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pages divisible by 8

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Hi there,

I understand that PB should be 32 pages (or a divisible of 8), I am submitting early reader/emergent reader picture book and the compatibles (which are VERY successful) are not - they are 50 or 52 pages. As such, I did the same. Now I am wondering, does that look like I don't know the divisible by 8 page RULE?! I have not queried all my desired agents but I wonder if that information out of the gate on my query letter would cause them to just reject me.....thoughts?

Have people been accepted for books that are not divisible by 8?
#1 - April 09, 2021, 11:50 AM

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Are you illustrating them? If not, I wouldn't worry about the page numbers - the editor and art director will figure that out once it's acquired. I would submit the text without page numbers.

I'm also not exactly sure what an "early reader/early emergent picture book" is. I've heard of early readers which I think are considered chapter books.
#2 - April 09, 2021, 01:50 PM
Freaky Funky Fish ( Running Press Kids, May 2021)
Tell Someone (Albert Whitman, October 2021)
Peculiar Primates (Running Press Kids, October 2022)

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Early readers can fall in the picture book or chapter book category. The key is that early readers are meant to be read by students who are learning to read. They are almost always written to a specific reading level. Those at lower levels will be illustrated, but the illustration support the reading rather than adding much new information.

Reed, did you could every page in the book, not just pages with text on them? Page counts have to be divisible by four, not eight, so 52 is possible. Fifty isn't, but perhaps the end pages were glued to the cover or you didn't count front matter or a blank leaf.

Could you give us an idea of what you see as a comparable title? I'm curious to know which books these were.
#3 - April 09, 2021, 06:10 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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We are an author - illustrator team. Our reading level is similar to that of Mo Wills (4-8) so we used his books that have 50 pages of text/images (as do ours) I make it clear that I am not including back or front leaf, etc
#4 - April 10, 2021, 09:15 AM

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Sorry auto-correct Mo Willems
#5 - April 10, 2021, 09:21 AM

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I see. Some of his picture books are 40 pages. The Elephant and Piggy books are longer, but I believe they're labeled early chapter books (Scholastic says Picture Book). I have seen 48 page picture books. (This is total page count, not pages containing story.) But they are a hard sell. They're also more likely to be nonfiction, which can gear older in picture book format.

Here's the thing, the longer the book is, the more expensive it is to produce, especially in full color. So for someone new, it's a bigger gamble for the publisher. That doesn't mean it can't happen. But it does mean the publisher will need to believe you'll sell as well as that 40-page Pigeon did. It will be an auto reject for some. If you actually have an early chapter book, be sure it has series potential. They are rarely stand-alone books. I hope this helps answer your concern.
#6 - April 10, 2021, 06:42 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Counting pages can get pretty tricky. Some pages are pasted to the cover, some not. Sometimes there are extra blank pages. For production purposes they need to be divisible by 8 but I think the best use of paper is if every bit is used for a purpose. I'm especially fond of pretty end-papers that add another layer to the story. Something fun, a surprise. Good luck on your submission and try not to fret over the page count. Art directors are really good at what they do.
#7 - April 10, 2021, 07:32 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

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Thanks - its early in our query process... we will see what kind of comments we get
#8 - April 12, 2021, 11:25 AM

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