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How many pages in a picture book?

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I have noticed a lot of variation in the number of pages of story content in picture books (not counting copyright pages, etc). 24, 37, 26, 29, 24, 32, 36.

I am working through the book Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. She suggests making a picture book dummy as part of the process of revising, and (among other things) to focus on pacing and page turns.

How should authors account for the variation in published book length when making dummies and planning page turns?
#1 - October 13, 2022, 08:15 AM

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:welcome Donna. Although there is quite a bit of variation in the number of actual pages, the actual number of pages will be a multiple of 4. You might see some blank pages or the story starting on the endpaper itself. The standard is 32 pages. Here's a great post by Debbie Ohi with templates you can download:  Good luck!
#2 - October 13, 2022, 01:50 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags

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Just to add to what Vijaya said, though it can be useful to make a dummy to see how your manuscript *might* flow across pages, art directors and illustrators may have their own ideas. As you have seen in published picture books, there are a lot of different ways to set up a picture book. Sometimes it has a half title page, sometimes it has printed endpapers, sometimes the copyright page is pushed to the end...

One possible rule of thumb approach is to break it up by two-page spreads. Does your story "work" nicely laid out across 13, 14, or 15 two-page spreads? Then you're good to go.

Good luck!

#3 - November 06, 2022, 01:27 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site:

Thank you both! Thinking in terms of 13, 14, or 15 page spreads is helpful.

#4 - November 09, 2022, 11:54 AM


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