Apr 6, 2009

QUERY- THE AMAZING TALE OF RUDY TOOT-TOOT (Revision 1)

Click here to read the original query.

Attn: [agent],

Please consider my 500 word contemporary picture book, THE AMAZING TALE OF RUDY TOOT-TOOT. This quirky comedy is directed to the 2-6 year age range and should appeal to kids (and adults!) who liked WALTER THE FARTING DOG.

Rudy Toot-Toot was born on a bean farm. He has an amazing gift - at least he thinks it is amazing – but I’ll tell you about that in a second. He also has an amazing problem: Rudy Toot-Toot does not know how to use any manners. His family tries to eat dinner, but can barely even get started because of Rudy’s antics. “Rudy Toot-Toot! How rude!” the family exclaims repeatedly. But when Rudy starts eating his beans, his amazing gift takes over…and the family had better run for cover!

I have been writing professionally for business for the past eight years, including copywriting, press releases, and proposals. THE AMAZING TALE OF RUDY TOOT-TOOT is my first picture book manuscript, inspired by my own two sons.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

8 comments:

The Screaming Guppy said...

This is so outside what I read and what I would query about, but here are my thoughts.

I like the opening, and I like the voice a lot. I don't like the "but I'll tell you about that later." The query is too short, so this seems like a waste of words. We reach "later" in three sentences. The paragraph functions fine without it.

From what I've read about queries, most agents suggest that there's no reason to include writing credentials unless they relate directly to what you are pitching. I think you could leave in the part about your two sons inspiring it, but your professional writing experience seems completely unrelated to the rest of the query.

Aside from those small things, this query seems right on target for the material. Nice job.

Belinda Frisch said...

This is cute. Seriously, kids love a fart story and the fact that Rudy hails from a bean farm is hilarious.

But...

He has an amazing gift - at least he thinks it is amazing – but I’ll tell you about that in a second.

NO. Tell us now, or don't mention it. This sentence is unnecessary.

He also has an amazing problem: Rudy Toot-Toot does not know how to use any manners.

Be active. "Rudy Toot-Tot has no manners" is more direct.

And I'd move para 1 to the end. Start strong with your gassy main character.

Belinda Frisch said...

oops, missed an "o" in that second Toot. I wish comments had spell check.

Good luck!

Rick Daley said...

Thanks, you're both fast on the feedback!

Belinda, if you use Mozilla Firefox as your browser it will underline misspelled words when you type your comments...but it wouldn't catch the toot / tot since it's not technically misspelled ;-(

Sarah Garrigues said...

Rick,

You are getting there. Just a few more comments:

I also do not care for the line "but I'll tell you about that later." It is a striking switch from third person to first person and I'm not sure agents want you to talk directly to them during the pitch paragraph.

I also agree about the bio information--not appropriate. I would combine your first and last paragraphs at the bottom. Agents know you are inviting them to consider your MS by the fact that you are sending them a query, so delete that sentence.

So here's my recommended version:

"Rudy Toot-Toot was born on a bean farm with an amazing gift - at least he thinks it is amazing.

He also has an amazing problem: Rudy Toot-Toot does not know how to use any manners. His family tries to eat dinner, but can barely even get started because of Rudy’s antics. “Rudy Toot-Toot! How rude!” the family exclaims repeatedly. But when Rudy starts eating his beans, his special talent takes over…and the family had better run for cover!

THE AMAZING TALE OF RUDY TOOT-TOOT, complete at XXX words, is my first picture book manuscript, inspired by my own two sons. With a target audience of 2- through 6-year-olds, it will appeal to kids (and adults!) who liked WALTER THE FARTING DOG.

The full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration."

~Sarah

Judy said...

I have to say that this sounds very entertaining. Nice voice in the query.

Mira said...

I can't improve on Sarah's revision and other people's comments.

Except, I might add one thing. Alot of agents are especially looking for picture books that appeal to boys. You might add:

"appeal to both boys and girls (and some adults).."

Also, I'm not sure I agree about the bio. I know agents say they don't care, but I'm not sure I believe them. I might sneak it in:

I have been writing professionally for years, but The....is my first picture book for children, inspired by my two sons.

I have heard (surprisingly) that it is harder to publish a picture book than anything else. I'd include a credit or two.

But I might be wrong!

Mira said...

I mean publish a picture book as an unpublished author.

I'm not saying that to discourage you, btw, just a reality of the market.

I'm not sure why - but I found that out when I was shopping my own.

This is a great niche though - what parent doesn't deal with this!

Good luck!