Hello supporters, welcome to week three of developing a picture book together. I hope you had fun building on your idea last week and had a chance to get a draft of your story together. The next step in the process is to choose the right layout. There are two big decisions to make regarding layout:
1) landscape or portrait and 2) page breaks.
Landscape or portrait
In terms of portrait verse landscape, I believe it is a matter of personal preference. However, if you choice landscape layout it is a little more complicated to get your book to display correctly as an eBook. For this reason alone, I usually pick portrait.
Page breaks can make or break a picture book. Most picture books traditionally have 32 pages but can be any count of 8 (i.e., 16, 24, 32). For my first book, Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time, I stuck to this rule. However, for my second book What is Love, I decided to break this rule. No matter how many pages, page 1 is not part of a two-page spread, and neither is page 32 (16 or 24). The pages in the book look like this:
In a 32-page picture book, you don’t actually have 32 pages for your story. You only have 24 pages since 8 are used for the book ends, copyright and title. And 24 pages translate to 12 spreads (an illustration that spans the two opened pages in a book).
As you review your manuscript, it is important to think about how the text will look in print next to pictures. Try to decide where it would be appropriate to break the text amidst a two page spread (I always consider a two page spread because all physical books will be displayed as such). Make sure that you craft your book in such a way that the lines/scenes can be split evenly to ensure easier, more child-friendly reading. The way I do this is by using a simple word document with two columns. You can download the template I use here.
Until next time, please pray for me as I pray for you,