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Chapters in a Picture Book?

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So, I have written and edited a picture book that's just under 5000 words.  It's more appropriate as a read-aloud than an early reader because some of the words are beyond the early reader level.  Now, the idea just popped into my head to segment the story into chapters.  Is this a bad idea for a read-aloud picture book?   :bunny2

#1 - August 02, 2014, 11:26 PM

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Are you producing this yourself?
#2 - August 03, 2014, 06:31 AM
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Picture books tend to be far shorter--the sweet spot is around 500-600 words, though some go as high as 1200 (that's rare). 

Sounds like you are writing something outside the norm, which is fine if that's what you want to write--just know you'll have a hard time placing it.  Are you publishing it yourself?
#3 - August 03, 2014, 06:49 AM
VAMPIRINA IN THE SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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I agree with the responses above and would also add: can you name some books that are currently published and on bookstore/library shelves that are similar to yours/that you want to emulate? That can help you figure out how to market/place your book.
#4 - August 03, 2014, 07:45 AM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
www.deenalipomi.com

Thanks for all of the feedback. To answer your counter-questions, yes, I am self-publishing, and, yes, I have seen examples of books this long, although they are not common and are probably more for niche markets.

Maybe it will fall on its face, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I just feel I need to go with my gut here because the story wants to be told. It's actually pretty concise already. I think that leaving anything out would diminish the quality, but I don't feel that padding the story would be adding value. With all that said... I'm thinking that adding "chapter" names might help break the long story into smaller bites and help readers to anticipate what's about to happen. I guess it wouldn't hurt.
#5 - August 03, 2014, 04:50 PM

I think at that length then some way of breaking up the story would work well. Are there roughly the same amount of words per page? Are the words on each page contained to that spread or does the story just flow? If it's the former, then one page per chapter could work well.

#6 - August 03, 2014, 05:12 PM

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That's what I thought. I would definitely break it up into chapters. I've actually seen a few picture books set up like this! :) Good luck!!! I'd love to see a resurgence in the picture story book.
#7 - August 03, 2014, 05:21 PM
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Bunny nut, your idea is really interesting. Please keep us posted about your experience. Good luck!  :like
#8 - August 03, 2014, 07:26 PM

Wow! Thanks for the feedback, y'all! And, yes, picture STORYbook is exactly what I was thinking! As for chapter length, it's hard to break up a scene in the middle, so the longest chapters are just over 4 pages while the shortest are 2. That's about 10 chapters. Looks like I need to add a couple of transitions here and there since I'll be going with chapter breaks.

I think I've decided on size 8x10, font size 16. I am thinking of varying images at least three ways:  (1) an image that takes up 1/4 of a page on a two-page spread, (2) half-page images (either on one side only or spread across both), and (3) a whole-page image facing a text-only page. I seriously doubt I'd have any whole two-page spread images. It's looking like I might have between 50 and 60 pages of actual story with images (IOW, not including front or back matter), which I don't think is too terribly bad.

Why, oh, why do I insist on challenging myself? At least I have a decent idea of where I'm going after all of this brainstorming. Thanks for the valuable input.
#9 - August 03, 2014, 11:24 PM

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The structure for the images and word count make me think you may have an illustrated chapter book. The reading level may be too high for one, however. If your reading level is, at most,  second or third grade, consider marketing as a chapter book.
#10 - August 04, 2014, 07:49 AM
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I actually have sort of the same issue with my current book. I think it is too difficult for very young readers but still a cute story for parents/grandparents to read to the little ones. I will have pictures as well! Breaking it up into chapters can make it a 4 night read instead of just one night and move on to the next!!! I like the idea, I wish you the best let us know how it turns out!!!
 
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#11 - August 05, 2014, 01:19 PM

Thanks, y'all!  Right now I'm pretty much in picture phase.  I think it will be ready to go once I get those knocked out.  I am currently working on the rewrite of a MG chapter book. 
#12 - August 07, 2014, 09:50 PM

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