This is my 32 Page Picture Book Template. It's a (low-tech) editing tool that will help you when you are getting ready to talk to an illustrator.
This template is easy to use, you simply copy parts of your manuscript and paste them into the blank spaces provided. It gives you an idea of how your story will spread over the whole book. Afterwards, you can print it off and staple it together to get a real feel for what your book might look like.
Did you know 32 pages is the standard for children's books? Or that almost all children’s picture books are under 1000 words? If you check the books on your shelf (or in a library or book store), you will see for yourself.
The word count has to do with how much is appropriate for different ages, but the number of pages is a logistical thing. It has to do with how the paper comes off a printing press before it is bound into a book. The cheapest and most efficient way is to make it 32 pages long, so that is the standard for the industry.
You can see the overview (above) of how the 32 pages is laid out. (It's included in the template, as well.)
The first three pages are taken up by the Title Page, the Copyright Page, and the Dedication Page. That leaves 29 pages for an author's manuscript to spread across.
I am a visual person. When I wrote my first book I didn't have this template. I just stapled together a bunch of papers (32 in total). Then, I printed off my manuscript and cut out the sections of text that I thought would do well on each page, and I glued them in. Very technology advanced…. I know.
While this may be a very simple thing, it was so necessary! I needed to see something and hold it in my hands to get a feel for what it will look like.
This "hardcopy" helped me edit my draft. It helped me make sure each page was a "page turner," and had a flow that kept the reader engaged.
When I wrote my first children’s book, I had NO IDEA of these printing norms. All I had was an idea, that I thought could be great, and a deep desire to make a difference.
I hope this tool can help make the whole editing process easier for you.