Writing

If you want to write a picture book, read this


I’ve just finished reading ‘How to Write a Children’s Picture Book and Get It Published’ by Andrea Shavick.

When I first leafed through it I was a bit disappointed as it seemed so basic and simple.

(Idiot!) This is exactly why it’s so flipping good!

By the time I got to the end I was in no doubt as to what I needed to do and who I needed to approach in order to stand the best chance of getting my books published.

And, best of all, because it was so clear and to the point, I wasn’t left feeling overwhelmed. It all seemed very do-able. (Which for me is a humungous brownie point.)

What I mainly learnt is do not give your publisher an excuse to reject your work.

This means;

  • Following the 12 double-page spread format
  • Sticking to one or two main character (three at the most)
  • Limiting word count to 400 max (“If you can write a great story in, say, 300 words or even less you’ll find yourself in demand”)
  • Shortening and simplifying sentences
  • Ensuring that every line of text moves the plot along
  • Cutting out anything that would make a boring picture
  • Developing strong characters with series potential (follow up books and soft toys)
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