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Do Most PB Writers Focus On One "Style" of PB?

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I'm trying to get back into writing after a baby hiatus and am finding that I've been inspired to write PBs in different styles. I'm wondering how this would relate to ultimately landing an agent, since most in this area seem to want several PBs ready when you submit. By way of example: I would say Bob Shea books tend to be humorous, while Nancy Tillman books are soft and sweet. What if you're a writer who writes books like Bob and Nancy? Should you focus on one "style" to the exclusion of others so that you have a cohesive voice when you approach agents? Do agents want one style from their authors, or do they expect authors to have various types of PBs?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
#1 - January 27, 2016, 11:13 AM

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Hi Lauren,

My .02 are to write in whatever style suits you. No need to be consistent. Different editors and different houses have different tastes and needs, same with agents. I write sweet and wacky fiction and traditional and contemporary nonfiction. I say do it all if you can!

Jody
#2 - January 27, 2016, 12:09 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
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FWIW, I write in different styles and hope to place differently styled books with different editors and houses. I'm still working on that though!
#3 - January 27, 2016, 01:12 PM
I've Got a Tail! - Amicus Ink 2020

www.juliemurphybooks.com

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There's a reason my bio says I write 'quiet to quirky --- poetry and prose'.  I've been able to publish in various styles. That said, I think if I were to hit on one that screamed 'series!' I'd develop more in one particular style.  But, for now I love writing in different styles. Write what makes you happy! And, congratulations on that very lovely reason for your hiatus! Welcome back!
#4 - January 27, 2016, 01:15 PM
Legend of The Beaver's Tail '15
Schnitzel: A Cautionary Tale for Lazy Louts,  '16
Moo La La! Cow Goes Shopping, '17
Piece by Piece, '17

I think it's fine. Personally, I write humorous, character-driven stories but also quieter, lyrical stories. I've sold both. In terms of the creative aspect, I enjoy writing different kinds of stories. Keeps it fresh.

Welcome back!! Happy writing...
#5 - January 27, 2016, 03:40 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
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There was a time when you were expected to write just one kind of book (have a "brand"). But that's breaking down now. I write rhyming pbs, science nonfiction, biographies, lift-the-flap, concept books, historical--all picture books. So go for it.
#6 - January 27, 2016, 04:58 PM
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 04:15 PM by Betsy »
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Congrats on the baby and welcome back to writing!

I also write and have been published in various styles. My current book is a folklore whereas my upcoming book is a bedtime rhyme. And I write MG. So, write what you want to write and what makes you happy.

#7 - January 27, 2016, 08:28 PM
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Thank you all so much for your input. One of the first stories I've been inspired to write is very lyrical, which isn't typically where I end up. Its comforting to hear that I can wander my way around and focus on the stories that speak to me rather than maintaining a certain style/voice. (And thanks for the baby congratulations as well!)
#8 - January 29, 2016, 10:43 AM

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Hi Lauren - I'm joining the gang that says you can mix it up. I, too, have been published in different styles - from sweet to snarky. Good luck with your writing but more importantly, enjoy that new baby.
#9 - January 29, 2016, 11:34 AM
Jean Reidy
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I'm happy to hear that writers need not be boxed into one type of book. It's a refreshing attitude.

More about "write your best", and less about branding.  :goodthread
#10 - January 30, 2016, 12:40 PM

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I think it's perfect acceptable these days to not be pigeon-holed. I write picture books that are fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose.
#11 - January 30, 2016, 01:12 PM
Laurie Wallmark
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