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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: JSC on February 25, 2017, 12:45 PM

Title: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: JSC on February 25, 2017, 12:45 PM
Hello! I am an aspiring PB author and am new to the site. I am getting close to submitting my PB ms to an agent and have 2 questions for anyone who can help. Thanks in advance!

1. Most agencies ask for ms submissions to be double spaced; however, my PB is written in rhyming couplets and it would be really hard to read if it was evenly spaced. Currently it's spaced as follows:

*****
Here's line one; it rhymes so well
But will they like it? Time will tell.


I want an agent; that I do.
But if I err, they'll tell me "Shoo!"
*****

Is this acceptable, given the rhyming aspect of the PB? Or should I submit it double-spaced as requested?

2. My PB is interactive: there are tabs to pull. Most agents ask that submissions not have page breaks. However, are instructions such as "The following text begins on a page with a green tab" acceptable?

Thanks again! Have a wonderful day!'

Juliana

 :help2 :new
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: Michael Sussman on February 25, 2017, 09:09 PM
Hi Juliana,

Double-spaced text is easier on the eyes and much easier to edit. It is the rule in the publishing industry and I can't think of any exceptions other than block quotations. I'm not sure I understand why you think it would make couplets more difficult to read.

I don't know about tabs, so I'll let someone else answer your second question.

Good luck!
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: JSC on February 26, 2017, 08:20 AM
Hi Michael,

Thank you so much for your input! Double-spaced it is! You're right, it shouldn't be harder to read. I think I just got stuck on it because that's how I write my manuscripts.

Cheers,
Juliana   
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: Melody on February 26, 2017, 01:24 PM
It's usually best to double space the text and not have page breaks. If you need to give any 'special instructions', it might be better to include that in your query letter. For example: Lines followed by an asterisk will be used for pages with a pull out tab. I try not to give any suggestions for artwork, except when it is absolutely needed in order to understand the text. In those cases, I will state that illustration suggestions are in brackets.

You may also want to head over to the critique board and see if you can get your query critiqued or exchange queries and manuscripts with someone else. This way others will be able to see exactly what you are referring to.

Good luck!
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: JSC on February 26, 2017, 01:27 PM
Melody,

Thanks so much! That's the solution I've been looking for! I have posted my query letter in the critique board but I will go back and update it now.  :yourock

All the best,
Juliana
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: JodyJS on February 26, 2017, 02:02 PM
Another way to handle special instructions is with a short, italicized note between your manuscript title and the text that indicates what you intend visually.

Good luck!
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: Stephanie Shaw on February 26, 2017, 03:23 PM
I had to go back and look at the rhyming manuscripts I have that were acquired ---- yup, double spaced with four spaces between stanzas.

Also, I use the italicized notes that Jody recommends right under the title for either a little intro or special notes. It's perfectly fine to put a bracket at the end of a line like this: [Art Note: pull tab].

Best of luck!
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: JSC on February 26, 2017, 03:33 PM
Stephanie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to check on that! I wasn't sure about whether to put 4 spaces between stanzas so thanks for that extra tip.

I, too, like the idea of using italicized notes -- that way the notes can be kept together with the manuscript in case the manuscript is separated from the query letter. Thanks for the tips!

All the best to you,
Juliana
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on February 27, 2017, 07:47 AM
Poetry is often submitted single spaced. I had always thought rhyming picture books would be treated as poems. Good thread.
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: CarrieF on March 04, 2017, 03:49 PM
I have often submitted short, rhyming texts with 1.5 spacing, and no one has complained. To me the double spacing is SO big that it can disrupt the flow of the story. Also, double spacing can make a rhyming text very long - in terms of spreading it across many pages. I'd rather keep my manuscripts shorter in terms of page count.

But, you certainly wouldn't be wrong to double space, and that's what editors are used to looking at.
Title: Re: PB Manuscript Questions
Post by: DellaRF on March 09, 2017, 02:41 PM
I've submitted my rhyming stories like Stephanie's... double-spaced with an extra space between the stanzas.

Della