Saturday 30 August 2014

Picture Book Anatomy - How a Picture Book is Made Affects How you Write One.

When writing a picture book you need to be aware of their strict formatting which is dictated by how they are made.  Picture books are commonly made up of 32 pages, only it is not as simple as that, you don't have all of those 32 pages to tell your story.

Here is a video that I have made that examines picture book anatomy, its contents are:

00.00 - Introduction
00.19 - Hardcovers
02.50 - Softcovers
03.18 - Signatures, Spreads and Pages
06.07 - Self-ended Hardcover and Softcover Comparison
06.54 - Separate-ended book
07.37 - Conclusions
08.33 - Using this information to write your own picture books

Things I learned making this video are that Hardcovers sometimes have the same amount of pages as softcovers if they are self-ended, but more pages if separate ended.  I learned how to fold and cut a paper signature and how the pages are laid out, out of sequence due to the folds.  And most importantly that a 32 page picture book only has 13 spreads to work with rather than my previously thought 14.

The books featured in this video are:



The links featured in this video are:

My Youtube Channel


  1. Thanks for the information about PB spreads! It was very helpful!

    1. Thank you Juliana, thanks for taking the time to comment, glad it was helpful!

  2. Thank you - helpful! The anatomy of the thing definitely matters when thinking about how to write this text. Am grappling with my first-ever PB text now.

    1. Thanks stopping by and leaving a comment Sheila! Glad you find this post useful and all the best with your picture book.

  3. Really good point Clare about studying PB anatomy when writing your PB.

  4. Replies
    1. Ah thank you! And thank you for taking the time to leave comments.