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What's the Checklist for hoping to Publish a Children's Picture Book with Rhyme?

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So, I finished my draft for a picture book. In the end, I switched to make it rhyme as I thought that suited best. I also see so many children's picture books are rhyme.

However, from what I read, that's the most difficult path to take?

Regardless, I'm wondering what would be the checklist for the best method of making it  success. What do I do now?

I've tried to find some people to read it, but unless they have experience with rhyme, I'm not sure it's worth it. I've also searched out agents to pitch once it's been proofread, but none of them, at least here in Canada, want children's book. None.

So I feel stuck and not sure where to go next.

Any ideas?
#1 - September 02, 2020, 09:41 AM

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Hi Matthew

The issues with rhyming PBs is that they can't be translated easily, which reduces their market options. One of the best ways to test a rhyming PB is have the computer read it back to you. If it doesn't sound right in that droning monotone, it probably needs work. Another great idea is have a (non-writer) friend who doesn't know the story read it to you. Their emphasis will often have you going "Why are they saying it wrong?" but those will be your weak parts.

There are agents/publishers in Canada who work with PBs, but you aren't restricted to one country. It's just that you are competing with thousands of others. Your story can't just be great. And even a stupendously awesome story needs to find the right agent/editor.

Does you local library have a writing group?
#2 - September 02, 2020, 11:41 AM

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Matthew, have you checked out The Rhyme Primer that is a sticky on this board? Here's the link:

https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=76959.0

You can also post it in our critique section if you would like and get feedback there.

A few other issues that makes rhyme challenging is that many people invert sentences or try to force a stress on syllables that are not normally accented, so it doesn't sound natural or read well. Many writers get so focused on making the rhymes work that the story arc gets lost just to make the rhyme work.

Best of luck!
#3 - September 02, 2020, 12:14 PM
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I'm seconding the Rhyme Primer and the need for critique. Most picture book authors have passing knowledge of rhyme. I also check my rhymed PBs with poetry people. But word for kids has to be spot on in a way that work for adults does not. You can pots for critique on the boards (in the section with the primer) or seek crit partners here: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?board=45.0.

Good luck.
#4 - September 02, 2020, 06:42 PM
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