Jun 15, 2010

Query for a children's book/picture book

Dear Mr. Rutherford,

What would you do if you were visiting a zoo on an empty stomach and saw a giant banana? If you were Mr. Butchin you would take it home and make banana bread. This is the story of the Misadventures of Mr. Butchin. Mr. Butchin is a loveable cartoon man who travels the fifty states and other countries in his subsequent books. His travels involve real photos of landmarks and local places within each state. In his first book, Mr. Butchin starts off in Wisconsin. He visits a local zoo and learns a valuable lesson about sharing. The first story is completed and an outline of subsequent books has already been done. Mr. Butchin’s books are aimed for toddlers and preschoolers and have a word count of approximately 600 to 800 words. Comparative books that share a vision of culture, language, and knowledge specifically geared towards toddlers and young children were hard to find. Some such as Dora explore the language aspect. Within the research, I found that books either focused on language or realistic photos, but not both.

I live in Madison, Wisconsin and do in-home childcare using my degree in Early Childhood Education and my Master’s in Education to bring fun to learning experiences. I’ve been working directly with children and reading everyday to them for nine years. My co-author Casey Day has worked at two daycare facilities for over 15 years as a music teacher and assistant teacher.

Some possible endorsements for the book would be the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with whom I work closely. Also, libraries in Wisconsin and bookstores may allow a book signing to help endorse the book. Due to the educational value, I feel confident that one or more places will endorse this book.

My marketing plan is flexible but strong. I wrote a book that will add to the education of all young children. My mission is, by using realistic pictures and common phrases heard within a location, and simplistic text, children will have knowledge of each of the fifty states and twenty other countries once the series is complete. I will contact the intended market by using internet, print, and traveling to locations. I hope to use a low cost/high turnover approach to pricing. This plan will be modified to fit demand and cost. The specifics can be decided later.

Thank you for taking the time to review my materials.


Erinn said...

hi, I just went to a Scbiw conference last week, and while I don't write picture books I did learn a lot.

Your last three paragraphs do not need to be in your query. Trim it up and make it 1 paragraph.

Are you an author/illustrator? Because if you are an author you don't talk about the pictures in the query.

I like the bit about going to the zoo and taking home a banana, that tells what your book is about.

Don't pitch a series, pitch one book at a time.

I hope this helps.
Good luck

Lindsey said...

Thanks Erinn for your feedback! The reason I added all that stuff is because that is what the publishing company is looking for in the query. Otherwise, I wouldn't have it in there. I will change the pitch though and I am only an author. The pictures would be realistic photos of each state. Thanks again :)

Tabitha Bird said...

I love the idea for this picture book. As a teacher and a mother I can say that not enough of these books are out there. So good luck with this project.

I do agree with Erin that it needs to be trimmed. Even if the publisher wants all this information, I still think you could cut it back.
I'd pitch the book one at a time. You can allude to the fact that there are others if they like the concept of this one. Also, I am not sure about your opening line. I don't think it sets the right tone for the book. I thought it was going to be a really funny picture book, but you are really pitching a more educational book. See if you can get that across in the first lines.
Hope some of this helps.

Dan Ritchie said...

Does each book take place in a different state? If that's the kind of thing the publisher is looking for, fine, but 50 stats and 20 countries sounds like a lot of books.

Anonymous said...

"Simplistic" is a word with negative connotations. "Simple" is better.

I agree with Erinn-- take out everything that isn't about your story.

Lindsey said...

thanks everyone for the comments :) I appreciate it! I will work on a revision! Peace :)

Pragmatic Mom said...

I like the idea of visiting 50 states via picture books. My 4th grader needs to learn about what the states exports, major landmarks including geographic and state capital. If you could include these facts into the book, it would be a good way introduce geography in a fun way.

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World

I blog on education, parenting and children's lit

Anonymous said...

A little red flag went up when you wrote, "that is what the publishing company is looking for in the query." Please tell us you are not going to pay someone to publish your book!

Before you go any further in contacts with any "publishers," please look at this website: http://pred-ed.com/pubwarn.htm