SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: elizabeth-malyon on April 14, 2016, 09:15 AM

Title: Subject Matter and age of audience
Post by: elizabeth-malyon on April 14, 2016, 09:15 AM
Hi - I just joined this week and I'm working on a PB based on my childhood adventures (my parents were both fine artists and our lives were all about art).

I'm struggling right now, wondering if some of my material might make a better young reader book - maybe I can do both?? First the picture book and then later the book for older kids with the same character but a few years older? What do you think?
Title: Re: Subject Matter and age of audience
Post by: Schriscoe on April 14, 2016, 09:55 AM
Welcome to the BB!

I am not sure if what you are suggesting will work simply because a publisher isn't going to want you competing against their book with the same character at a different house or genre. Actually they include this in your contract it is called a noncompete clause. For the possibility of that publisher taking the same character from PB to ER they first will want to establish an audience that will want to follow the character once they get older and this can take time.

My advice to you now is to focus the character on one genre and then create a new character for the other.


Hope this helps and good luck! 
Title: Re: Subject Matter and age of audience
Post by: lrzajac on April 14, 2016, 10:07 AM
I often take my research and spin it into different things. For one subject in particular I wrote a magazine article that was accepted for publication, I wrote a picture book (I'm still revising it) and I wrote a manuscript for middle grade readers.  When I wrote about marine mammal research and wind turbines, I sold an article for middle graders and I sold an essay for high school students. The focus of one was on the scientist's work studying how the noise affected marine mammals. The focus of the other was that offshore wind turbines would benefit the U.S., but we would have to be careful that the noise would not harm marine mammals.

So yes, you can produce works from the same material, but make them different.
Title: Re: Subject Matter and age of audience
Post by: elizabeth-malyon on April 14, 2016, 03:43 PM
Yes, thanks for your input. I understand that there would be a conflict of interest in moving one established character to another series and yes I see that the same material can be written for different audiences. I am focusing on the PB now obviously, but I'll keep the other ideas in my back pocket, so to speak - write them down for future reference when I need something new to work on. Thanks!
Title: Re: Subject Matter and age of audience
Post by: dinalapomy101 on April 14, 2016, 04:01 PM
Once you are established with your picture book and its character, some pubs will then do spin-offs with the same character as Easy Readers (Pete the Cat, Olivia, Martha Speaks, for some examples). So it can happen! I would focus on the PB first and see where it goes. Good luck!