3. CREATE A DUMMY BOOK: this is a book in sketch format. I scan in all my sketches to the computer and type in the words on each scene...knowing full well that the designer at the publisher will put it all in place in the end. It's just there to hold space and show there is space for the text...and to read the story along with the sketches. I also mock up a cover, a title page and leave space for a copyright info page and dedication. I do try to start smaller elements of the story or art in illustrations on these pre-story pages. It adds a fun element to the book. I load the pages into a program called "IN DESIGN" by adobe and this makes printing out the pagination and dummy book much easier. (You can do tutorials online for it if needed...but you can also just cut and paste the printouts onto the proper pages in a pre-stapled blank page book). It's hard to describe the actual creation of the dummy book in words, but essentially, think back to your gradeschool days and those little books you used to make with your own stories and illustrations. That's what this is. After I print out the pages I staple them in the middle and have a small sketched out book. (I usually only print it at 1/3-1/4 of the actual size of the book.

These are little examples of dummy books. Only the one with the sketched cover is ready to be sent out. The others are my own working copies, from the VERY rough one on scrap paper and sharpie, to the printed text version where I'll tape in copies of sketches to check flow or use as a half-way point, to the final one with text and sketches.

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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at

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