The 500 Word Limit: Picture Book Manuscripts in a Nutshell

You may remember my post not too long ago about 32 Pages is all it Takes to Create a Children’s Picture Book. So if there’s only 32 pages in a picture book, how many words are in a picture book manuscript? Believe me this isn’t a trick question. The answer to that is less than 500 words. Sound confusing? Let’s take a  moment to talk about The 500 Word Limit: Picture Book Manuscripts in a Nutshell.

A picture book manuscript will only be 5 pages or less and remember that there will be short segments of text on each page. The general rule of thumb is to divide your text into 14-28 segments. The way the segments are divided will also depend on the layout of your book. If you can’t divide your text into segments, go back and revise your story until you can.



Try This Exercise

Head to your bookcase, library, or bookstore and pull a picture book off the shelf.

  • First count the pages of the book. It should be 32. Don’t worry if it’s not.
  • Next write or type out the text of the book in segments. The way it’s laid out on the page.

Do this with a couple more of your picture book favorites. It will help you get a view of what a picture book manuscript will look like before it gets illustrated and laid out into a book.

Good luck and happy writing !!!

About Valarie Budayr

Valarie Budayr is the founder of the independent publishing house Audrey Press and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and bringing back the joy of reading to young and old alike. You can find her doing that on her popular blog and website, Jump into a Book.

Comments are closed.