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High Concept PB topics

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This seems like a silly question but I'd love to hear others take on what qualifies as 'high concept' in a PB.

Thanks!
#1 - May 27, 2017, 03:46 AM
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 06:24 AM by Schriscoe »
'Vehicle Dreams Series' Running Press Kids
Race Car Dreams 2016
Bulldozer Dreams 2017
Fire Truck Dreams 2018
The Sparrow and The Trees- Arbordale 2015

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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.
#2 - May 27, 2017, 06:47 AM
Kirsten W. Larson

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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.

#3 - May 27, 2017, 09:04 AM
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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.

#4 - May 27, 2017, 09:43 AM
'Vehicle Dreams Series' Running Press Kids
Race Car Dreams 2016
Bulldozer Dreams 2017
Fire Truck Dreams 2018
The Sparrow and The Trees- Arbordale 2015

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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.
#5 - May 27, 2017, 10:22 AM
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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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. :)


#6 - May 27, 2017, 10:26 AM
'Vehicle Dreams Series' Running Press Kids
Race Car Dreams 2016
Bulldozer Dreams 2017
Fire Truck Dreams 2018
The Sparrow and The Trees- Arbordale 2015

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Thanks, everybody.  I've been doing this a long time, and I didn't know what it meant. But you guys explained it perfectly!
#7 - May 27, 2017, 12:53 PM
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

Owl Princess
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Would DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS be another example? I think there was a series of pigeon books.
#8 - May 27, 2017, 09:32 PM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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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.
#9 - May 27, 2017, 11:39 PM

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It works for NF, too: VOLCANO RISING; BUBBLE HOMES AND FISH FARTS; MONSTER SCIENCE; TSUNAMI!
#10 - May 28, 2017, 05:49 AM
http://www.vonnacarter.com
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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.

#11 - May 28, 2017, 07:22 AM
Kirsten W. Larson

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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....
#12 - May 29, 2017, 06:26 AM

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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
#13 - May 29, 2017, 08:00 AM
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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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.
#14 - May 29, 2017, 09:20 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
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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
#15 - May 29, 2017, 09:47 AM
'Vehicle Dreams Series' Running Press Kids
Race Car Dreams 2016
Bulldozer Dreams 2017
Fire Truck Dreams 2018
The Sparrow and The Trees- Arbordale 2015

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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.
#16 - May 29, 2017, 09:56 AM

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 :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?
#17 - May 29, 2017, 02:47 PM

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