Would You Read It Wednesday #106 – The Light Bulb And The Lab Coat (PB) PLUS The August Pitch Pick Winner!

Do you know what time it is?

It’s time for Would You Read It Wednesday!

Come on down, everybody!

There are still a few seats in the front row.

Don’t worry.  I won’t call on you unless your hand is raised 🙂

Okey dokey!  First, it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the August Pitch Pick and that is

LISA! with her pitch for The Golden Egg!

Congratulations, Lisa!  Your pitch is already on its way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts!  And congratulations to all our brave pitchers.  You all did a wonderful job!  And thank you to all our stalwart voters without whom a winner would not be possible.  You are all lovely! 🙂

Speaking of snacks…

Oh.  We weren’t?

Well, we are now 🙂

So, speaking of snacks, today, thanks to the lovely Kathy, we have the perfect Something Chocolate!  Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars!  Allow me to wax poetic about their many virtues:

1. Plenty of chocolate (obviously!) which, as I keep reminding you, is a vegetable since it is derived from a bean.  = Health Food!

2. Plenty of peanut butter, which is an excellent source of protein, so important for fueling our brains for a long day of writing.

3. People often refer to peanut butter as PB (as in PB&J) and here we are in the world of picture books – also PBs!!!  Coincidence?????  I don’t THINK so!

Let’s eat some and see if we all have an amazing-better-than-usual-brilliantly-productive PB writing day!

Now that our mouths are all full (glass of milk anyone?) today’s pitch comes to us from Donna.  Donna is the author/illustrator of children’s picture book, LUCCI- THE NO SMOOCHIE POOCHIE.  She loves kids, books and animals, but most of all, kids’ books about animals. She lives, writes, and pursues learning the craft out in beautiful Central Texas Hill Country with a husband and a menagerie.  You can find her online at:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Light Bulb And The Lab Coat
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 8-12)
The Pitch: What if a bird building her nest was responsible for Thomas Edison’s first successful light bulb? My story finds Edison and his associates up against the clock and investors’ expectations to deliver an incandescent bulb, capable of bringing safe, economical light to homes. Mr. Edison befriends an orphan robin by providing it a home in his lab, and the robin, in turn, provides the inventor companionship, inspiration and the answer to his quest. The Light Bulb and the Lab Coat, intended for ages 8 – 12, combines a small ‘element’ of fiction with factual information to elicit a child’s sense of wonder, and what could be a complex process becomes a fun read.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Donna improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Donna is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to announcing a writing contest pretty soon…  Maybe next week! 🙂

Alrighty folks.  That’s it for today’s show.  Please tune in Friday, same bat time, same bat station!

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂

62 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #106 – The Light Bulb And The Lab Coat (PB) PLUS The August Pitch Pick Winner!

  1. Tina Cho says:

    Yes, I'd read it. I love that it's nonfiction, Donna, and I like your alliterated title. I do think you should delete the question and restate it and also bring down the word count. I'm not the greatest at pitches, but maybe something like this: Discover how a bird building her nest is responsible for Thomas Edison's first successful light bulb in The Light Bulb and the Lab Coat. Elements of fiction and factual information show how an inventor races against the clock to deliver light to homes.

    I made some Scotcheroos a few days ago, Susanna, that look almost like the photo 🙂

  2. Donna L Sadd says:

    Thanks for taking a moment with it, Tina. Yes, I've learned starting with a question is usually a no-no, and it does look a bit long-winded to me now. I think you did a succinct job at shortening my word count and adding immediacy, thank you!

  3. Wendy Greenley says:

    Yes, I'd read it. I'm a nerd so lab coats would pull me in. That said, the title doesn't seem to match the pitch. I'm not sure if the robin, or Edison, is the main character. I love the way Tina shortened the pitch, so no comments there!

  4. Kirsten Larson says:

    Donna, this sounds like a fascinating story. My only suggestion would be that your pitch needs to be shortened and tightened up so it's only two sentences. Here are some thoughts: “When Thomas Edison faces a tight deadline to deliver the first incandescent lightbulb,Mr. he befriends an orphaned robin, who reciprocates with companionship, inspiration and the answer to his quest.” Then you might give a line that hints at some of the action the reader will find. Also, I would just tell editors that this is “historical fiction” so they can better understand its genre.

    Good luck with this one. I would definitely pull it off the shelf!

  5. Donna L Sadd says:

    Hi Wendy, thanks for commenting. Edison is the main character.

    I think I should point something out for this entry. When I wrote the story and the pitch, the 'element' of fiction is the robin who interacts in the story by pulling cotton
    threads (the filament Edison used) from a lab coat to build her nest in the rafters. I have since made the robin a second visual story, to keep the text factual.

    I wonder if I could ask your opinions on how one would weave a pitch to show a duel story.

  6. Wendy Lawrence says:

    Yes! Love, love, love it. I love birds. I love science. I love lab coats. How could i NOT read this book? I do think the pitch could be tightened. Suggestions (as done in a minute or two and using only your words) 🙂 I think you could delete even more (do you need safe and economical?) Good luck!: Thomas Edison is up against the clock trying to deliver an incandescent bulb that will bring safe, economical light to homes. While working, Edison invites an orphan robin back to his lab and the robin proves an inspiring friend! The Light Bulb and the Lab Coat, intended for ages 8 – 12, combines a small 'element' of fiction with facts to elicit a child's sense of wonder, and a complex process becomes a fun read.

