Creating Story Boards and Picture Book Dummies

Creating Story Boards and Picture Book Dummies

In my last post I mentioned that I had submitted my first written manuscript to the publisher.  Well it looks like this year I will be starting out 2010 as an author/illustrator!  Happy New Year!

Raven Tree Press has contracted my book “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”, (working title).  It is scheduled for a Fall 2011 release and I will be spending this year creating all of the illustrations for this book about a little armadillo.   I plan to keep a journal as both the author and illustrator, and will include information on the “process” in future posts.  This first post is where I start working… the rough story boards and cover designs

This means I have to come up with sketches of the scenes to be depicted on each spread and also the front and back covers.  I will put the roughs together following the page sequence  that they are to appear in the book.  This small mini version of the book is called a book dummy or mock-up.  I had been making sketches and little rough scribbles as I was writing the book.  Now I need to bring it to the next level so the publisher can see what I have in mind for the entire book layout.   Here’s an interesting look into the process and  What Happens inside a Children’s Publishing Company.

(This is a very rough initial draft of a cover possibility and it will likely change before the final art is produced).

Here is my journaling so far for anyone interested in how this whole process looks and how long it takes…

Dec. 21, 2009 – Submitted manuscript to publisher. (This is a publisher I have already worked with.  It would take much longer if you are submitting to a new publisher)

Jan. 12, 2010 – Received an email from publisher… Lorraine,
“Exciting news!  People at our home offices love your book proposal. I have just gotten a green light to offer you a contract for the book and to establish a production schedule with you.” 

 My Schedule:  The first thing I will need to focus on now is finalizing the rough story boards and book dummy.  If I were to have submitted this manuscript to a publisher I never worked with before, I would have created a dummy book to submit along with the manuscript.  And possibly a finished spread or two to go along with it.

Feb. 28th – Rough covers and story boards are due to the publisher
Mar. 15th – Final cover art is due to the publisher
April 15th – Final Illustrated spreads 1 – 3, (pages 3 to 7) due to publisher
Aug. 15th – Final Illustrated spreads 4 – 7, (pages 8 to 15) due to publisher
Sept. 30th – Final Illustrated spreads 8 – 11, (pages 16 to 23) due to publisher
Nov. 15th – Final illustrated spreads 12 – 16, (pages 24 to 32) due to publisher
Fall 2011 – One year later, the tentative publishing release date for “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”

I am very excited to illustrate my very own picture book this year.  I look forward to sharing the progress with you here on my blog each month.  For a look at my first illustrated picture book that I completed last year, “A Sweater for Duncan”, visit the FB fan page. 

Lorraine Dey
illustrator – Deystudio, LLC (
(click on the “about” tab above to see more about Deystudio, LLC)

FREE Vector of the month from Deystudio, LLC:

click on image above to get a PDF file.


This month’s featured site…”Illustration Friday”

A weekly opportunity for Illustrators to showcase their work.


Featured image for this month…(from my RF stock portfolio)


3 thoughts on “Creating Story Boards and Picture Book Dummies

  1. I just found your blog through IF’s word of the week – Muddy. Wow I feel like I’ve struck gold. You have some great info and I’m so thankful that you are sharing it. Thanks

  2. It is rather interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Best wishes
    Darek Wish

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