Picture Book Dummy



  • Anybody use anything other than InDesign to create dummy books to send to publishers/art directors? I assume they expect a pdf initially but once a book idea is accepted do you work together through Indesign or how does that all work? Is it just images sent back and forth? Any thoughts related to this are more than welcome!

    *Asking because I have a dummy book in the works I am planning on emailing it to a publisher whom I had a critique with a couple of months ago. I recently ended my adobe plan because...well, it too darn expensive for how little I use it! (I work in traditional media) I feel like there has to be a cheaper and equally effective way to organize my pages considering I'm just uploading hand-drawn sketches and not editing them via photoshop or illustrator.


  • Moderator

    I've not used it a lot, but the Affinity suite of products is getting rave reviews... I like the iPad versions of their stuff, and I know that people are flocking to it for exactly the reason you articulated--it's a one time purchase making it much much much cheaper. It's $50. Period.

    They make an alternative to InDesign called "Publisher"... Might it be a possibility?



  • There’s an open source software called Scribus that I find a bit clunky and hard to use, but I’ve used it for a book dummy before. It’s free, so it seemed worth a try. 🙂



  • I just did a quick search "online jpg to pdf converter". This one pops up in the search result:
    https://smallpdf.com/jpg-to-pdf
    Probably worth to try if you just need to combine a bunch of images into a single pdf.



  • @Coreyartus I'll check it out, thank you!



  • More and more I was doing everything in InDesign and I believe that readers much better than the publishing houses do. Scribus this open-source InDesign alternative is very popular and is used all over the world.



  • @roses thanks! I'll check out Scribus.


  • Pro SVS OG

    @KaraDaniel
    When I’m working with a publisher on my own book (where I’m both writer and illustrator) they want to see first a pdf dummy and a word document with the manuscript. Afterwards, I’m sending them PDFs with updates, usually in 3 rounds - first clean sketches, second full colour images, third illustrations with text together (if I do the lettering).
    However when I work on someone else’s book, we are sending pictures back and forth with people from the publishing house, because there could be a lot of changes and updates. It is usually also in a PDF form.
    I do use indesign a lot, but I don’t think it’s a necessity if you are not expected to deliver text and illustrations together. I would always create a nice clean pdf with updates of your work to send the publisher though. But you do not need indesign for this. 🙂



  • @mag thanks for your insightful response! When you make your dummy books do you include the words in your pdf images or just in the accompanying manuscript?


  • Pro SVS OG

    @KaraDaniel yes, I do. I usually do not stress about making the lettering super cool, I just place the words in the space where I plan to have it, and if you do not use any fancy graphic program, I think you could print the manuscript, cut it into pieces and glue it onto the pages along side the sketches maybe? Or do a nice clean hand lettering... ? Good luck with your book dummy! And if you would feel comfortable sharing a little bit of it with us here, that would be really cool!



  • @mag great ideas! I'll be sharing here soon 🙂


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