The March issue of Children's Writer had a great article, written by Sue Bradford Edwards, titled "Create Depth In The Picture Book Market." The article discusses book themes and how sales are affected. Jill Santopolo, Balzar & Bray Senior Editor, states "Some of the best children's picture books have stories that can be boiled down to a universal truth." Love is a universal concept. Fear of the dark. The new kid at school. The manuscript gains additional sparkle for the editor when the theme brings instant marketability. If love is the theme - great! It can be sold any time of year, but gains extra attention for Valentine's Day. First day of school fears? Always a popular theme, and these book sales spike in August/September. The Children's Writer article mentions that sometimes the editor helps define the theme. "We added a subtitle to Lisa Wheeler's Hokey Pokey," said Little, Brown editor Alvina Ling. Hokey Pokey: Another Prickly Love Story launched it into Valentine's Day promotion. Tonight You Are My Baby: Mary's Christmas Gift is naturally a Christmas theme. However, the book also speaks of a mother's love. This makes it a popular book not only at Christmas, but also for baby showers and newborn gifts. Marketing/promotion angles are not only helpful for book sales, but equally helpful in a query letter. A clear promotion pitch will make your query letter shine. Show the editor that you understand the value of marketing. In this economy, instant marketability is vitally important for the book sale.