How to write a picture book

Read! Read! Read!

Get inspiration by reading LOTS of picture books.
What picture books do you enjoy and why?
Use this to help you think of ideas.
What do you want the reader to do? Laugh until they snort? Cry until they wet the pages? Think until their brain hurts? 
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Who will read your book?

Think about your reader. What age are they? Also, think about the people who might buy your book if you're taking your book to this level. If you're selling it as a school fundraiser the parents need to like it...they have the money! :)

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Come up with lots of ideas

 Be prepared to come up with a lot of ideas before you settle on one that you like. 
Share your ideas with others and get their feedback. Be prepared to take their feedback on board. Remember...this book is for an audience of readers, not just for you.

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Plan the story

Who is your main character? The main character is important. The readers need to feel a connection with the main character so that they stay hooked and want to keep reading.
What will happen in the story? Begin with an event that hooks the reader and involves the main character. Have a sequence of events happen that mean that the character gets to a satisfactory end in the book.

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Write the story

Picture books are great for those of you who don't like to write looong stories! This also means, though, that every word has to count.
How long should your picture book be?
The average book length for a picture book for 3-7 year olds is around 750 words BUT you can write less if you write them well.
Choose a writing style, eg. rhyme.
Choose a point--of-view. Who tells the story?
In general children prefer the present tense for story telling but if your book is set in the past then write in the past tense.

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Get feedback & make improvements

Share your storyline with the same age group of people that you want to read it. Listen to the feedback and use it to make improvements. You might want to wait for this step until the illustration sketches are done.
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Meet with the illustrator

The standard number of pages for a picture book in the publishing industry is 32....but some rules are made to be broken so don't force your book to fit.
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