Rachel! I'm glad you liked the pitch and gave suggestions on how to make it stronger.


    Everyone seems to enjoy the concept. Hopefully, I can share that it is in print one day!

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  25. HI Donna Marie - Can't tell! Can't tell! :)


    I'm glad that the pitch piqued your interest!

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  26. Cute idea and I love dog stories too. Don't think you need the word mischievous...destined for the pound says it all!
    "Freelance came his name honestly, but the night after the firefighters who adopted him decided to return him to the pound, he proved that where he really belonged."

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  27. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Maria, Keila!

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  28. Thank you for your helpful comments for Maria, Joanne, and for your advice on what to do about the pitch pick. I thought about putting up the 3 for another vote, but I felt bad for the one who wasn't one of the three... if you know what I mean :)

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  29. Thanks so much for your advice for Maria, Marla! :)

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  30. Thanks for your comments for Maria, Heather! And yes, I could do random.org... it just seems to random :) and the pitch pick is supposed to be based on merit... but I guess those three already earned their merit...!

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  31. Thanks so much for your encouraging comments for Maria, Genevieve! :)

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  32. If it's me, no worries. Truly.

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  33. Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions for Maria, Maria! And for your thoughtful approach to the pitch pick conundrum... I've got stairs... :)

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  34. Thanks so much for your helpful input for Maria, Rosi! :)

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  35. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Maria, Julia!

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  36. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments for Maria, Kathy! :)

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  37. Hahaha! You are always so fun, Nancy! :) I'm going to go with option 4 I think :)

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  38. Thanks so much for your willingness to do whatever is necessary, Linda! and for your helpful comments for Maria! :)

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  39. Thanks so much for your comments for Maria, Teresa! And by all means, have as much cake as you like - you've got to make it through those long hours from 8:30 to 11! :) As for the pitch pick, I thought about that... but I felt bad for the one who wasn't one of the three :(

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  40. Now there's an idea, Rachel - definitely a possibility - thanks! And thanks so much for your helpful comments for Maria!

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  41. Hmm.... I might be able to... And thanks for your enthusiastic reaction to Maria's pitch! :)

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  42. Quite the dilemma, Susanna; I remember all the pitches were good. I'd be willing to vote again. Rachel's idea of using a scale of 1-10 sounds fabu.


    Maria, I love the dog story. Freelance's personality comes across nicely in the first paragraph, while the conflict is stated in the second. I'd love for them to merge into one. I also like the idea of it being in third person.


    E.g.: From the moment the tiny puppy [did something mischevious], all the firefighters started calling him Freelance. But when Freelance [did X, Y, Z], it looked like the puppy was heading for the pound.

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  43. Thanks, Stacy! I like your ideas!

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  44. Keila, I like your suggestions. Several people caught that I used too many adjective . Glad you pointed that out, too.

    Thanks!

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  45. Wow...a three-way tie...I remember they were all really good! Random.org would be the easiest..although I'd also be willing to vote again.
    And now, after all that brain work, I'll have a big piece of your chocolate delight...thanks, Susanna!
    Regarding Maria's story...I would definitely read it...LOVE the name Freelance for a dog...totally fun. Here's an idea for a slightly different pitch:



    Freelance was on the verge of being banished from the firehouse because he (what misbehavior did he so). But when he (what did he do that was brave) he earned a place at the firehouse forever!
    Maria...is Freelance a firehouse dog...you spoke of him being named by the firefighters...so I was a little confused, because then at the end, you said he earned his place in the home.

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  46. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 13, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    Well my reward for being so late on commenting on this is that you probably already figured out the 3 way tie thingy. ;) Sorry I am so late - I've been busy with play practice and am trying to catch up now. :) I'd say yes to the story but I think the pitch could be shortened - maybe something like -
    Freelance the tan pup was so mischievous that he was destined for the pound. All that changed in one night because of his heroic actions.
    Hope that helps! :)

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  47. Random.org seems so... random :) but it might be the easiest! Thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Maria, Vivian! :)

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  48. Well, I'll have to think up some kind of plan! Thanks so much for your suggestions! And thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Maria!

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  49. Nope! I most certainly did not figure out the three-way thingy! Maybe I should just ask you which one you'd pick and go with that one :) Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Ms. Bostian! :)

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  50. Sure you'll think of something, Susanna. Just thought of this: Vote twice, for your first and second choices. Or do what I do: go with what Stacy likes best. :)

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  51. Maybe you'd better whisper in my ear what Stacy likes best and we'll go with that :)

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