Sunday, August 10, 2008

Don't Spam Editors (part 5!)


NBA Star Ricky Pierce Bounces Into Children's Books With Release of First Title
Sugar Land, TX, Feb 22, 2008 -
Retired NBA star Ricky Pierce made a name for himself as one of professional basketball's most reliable shooters. Now, Pierce, who was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1987 and 1990 and an All-Star in 1990, has entered a different kind of court: the world of children's books.
Pierce's first entry, the beautiful full-color "Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure," combines Pierce's love for sports, children and reading and adds an important message of acceptance. This is a charming story of a friendly basketball who learns a valuable lesson with the help of some friends. All the pieces of playground equipment are excited for the end of the rainy season, except Bouncing Billy, a basketball with some unique-but unusual-spots on his side. He's worried his different appearance will make him a benchwarmer when the recess bell rings.
His pals in the equipment locker, however, are quick to point out that differences are what make each of them specially suited to what they do, whether it's facilitating a game of jump rope or football. That's when Bouncing Billy discovers his "spots" are actually key finger-position markings, giving young basketball players a leg-up on shooting. As sounds of "swoosh!" ring out again and again over the playground, Bouncing Billy finds he's a slam-dunk just the way he is.
"Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure" marks a whole new ballgame for the Rice University star, who also played for the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle SuperSonics. But it continues an effort to positively impact the lives of youngsters first began during his pro years, when Pierce would often read to grade-school age youth at schools and hospitals. Having three children of his own, he says, only reinforced the importance of reading to kids, spurring him on to his latest endeavor. "Books are essential learning tools for emerging readers, and as a child I truly had limited access to books in the home," says Pierce. With artwork by renowned children's book illustrator Bobbi Switzer, "Bouncing Billy" boasts a vibrant, colorful and fun cast of characters, with each one-from the grizzled Fred the football to the bookish tennis ball called Ted-imbued with a unique personality. Children are sure to connect with the recognizable playground setting and its lovable inhabitants as they learn an important life lesson while improving their reading skills.
About the book:
Bouncing Billy by Ricky Pierce
ISBN: 978-1432716967
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of publish: Feb 2008
Pages: 24
S.R.P.: $10.95
About the author:
Ricky Pierce retired from the National Basketball Association in 1998, where he scored a total of 14,467 points. He boasts a shooting record of 49.3 percent from the floor and 88.5 percent from the foul line during his 16-year NBA career. Pierce was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1987 and 1990 and an All-Star in 1990. He is the creator and inventor of the AccUShot22 Basketball, which aids children and adults in ball-handling shooting skills. The Bouncing Billy Active Play Kit, for ages three to six, followed. "Bouncing Billy: A Learning Adventure" is the first in a series of planned children's books. Pierce lives in Texas with his wife, Joyce, formerly of the multi-Grammy award-winning group, The Fifth Dimension, along with their three children, Christian, Rachel, and Aron.

Yes, Billy: Everyone Is Different. No two manuscripts are not on fire.

26 comments:

Sarah Miller said...

Oh gads -- I glanced at the cover and thought Billy was a chocolate chip cookie.

MichaelPH said...

These aren't queries, they're more like press releases, way too wordy "...a charming story of a friendly basketball who learns a valuable lesson with the help of some friends. " Oye. I'm not charmed.

MichaelPH said...

Some people need to go get an ice cream sandwich!

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Now that cover is just nightmare material.

'Renowned illustrator?' Hmmmmmm...

Anonymous said...

Here's another winner:

http://www.princessbubble.com/

Mommy C said...

TMI on the author and his sports career. Too bad his writing career wasn''t as impressive. This could have maybe (stretching it) been a workable story, but as is the case with many celeb books, it really needs a few hardcore editors. And what's with the names again? Let me guess, there is Simba the soccer ball Png the Ping Pomg ball, and Pierre the puck, too. This one would be better marketed in sports bars and bowling alleys where dad's hang out, because I don't see this book hitting its mark with too many moms.

Mommy C said...

I'm willing to bet that this "Outskirts Press" has charged these authors a lot of money for editing that didn't happen, illustrations that are substandard (looks like they all have the same illustrator), and marketing that is ... well, in this case I'd say that "even bad publicity is good publicity" does not apply. The company doesn't get the publishing industry and I think their fraudulent. This would definitely be another one of those predators to red flag.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed it's the same illustrator on these last 3 books?

