• Blog Stats

    • 494,440 Reads
  • Contact Me

  • Pub Sub to Publishers or Agents

  • Joan's Elder Care Guide Third Place, Favorite Non-Fiction Book in 2016, P&E Poll

  • Buy Now: 4RV Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Park Road Books

  • Draft cover

  • Copyright Notice

    Copyright © 2009-2017
    Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors.

    Active since 0ctober 9, 2009. Thank you for reading and leaving comments on my blog.

    Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this
    material without express and written permission
    from Joan Y. Edwards is strictly prohibited.

    Excerpts and links may be used, provided that
    full and clear credit is given to Joan Y. Edwards
    with appropriate links to the original content.

Make a Picture Book “Smarty”

Make a Picture Book "Smarty"  Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

Make a Picture Book “Smarty”
Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

“Make a Picture Book “Smarty”

I’ve changed the name. Instead of a picture book dummy – it should be a picture book smarty. It’s smart to make one, not dumb as the name would lead you to think. After I told Linda Andersen that I think they should be called “Smarties” instead of “Dummies, ” I saw a post by Sarah S. Brannen called “Dummies for Smarties.

What is a picture book dummy (smarty)?

Merriam Webster Online says that a dummy is:

a :  a mock-up of a proposed publication (as a book or magazine)

b :  a set of pages (as for a newspaper or magazine) with the position of text and artwork indicated for the printer

So before you can make a “smarty” for the picture book you’ve written or  another person’s picture book, you need to put the text for the story on pages that represent the book. They don’t have to be full-sized pages, but large enough for you to see how the text and the pictures are going to blend together and flow from one page to the next.

A picture book “Smarty” will help you see in a flash that there is too much text which leaves you no room for an illustration. Or that there isn’t text that makes you want to  turn the page on the odd-numbered pages. You want great page-turning text on the odd numbered pages! You can do this!

Cover Page (back of it is end paper glued to front cover)

1 – title page

2 – copyright page 3 – dedication page

4 -Blank or an illustration leading into the story 5 – FIRST PAGE OF Text STORY (No words on page 4),

6 and 7 (two-page spread1)

8 and 9 (two-page spread2)

10 and 11 (two-page spread3)

12 and 13 (two-page spread4)

14 and 15 (two-page spread5)

16 and 17 (two-page spread6)

18 and 19 (two-page spread7)

20 and 21 (two-page spread8)

22 and 23 (two-page spread9)

24 and 25 (two-page spread10)

26 and 27 (two-page spread11)

28 and 29 (two-page spread12)

30 and 31 (two-page spread13)

32 LAST PAGE OF TEXT in Picture Book.

End Paper (which is glued to back cover) Back Cover

You may choose to copy text and images and paste them into program that prints them out on regular 8 1/2 x 11 paper and staple together as a book.Or do half pages. Many people make their dummies smaller than the book. This helps cut down the cost when you print copies to send publishers or others. As long as the pages are in proportion to the finished book, you’ll be fine.

I laminated 18 pages of the size paper I wanted and bound them together with plastic coils at a local print shop. Then I taped the text and illustrations to it, including the front and back cover. When I finish one book, I can scan the pages, take them off and start again. Or laminate 18 more pages.

Do what sounds fun and will do the job! Good luck with your picture book “smarties!”

Please tell me what you think of this idea!


