Picture book manuscript format flummoxes a lot of aspiring children’s book writers because there is so much potential variety. In my career, I have seen hundreds of examples of picture book format. To help you stand out in the slush as polished and professional, I’ve developed a picture book manuscript format handout that I’ve used over the years to really streamline and clarify the process for writers. (Need advice on actually creating a picture book?)
Picture Book Manuscript Format
Picture book manuscript format tends to vary WIDELY. Some writers have it down. Others think they’re paginating correctly if they allocate a separate manuscript page to each line, resulting in a 32-page Word document that contains 300 words. (More info on picture book word count.) What if a picture book manuscript template existed? It would certainly streamline things. As is, some writers include illustration notes, others stay far away. How do you paginate a children’s book? How do you format illustration notes correctly? This resource answers those questions (and here are more thoughts on illustration notes in your children’s book manuscript).
I’ve put together a handout that answers all these questions and more. No conference or webinar attendance required! Click this link to download the PDF.
How to Publish a Picture Book
Remember that picture book format is just one small component of a successful children’s book submission. You also have your picture book query letter, and, well, the most important thing: an awesome manuscript! Don’t focus so much on picture book manuscript format that you lose sight of character, plot, and writing style. Those are going to take you a lot further than a nice-looking, polished file … but the latter certainly doesn’t hurt.
That’s why I’m offering this picture book manuscript template tool to help you cross this concern off your list.
As a picture book editor, I work with writers on all aspects of the picture book craft, from creating a compelling children’s book manuscript (in proper picture book format, of course!) to nailing the query letter. Contact me for personal, actionable advice on your project.