Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Bones of a Picture Book, Part VI/Calls for Submissions

This is the final article in a series.

Now that your manuscript is complete, it’s time to create a dummy book. This is for your eyes only; not for an editor or agent, although an agent may request it. This allows you to see your manuscript in book format before you submit it to a publisher. Fold eight sheets of paper in half and staple along the fold. This will create a 32-page booklet. Divide your story into sections that you place on 28 pages. You may choose to place the text on 14 pages in which text is placed on one page, leaving the facing page blank for an illustration. Either way, you should have about 14 scenes or pieces of action. The other pages in a picture book are used for the title page, copyright page, and sometimes a half-title page. By placing the text on 28 pages, you can better determine the flow of the words and the action. Do the page breaks work? Does the text placement work? Does the illustrator have enough information (action) to illustrate a scene on each page?

Writers tend to have difficulty thinking visually. A book dummy helps us see how our story unfolds and where we might need to amp up the action.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Overcoming Challenges Life is filled with challenges. We have all gone through trying times and have had to overcome difficult situations. We would like to know what challenges you have faced in your life and what you did to overcome them. Are you recovering from health problems, financial difficulties or the loss of a loved one? What changes did you make to help you cope with these issues and turn negative into positive? Your stories will give our readers inspiration and insight into how others are coping and let them know that there is hope even in adversity.

Deadline: October 31, 2013.

Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. Thanks for this series. I find it very helpful.

  2. Great. Glad you can benefit. Thanks for letting me know.