The Labor of Picture Books

The creation of children’s books are a merger of labor, creativity and love. Concepts, characters, dialog and pacing are blended carefully by the author.Too much of one ingredient leads to a less the wonderful manuscript. When starting a children’s book, the words may flow smoothly. It would be easy to assume that one read through and a gentle edit are all that is needed for this piece to be ready to be seen by agent or publisher. Stop! Go through the following steps:

  1. Read each word.
  2. Kill any parts that are wordy.
  3. Have your writers’ group review it.
  4. Read it to a child without telling them that you are the author. Listen to their reactions and feedback.
  5. Leave it alone for a few days or a couple of weeks.
  6. Compare it to other picture books.
  7. Read it again and be sure that you have left some details for the illustrator to fill in.
  8. Research the market~Who are the best publishers for this manuscript?
  9. Prepare for submission.Follow the publishers’ or agents guidelines. Understand that not all of them will respond in a timely manner and realize that some may not respond at all.

If a children’s book is begging you to bring it into creation, please do so. There are concepts, characters,dialog and plots that only you can blend .


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