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demystifying board books

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I've never pitched a board book manuscript before and I don't generally write for the youngest readers (I have more experience writing picture books for 3-7 year olds and writing character driven fiction in general.) It seems that a lot of great board books are illustrated by the author. I imagine it's difficult to sell a board book unless you provide the artwork yourself. I've written a board book for babies/toddlers but it's so simple that I would hesitate to approach an agent or publisher without the artwork. Besides a great pitch, a great idea/polished though spare writing, what else is needed to sell a board book manuscript? Am I correct in assuming they are extremely hard to sell especially without art? Thanks in advance!
#1 - June 19, 2020, 01:20 PM

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Maria, I would pitch even though board books are a hard sell, given how many are done in-house. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. I pitched Ten Easter Eggs (it used to be just Ten Eggs) when there was an open window at Cartwheel. I'd rec'd good rejections before but it was the right fit and right timing because the editor picked it from the slush. Here's the story behind it: https://www.inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2017/3/28/interview-with-vijaya-bodach-who-sold-her-ten-easter-eggs-pi.html

Good luck! Board books are such fun.
#2 - June 19, 2020, 04:29 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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Board books are pitched just like picture books. No need to provide the art. In fact, many board books are scaled down versions of picture books; sometimes nothing is even changed. They are a hard sell, but it can't hurt to try and keep trying. As Vijaya said, you never know.
#3 - June 19, 2020, 05:51 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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I'd absolutely pitch, Maria. Board books might be a hard sell, but so is anything in publishing, really! I'd do so in the same way as a picture book, taking extra care with the pitch. If it helps, I have one (text only) out on (agented) sub right now. That said, I definitely recommend following Vijaya's advice about keeping an eye out for opportunities.

Vijaya, my son LOVES Ten Easter Eggs. We must have read it about a hundred times by now. It's such a clever concept, and so beautifully executed!
#4 - June 22, 2020, 07:19 AM
Luis and Tabitha, 2018
Very Lulu, 2019
Five Sisters, 2020
Quacks Like a Duck, 2021
Stacks of Axolotls, 2022
http://www.stephaniecampisi.com

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Vijaya, my son LOVES Ten Easter Eggs. We must have read it about a hundred times by now. It's such a clever concept, and so beautifully executed!

Thank you! It's always such a delight to hear how the little ones are enjoying TEE.

#5 - June 22, 2020, 08:27 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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Literaticast did an episode on her podcast on board books. It has great information. I hope this link works...
https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/literaticast/meredith_mixdown.mp3
#6 - July 02, 2020, 04:10 PM

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