Thursday, October 29, 2009

Not Comparable

Erin Asked Me "What is the age group you tend to target?" I did not know the answer to that question, so I went to a bookstore today to find out what age kids were reading books like the one I want to write. Guess what!

There are no books like the one I want to write. 

There are Middle Grade Novels that are at the reading level I would like to write for. They contain three syllable words and an occasional subplot, But those have no illustrations and tend to be about more adult themes. 

There are Chapter books that are formatted the way I want my book to be formatted with short independent chapters, reoccurring characters and constant settings, but those are written for a beginning reader and only have the occasional illustration.

And, There are Early Readers that use full page pictures to help the reader grasp the action of the story, like I would like to do, but those tend to be single sentence pages and deal with very simple subjects.

Well Crap! 

I want to write a book that can be read to and comprehended by the children who are too young to read the words themselves.

I want those children to be able to easily fallow along with the reader by looking at the pictures on the page.

I want it to break into short action packed chapters that can hold any child's attention.

I want each of those chapters to contain a lesson, but I do not want to hit them over the head with it. I want the lesson to be pointed out by the parent reading the book, not by the book itself.

I want to create a look to the book that has older kids (those who can read and comprehend it themselves) wanting to read it on there own, even though it is about a bunch of kids playing make believe.

I want this book to be able to compete for a child's attention when it is in the same room as the 36" HDTV

Right now, this type of book is not available

This means that there may not be a market for the book I want to write. I tried to figure out which shelf it would sit on if it was for sale today (other than the best seller shelf) and I was not able to decide.

Publishing is not the most important of my goals with this book, but I would be lying if I did not admit to wanting it.

Erin Also wrote "I think it's unique but also has mass appeal"

It may be too unique. 
Any Thoughts?

Thanks 4 Reading


Erin said...

Just because the market doesn't exist yet doesn't mean there aren't scores of people who will enjoy it. Imagine if Leslie Blodgett had decided not to pursue her company because there was nothing like it yet? Who's she? She's this lady who started a very small company in Los Gatos, California in 1976. She started selling that product to stores in the Bay Area and now owns a large portion of the US makeup industry. She developed Bare Esentuals, the mineral based makeup. Before her and the others that followed her, we all used liquid and cream based foundations. She took a leap of faith. It paid off.

Also consider the Snuggie! Just a different take on the classic blanket. :)

In reading your outline and just knowing you and your vibe I would probably place your book in the 6-11 year old range. I think the graphics would hold the older kids attention while the story telling and characters would enchant the little ones along with their parents. Nathan would be an excellent tester at this. He's right in the middle of that age group. Hell even Scott would rather books have more pictures ;)

Having worked in a few bookstores and being a frequent customer I can tell you that there is a place for EVERY book no matter how unique, odd, different, or new. This is even more apparent in childrens books because the childrens book section opens it arms to color, pictures, and diversity. I bet the first person to make a pop-upbook was laughed at. Now we love and adore those books. Did you know J.K. Rowling was turned down by dozens of publishers? Jokes on them. People were looking for something new. Harry Potter was that.

Don't be discouraged because you and your book are unique. I am more likely to pick up something that looks new and unique.

I have some homework for you. Please visit a store and look up the following books. I was introduced to these when I was quite a bit younger but still love them. They are extremely unique in the book world but have a very loyal following. No cheating by looking them up online, these books you need to see and feel.

Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence - Nick Bantock

Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book - Terry Jones and Brian Fround

In the end, you have to love your project and if you love it those who love you will love it and that is contagious :)

Alyssa said...

The 8-12 age range could use a book like this! Give them up to date and interesting characters their age to relate to.