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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Schriscoe on May 27, 2017, 03:46 AM

Title: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Schriscoe on May 27, 2017, 03:46 AM
This seems like a silly question but I'd love to hear others take on what qualifies as 'high concept' in a PB.

Thanks!
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: kwlarson on May 27, 2017, 06:47 AM
The definition I've heard is this: A "high concept" book has a clearly defined marketing hook that often can be explained by its title alone, like THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES or WE ARE IN A BOOK or the forthcoming LOVE, TRIANGLE.

Am I still confused? Yes. I'd love to hear other answers.
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Vonna on May 27, 2017, 09:04 AM
The definition I've heard is this: A "high concept" book has a clearly defined marketing hook that often can be explained by its title alone, like THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES or WE ARE IN A BOOK or the forthcoming LOVE, TRIANGLE.
Yep, this is my take, too. A few more examples: SHARK vs TRAIN; MONSTER TRUCKS; I WANT MY HAT BACK; THE BOSS BABY.

Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Schriscoe on May 27, 2017, 09:43 AM
Awesome! Thanks so much Kirsten and Vonna!

Ha! As a PB author, you'd think this would be an easy topic but for some reason it is 't. One thing is that I am trying to get three things into one book that may not be possible. 1) high concept 2) character driven 3) series potential.

Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Anne Marie on May 27, 2017, 10:22 AM
Ha! As a PB author, you'd think this would be an easy topic but for some reason it is 't. One thing is that I am trying to get three things into one book that may not be possible. 1) high concept 2) character driven 3) series potential.

VAMPIRINA BALLERINA.  Not to boast, but true.
FANCY NANCY.
OLIVIA.  High concept may be less appropriate here, but the art might be unique enough to compensate for lack of high concept.  Or maybe at the time it first came out, the mischievous/lovable anyway trope was newer?  I don't know.
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Schriscoe on May 27, 2017, 10:26 AM
You are SO right Anne Marie! Vampirina Ballerina DOES cover all three of those!! THIS makes me super happy and feeling good about my new idea again. Thank you!!

Now to come up with a clever title like yours. :)


Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Betsy on May 27, 2017, 12:53 PM
Thanks, everybody.  I've been doing this a long time, and I didn't know what it meant. But you guys explained it perfectly!
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Barbara Etlin on May 27, 2017, 09:32 PM
Would DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS be another example? I think there was a series of pigeon books.
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: iyerani on May 27, 2017, 11:39 PM
Sorry, it is still confusing for me. Is there any NF series? or is it special for fiction genre?  Sorry can't wrap my mind around it.
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Vonna on May 28, 2017, 05:49 AM
It works for NF, too: VOLCANO RISING; BUBBLE HOMES AND FISH FARTS; MONSTER SCIENCE; TSUNAMI!
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: kwlarson on May 28, 2017, 07:22 AM
I think "high concept" definitely works for lots of trade nonfiction. For example, PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH comes to mind. You read that title, and you know instantly that this is a book that's going to show you pink isn't all princesses and fairies.

Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: carrots on May 29, 2017, 06:26 AM
I always assumed "high" concept had to do with educational themes and am SO glad to have been set straight!!!

 :thankyou

Since its meaning is linked to the title, I wonder if it would be better understood if called clear concept....
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Anne Marie on May 29, 2017, 08:00 AM
It's not a requirement that it be linked to the title. That's just one way of thinking about it.  High concept is a idea that's easy to describe quickly.

The wiki article is actually helpful, I think:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-concept
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: JodyJS on May 29, 2017, 09:20 AM
That's what I was thinking, too, Anne Marie. I've heard it described as hitting on several different themes/concepts at once in an unusual way, which perfectly fits Shark Vs Train, even if it were called something different.
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: Schriscoe on May 29, 2017, 09:47 AM
I am so happy I asked this question! You guys are some super smart cookies!!

Thanks so much for the great info!!  :love5

And now, I do believe I have my idea down on what PB I am going to work on next.  :running
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: carrots on May 29, 2017, 09:56 AM
It's not a requirement that it be linked to the title. That's just one way of thinking about it.  High concept is a idea that's easy to describe quickly.

That's what I was thinking, too, Anne Marie. I've heard it described as hitting on several different themes/concepts at once in an unusual way, which perfectly fits Shark Vs Train, even if it were called something different.

Ahhhh, I'm getting it more now.
Title: Re: High Concept PB topics
Post by: iyerani on May 29, 2017, 02:47 PM
 :exactly Getting clearer now! Thank you all! I see it this genre as writing with a perspective and may be with a particular voice. Correct?