Today is ‘World Read Aloud Day’. To fing out more about this event click here.
So tonight I am reading a new book that arrived in the postbox today – Miss Brooks Loves Books by Barbara Bottner and brilliant illustrations by Michael Emberley. Thank you Mr. Postman, such great timing!
This isn’t a book I have just chosen out of the blue, oh no, there was a perfectly good reason. Sometimes (and apparently more frequently) when you are submitting a manuscript, you can be asked to compare your story/concept to other books already out there. Mary Lindsey from QueryTracker.net also mentions this in her post: Query Letters: Constants and Not so Constants.
I have written a manuscript about a Librarian and have not read many books with this theme before, not even in my teaching years. Therefore I had to go on a hunt for books with Librarians in them. This led me to Miss Brooks Loves Books, which I found online eventually. I loved the synopsis and therefore decided to order it.
It is not always easy to find books that you can compare your own to. What happens if you can’t say my book is ? meets ?. Mary Lindsey says:
“This doesn’t work if you use little known or obscure references.”
Searching for similar themes and concepts to your own is a good lesson. Maybe there are hundreds out there already like your story idea. What then? Can you find a new angle to make it better? Give it a twist? These are challenges worth thinking about and even taking on!
And the bonus is you get to discover new authors and illustrators like I have with Miss Brook Loves Books! (and I don’t)