Mommy C said...

My point exactly. Just for fun, google "Outskirts Press". They really do charge people for this crap. I'm picturing some middle aged man running this company out of his mother's basement. A little like the Wizard of Oz of publishing, there's probably one con man with a keyboard running this show.

Sheila said...

That link was hilarious - I nearly spit out my coffee laughing so hard.

Thanks for that, and for sharing your inbox. The mind boggles. I don't write picture books, but aren't they supposed to be 32 pages? Isn't that one of the first things people learn? Or am I wrong about that?

jk said...

Fred the football.
Ted the tennis ball.
Billy the Basketball.
Harry the Hammer, which I will use to hit myself in the head. Maybe it has special spots on it to ensure proper placement of my fingers.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I checked on amazon and that illustrator seems to do a lot of books for this particular press. Perhaps the illustrator owns the press?

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone else noticed it's the same illustrator on these last 3 books?"
****
Oh, yeah. Have seen some POP websites like DragonPencil that have a roster of illustrators that at least have a professional style. (tho they're paid peanuts.)
This one tho looks like bad use of the air brush option in Photoshop

EJ McKenna. said...

I can't find a printable description for these books without sending my moral compass into a tailspin.

christine tripp said...

Have seen some POP websites like DragonPencil that have a roster of illustrators that at least have a professional style. (tho they're paid peanuts.)
This one tho looks like bad use of the air brush option in Photoshop

Yep, noticed it's been the same illustrator for all 3 examples (now what are the odds) and if you think the Dragon pencil illustrators are are underpaid, you should see what this illustrator charges. It's broken down on her woodcarver site at x amount per number of pages (as I don't remember the first figures but they were cheap) up to 20 pages illustrated for $1130.00
I would guess she gets a whole book done in a couple of weeks (but it looks like less)
This is just so bad in so many ways and some people wonder why self publishing has such a bad rep!!!

christine tripp said...

Oops, forgot to say I LOVED the animation (at least you offered something REALLY well written after all this torture EA:)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't come to EA's site for a few days, and there's like 150 new posts up!

This is why I don't write picture books. Too dang hard. I have a feeling mine would be ridiculed like this, well, maybe not like this, but you know.

____

For us YA writers...

EA, I'd be interested to hear your take on all the glowing reader reviews and angry reader reviews of the Stephenie Meyer book, Breaking Dawn. Do you think her editors simply didn't edit -- so many plot points that dragged on and on without going anywhere... 180 degree turns for a lot of characters...the whole weird Remesme thing taking over what should've been a LOVE story... OR, do you think no matter what S. Meyer would've done, she was bound to disappoint half her fans anyway, so she was screwed from the get go?

Anonymous said...

If they know some history of children's lit, maybe they think there's precedent.
Beatrix Potter self-published 'Peter Rabbit.' It was later accepted at Warne Publishers when she sent them a copy.

However, I don't think these people know much about children's lit.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my. Curiosity got the better of me...did you know that the "illustrator" of these fine tomes is also a chainsaw artist? I kid you not.

Sam Hranac said...

I've been looking for this book all my life! Now I can beat myself to death with it!

Anonymous said...

Well, duh I'd recognize the brush strokes of a chainsaw anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break this to you EA, but for what it's worth, except for the horrific art, I think that there is only a hair's breadth difference between these three books and some of the celebrity books put out there by REAL publishers.

But , hey, hire a real artist, and somehow Madonna's dreck isn't dreck....not.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:18, that is so true. How are these worse than Little T.O. Learns to Share by Terrell Owens? or Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy? I know, it's a business.

christine tripp said...

But , hey, hire a real artist, and somehow Madonna's dreck isn't dreck....not.

EXCELLENT observation:)
Sadly, it's all very true what you say.

jimmer said...

I've had that Strongbad link bookmarked for a while now; when I'm feeling doubtful about my place in the world of picture books, it always perks me up.

Julie_c said...

Okay. 1.) When I first started reading this blog I thought you were pretty funny - which is why I continue to read. 2.) A link to Strongbad?!!? Awesome! Now you're awesomely funny!

I'd forgotten about him. Thanks for bringing Strongbad back into my life!