  1. Dulemba. “Storyboard:”http://dulemba.com/FreeTools/Storyboard.jpg
  2. David Huyck. “How to Make a Picture Book Dummy:” http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/08/how-to-make-a-picture-book-dummy/ 
  3. Kathy Temean. “How to Craft a Book Dummy:” https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/crafting-a-book-dummy/.
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “So You Want to Write a Picture Book: “https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/so-you-want-to-write-a-picture-book/ 
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “What Are Picture Books?”  https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/what-are-picture-books/ 
  6. Wisegeek. “What Is a Picture Book?” http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-picture-book.htm
  7. Meghan McCarthy “An Illustrator’s Guide to Illustrating a Picture Book:” http://www.meghan-mccarthy.com/illustratorsguide.html
  8. Patrice Sherman. “A Few Picture Book Basics,” http://www.writingpicturebooksforchildren.com/a-few-picture-book-basics.html
  9. Patrice Sherman. “Kinds of Picture Books,” http://www.writingpicturebooksforchildren.com/types-of-picture-books.html
  10. Sarah McIntire. “Picture Book Dummy Sample” http://jabberworks.livejournal.com/76688.html
  11. Sarah S. Brannen Tutorial: “Dummies for Smarties”
  12. Scott E. Franson. “What Is a Storyboard?” http://www.scottefranson.com/publishing-2/publishing-for-children-101-what-is-a-storyboard
  13. Uri  Shulevitz. “How to Make a Storyboard:” http://www.mightyartdemos.com/mightyartdemos-shulevitz.html
  14. Wendy Martin. “Book Dummy.”  http://wendymartinillustration.com/wordpress/tag/book-dummy/
  15. Wendy Martin. “Storyboard for Wendy Martin’s Rabbit’s Song:” http://wendymartinillustration.com/wordpress/rabbits-song-rough-thumbnail-layout/

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright  © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 282 Other Subscribers!

You’ll be glad you did.

Subscribe today to receive my blog posts written to entertain, encourage, inspire, and inform you so you will never give up.

PLUS 2 free gifts:

1. Twelve Affirmations for Writers
2. Never Give Up image




18 Responses

  1. Joan, “dummy” has another meaning. In Australian, it’s what you call a pacifier. Babies suck on the things.

    This features in one of the short stories in my anthology “Bizarre Bipeds” in a humorous way.


    • Dear Dr. Bob,
      Thanks for writing and telling me another definition of “dummy” in Australia…a pacifier. So this mock-up is a way to pacify the author, illustrator, editor, publisher’s want to see what it will all look like. Cool!

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up


  2. I’m glad you decided to post about calling picture book dummies “smarties.” You know how to turn things into positives. I make these more often than I used to. A “smartie” helps you see if a manuscript is shaping up nicely. I agree, that makes it a smart thing to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for complimenting me on how to turn things into positives. I like to do that. I taught school for 35 years and made it my personal mantra to help students realize that no one is a dummy. I think more people would make them if they were called “Smarties.” Thanks for being my friend and laughing with me.for the last 10 years!

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up


  3. Smart idea to call them smarties. When I show students the dummies for my picture books, they always giggle and I turn that into a quick lesson on word usage. Strange how words evolve! Maybe your idea will catch on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gretchen,
      Thanks for writing. It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for saying it’s a smart idea to call them “smarties.” I hope you’re right and the idea does catch on. I understand how the students would giggle. What a wise teacher you are to share a lesson on word usage. Word Usage is very powerful!

      Celebrate you!
      Never Give Up


  4. Saved this for the near future. Thanks once again for giving us what we need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sharon,
      Thanks for writing. It’s good to hear from you. I’m glad I posted what you need. I’m going to work on a pdf of this concept. Perhaps with little hints on the pages. You can paste your copy over mine. Do you think that would be helpful? Maybe I’d give that as a third gift for subscribing when I reach 300 subscribers. What do you think?

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up


  5. Way to be positive. Love the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kristina,
      Thanks for writing. I’m so glad you loved the post. I had fun writing it. I hope it made you smile, too.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re posts always make me smile 🙂 🙂 🙂


        • Dear Kristina,
          Oh Wow! Thank you. I am so glad my posts make you smile! I love to help people smile.

          Celebrate you
          Never Give Up

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Joan, interesting and informative. I saved it for future projects.


    • Dear Susan,
      Thank you for writing. I’m honored that you saved it for future projects. You’re very welcome. Enjoy your day!

      Take time to celebrate you!
      Never Give Up


  7. Thank you, Joan, for a helpful article. I LOVE the new word “Smarty!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Janis,
      Thanks for writing. I am glad you liked the word “Smarty!”
      Do something fun today.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up


  8. I like the new word “smarty.” It’s more uplifting!


    • Dear Darlene,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad that you believe “Smarty” is more uplifting!

      Celebrate you and your positive view on life,
      Never Give Up


I love hearing from you. To subscribe to comments, check the box below. Children 14 & older may comment (COPPA Law).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: