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Page Counts for PB's

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I subscribe to Publishers Weekly, and lately I've noticed the majority of picture books are NOT 32 pages. This week there are 13 reviews for picture books for 3-8 year olds. Three are 32 pgs, on is 34 pgs, five are 40 pgs, and four are 48 pgs. Is this a new trend?
#1 - December 11, 2019, 02:09 PM

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Nonfiction PBs can be on the longer side, but the pages will still be multiples of 8 because of the way they're folded and gathered. The 34-pg book is an anomaly but it could be because of the way the pages were counted. In the educational market you'll also see 16 and 24-pg PBs. 
#2 - December 11, 2019, 04:14 PM
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These were almost all fiction. The nf was narrative, and all for the 4-8 age range.  I've been noticing it for a few months now.
#3 - December 11, 2019, 05:11 PM

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Hard to imagine Publishers starting to make books that cost them MORE money to produce. Were they perhaps ones written/Illustrated by well known creators, ensuring sales?
#4 - December 12, 2019, 03:10 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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I looked up several of the authors, and while I didn't recognize their names, they mostly have quite a few books under their belts. So maybe that's part of it.
#5 - December 12, 2019, 08:01 AM

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My first hardcover was 40 pages. My most recent was 24.
#6 - December 12, 2019, 10:20 AM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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I've also seen a four page book and eight pagers in the educational market. I find the 34 pager odd, but not the rest. Although this is a large number of books. Did you check if the publishers were educational markets? I know Capstone has had a couple reviewed recently. Here's hoping the count is becoming looser.
#7 - December 12, 2019, 06:44 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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This was fiction picture book reviews in Publishers Weekly. The one nonfiction I didn't include. I understand the multiples of 8 principle, but I'm just finding it odd that so many aren't the standard 32 pages.
#8 - December 12, 2019, 07:50 PM

It may be how they are counting pages. Endpapers can be printed, and if they are, they may be included in the page count. If you really want to get a feel for how picture books are being put together today, you could go into a bookstore, pull a large selection of picture books, and take notes on how they are laid out. Is there art on the endpapers? Is there a half-title as well as a title page? Is there backmatter? How many pages are actually dedicated to the story?

I would not conclude from the fact that longer picture books do get published that you should, for example, plan for more page breaks...
#9 - December 17, 2019, 09:30 AM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Good point! I'll try to find a "new books" section and see if there's a new trend in layout, and not necessarily more page breaks in the story.

Thanks!
#10 - December 17, 2019, 10:38 AM

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