Wading Into Writing a Picture Book—It’s Easy as One, Two, Three…

Step One

You may be asking where do I start? First, why not try and capture a family story? Why not make your first story one that can be shared by your own family? Think of an event, holiday, or situation that occurred in your family that brought laughter, insights, growth or other deep emotions. Write it from the heart. Don’t worry about word count. Once your ideas are written, go back and edit. Try and reduce it to no more than 1000 words.

Next, break it up into at least 12-15 pages. You can consider illustrating it with your own drawings (if you are not comfortable sketching, why not try stick figures) or if you have photos from the event, you can use these to enhance your text. If you have drawn your pictures, scan them as a jpeg.

Last, publish your story exclusively for your family using a company like Costco/Shutterfly or Staples. Using their photobook applications, you will set up the book. Be creative or make it simple placing a picture on one side of the open pages and the corresponding text on the other side. Use one of your favourite pictures or illustrations as the cover picture. Remember to save your work and then submit it.

These photo books will cost you anywhere between $30–$50 and can be a simple and relatively inexpensive way to have a family book on the shelves that can be shared for years to come.

What about steps two and three? Check out next month.