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How do you pick? (2 polished PBs very similar in theme)

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Now that Writeoncon is over, I have a lot on my mind including questions I'm not sure I have the answers to.

Right now, I have two picture books polished and ready to go. Both have similar themes (dealing with the phases/disappearance of the moon during its cycle).

The first is Little Rabbit's Moon, but when I posted the query here, I realized that it needed some work. I wasn't sure how to rework the query at the time, so I started working on changing the story altogether.

Aside from the story involving the new moon and the characters trying to bring the full moon back, they're very different.

In Little Rabbit's Moon, Little Rabbit wants to befriend the moon. She tries to get as close as she can, and when the moon disappears, she does what she can to find it.

For my more recent story, The Night the Moon Went Out, I actually have a fairly polished query:

Cricket can't wait to sing at the Moonlight Theater, but when the moon has a bad case of stage fright, all bets are off. Cricket refuses to sing, Sora the dancing moth won't perform without her spotlight, and the fireflies' glow isn't enough to take its place. With their show in jeopardy, Cricket, Sora and the fireflies band together to save the night.

With two MS so close together, how do you pick which one to query? I figure you can't query both as they are still similar.

Anyone have any thoughts?

If I do query book A and no one is interested, is it considered unprofessional to query book B which has a similar theme?
#1 - August 28, 2014, 04:50 AM

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Sounds like they're two versions of the same book, rather than two totally different books, so I don't think you should query both (to the same person, I mean).

To choose your best revision, you should ask the advice of a few trusted crit partners.

Your query sounds really interesting and fun! The first version you mentioned reminds me a bit more of Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. I like that the second version sounds unique.

Based on your descriptions, I'd lean towards the second version, perhaps. But like I said, best thing to do is get a few opinions on both (hopefully from people you've exchanged with before so you can better interpret the feedback).

Best of luck!
#2 - August 28, 2014, 05:25 AM

Diana, thanks so much. I'm also leaning toward #2. I got a lot of great feedback at Writeoncon for it. I guess I still have feelings for version 1 since it was my first fully polished PB.
#3 - August 28, 2014, 05:55 AM

I'd lean towards number two also -- it sounds like more opportunity for humor and a more active story line. I'd query that one first.
#4 - August 28, 2014, 06:26 AM
Kell Andrews

THIS OR THAT, Tilbury House, 2021
THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, 2018

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If you don't have a strong query for book one, that may be a sign that it isn't your strongest book. Your second book sounds fun and unique.
#5 - August 28, 2014, 06:29 AM

Thanks so much. The problem I ran into with book 1 was the fact that there wasn't much conflict (character driven mostly). It's sort of a creative non-fiction in that it goes through all the phases of the moon, which I have a hard time placing in a query without getting wordy.

You're probably right, though. I'll go with #2 since it's almost submission ready.
#6 - August 28, 2014, 06:41 AM

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I echo what Diana says. Find your most trusted readers and see what they have to say.
Good luck!
#7 - August 28, 2014, 08:57 AM
Jean Reidy
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I wonder if the moon had stage fright or if the other characters just think that's the problem. It's a question of whether the moon is really a character or not. If it's just that they tried to have their show during the wrong phase, that is different.

There are a few books that deal with the moon besides the one mentioned. I have one called Moon Mouse that dates way back and is likely long out of print. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle also comes to mind. Take a look at what's out there and make sure yours is different.
#8 - September 02, 2014, 07:57 AM
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