  7. Pam Brunskill says:

    Yes! I would read it! It sounds super cute, Donna. I agree with others to shorten it a bit, but it's good. I'd play around with it a little, but I like where Tina and Wendy were going with it. I love the 'element' line! 🙂 Good luck!

  8. Joanna Marple says:

    YUM! YUM!

    Donna, this feels a little bit more like the opening paragraph of a query letter than a pitch. I think it needs condensing as others have said. I think I'd also pitch it as historical fiction. I think I might also put the upper age as 11. Fascinating story!

  9. Patricia Tilton says:

    Donna, yes I would read it. I love historical fiction. I share similar thoughts about condensing your pitch. Kristen did an excellent job of bringing all your points together. I wondered how a robin could help, and she includes that element. Sounds like a good read for kids.

  10. Donna L Sadd says:

    Hee, hee, glad you liked the 'element' reference, Pam. The plan is to definitely fiddle with everyone's kind suggestions on wording, and shorten it. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Cheryl Secomb says:

    Yes, I would read it. It's delightful! It sounds like a sweet story and also educational. (And I LOVE the title of your other book: Lucci – The No Smoochie Poochie!) 🙂 Good luck with this, Donna!

  12. Donna L Sadd says:

    Gotcha, Joanna. Honestly, it would be the first para of my query. I think I got confused somewhere. If I were verbally pitching: “As Edison races against the clock to find a filament material that will make a bulb burn for a very long time, the antics of a little bird might have shed light on the answer that was under the inventor's nose all along.” Thank you!

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks so much for your very helpful suggestions for Donna, Tina! And I don't know what a Scotcheroo is… except it sounds like there's butterscotch involved – YUM – but I think I'm going to be needing that recipe! 🙂

  14. Stacy Couch says:

    Nice chocolate-y treat! Down to my last choc in my box o' chocolates–peanut butter. Wanted to save it for later, but now…:)

    You have such a creative take on Edison, Donna! Tina and several others have offered great advice for a pitch, verbal or written. My only other advice would be to look at the book jackets of similar books. The first line often doubles as a phenomenal pitch.

  15. Laura Purdie Salas says:

    I would read it, but for the pitch, I think I would just call it a fictional pb based on fact. (Or, better yet, leave out the fiction–OK, that's just my prejudice–I think this sounds amazing as pure nonfiction!) And I would change “and what could be a complex process becomes a fun read” to something less intimidating, like “shares the story of Edison's scientific breakthrough in an engaging, accessible narrative.” I also wanted the title to reflect the bird–that's really the hook. I stink at titles, but maybe something like, The Early Bird Gets the Light Bulb…

  16. Julie says:

    Congratulations, Lisa!

    Hi Donna – I'd pick this up based on the title! But just looking at the length tells me it needs to be tightened as a stand-alone pitch. Here is my attempt:

    An orphaned robin inspires Thomas Edison and his associates as they work against the clock – and investors' expectations – to create an incandescent bulb, capable of bringing safe, economical light to homes everywhere.

    Use these lines in the opening paragraph of your cover letter: The Light Bulb and the Lab Coat, intended for ages 8 – 12, combines an element of fiction with factual information to elicit a child's sense of wonder and bring insight to an invention that changed the world forever. (or some such dramatic line!)

  17. Janet Johnson says:

    I really love the concept of your book, but the pitch is a little dry. I would read it because I love the concept so much, but maybe tighten it up and really focus on the fun concept of the time crunch and the bird saving the day. Best of luck with this! Such a great idea. 🙂

    And Susanna, those bars look yum! I've always loved the multiple meanings of PB. 😀

  18. Rosi says:

    I absolutely would read it. Fun concept. I would lose the first sentence of the pitch and the first three words of the second sentence and start with “Edison and his associates…” I am also a little worried about the 8-12 years old for audience. This sound more like a 6-8 year-old read to me. But good luck with this, Donna.

  19. Donna L Sadd says:

    I love it as pure nonfiction, Laura! With the robin as a 2nd visual, the rest is completely factual…right up to Edison's dialog. Not too shabby on the title, that might just tie it up in a bow! Thanks so much! :0)

  20. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    *smacks chops* yummy chocolate peanut butter…
    I'd read the book. I think this is such a cool idea for a story! Hmm… With out restating others, I would get rid of the “My story” part. Good luck with the book, Ms. Sadd!

  21. Donna L Sadd says:

    After reading everyone's comments, I think you hit the nail on the head about the pitch being too dry, Janet. I will certainly try to work in the 'fun'. Thank you! :0)

  22. Donna L Sadd says:

    I appreciate your kind suggestions, Rosi, I will look into the age appropriateness again, as you are not the first person to question it.

  23. Donna L Sadd says:

    Thanks for chiming in, Erik. Boy, would I like to hear your take on it before I send it off! I hope your release is going well and I'll get on the ball with tweeting about it…tomorrow. ;0)

  24. Donna L Sadd says:

    Susanna,

    Thank you for having me and thank you all for your generous comments. I'm off to a webinar, but I certainly will be back to read your smart comments. What a great experience!

    Congratulations, Lisa!

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