What page should I start my book dummy on?

  • I know that it is mentioned in the book dummy class, but it seemed a bit vague.


    Also, is page # 32 left blank? Thanks

  • Pro SVS OG

    When I read the question I was tempted to quote the Queen of Hearts: "Beign at the beginning, and go on until the end. Then stop".
    The vagueness comes from the fact that there is a lot of variability in how picture books are paginated. The only constant (though with plenty of exceptions) is that the "book block" - that is the pages that make up the inside of the book (i.e. Excluding the cover and the end-pages, that bind the cover to the book block) is normally 32 pages. Page one is a "half title page" and normally contains only the title and maybe a vignette. Page 2-3 are often the "title page": a full spread title page with either an image on the spread, a vignette or nothing but typography. The story would then start at page 4. Some books only have the half title page and the story starts at page 2. Some use even the following spread for "front matter" and start the story at page 6. UK books often do this, and also sometimes count the end-papers into the book block, reducing the total number of story spreads to 12 instead of 15.
    Page 32 can be illustrated or blank or have copyright info, etc...
    My advice is to go through a number of recent picture books and just count the pages and see how they are used. I really only understood pagination after doing that for a variety of books.

  • @smceccarelli aweomse! Thank you for the help as always! P.s how is your book dummy doing?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @eric-castleman It´s shopping around for a publisher right now...trying to be patient, trying to be patient, trying to be patient......oh, screw patience, I´ll jus start another book dummy ;-))

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG


  • To supplement what @Lee-White posted, here is a link to her site. She has a few other templates which might be useful. They are all in PDF form for downloading and printing.

  • @smceccarelli. Yeah, I’m sure that can be annoying to wait. Though my friend is a YA writer, and she got her agaent two years ago, and it was just last week that she got a book deal with Harper Collins. So it can a bit of time it seems, but I am sure once you get it picked up, your next will happen much faster.

    @Lee-White thanks for the info! Exactly what I needed!

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