I love picture books! Who doesn’t? Picture books combine words and works of art, affecting both the reader and the story recipient. But writing them isn’t easy. I’ve thought a lot about how to shorten the learning curve for aspiring picture book creators, and I’ve come to the conclusion that critiques alone aren’t enough.
I’ve made a commitment to myself and my clients that I will coach only in ways that I know will make the most difference. For that reason, I no longer critique manuscripts by the hour.
Manuscript critiques can be a great start, but that’s all they can be—a start—and you can get that in a critique group. If you’re like me and my clients, your perfect picture book package would include:
- A manuscript critique that not only includes suggestions but also the reasoning and teaching behind it.
Answers to questions about theme, format, word choice, publication options, and other writing quandaries.
- A safe place to share your deepest fears and wishes and have them addressed in ways that help you move forward.
- Assistance with and accountability for managing your time, prioritizing projects, goal-setting, and creating task lists.
- A partner who can listen and feedback what you may not even hear yourself saying, who cares about your success as much as their own, and who has been through the same heartaches, doubts, and floundering that you’ve experienced.
- You may know me as a writer, but I was a writing teacher for many years before I was published. I love teaching, and I can’t help but coach and teach as I critique. Knowing my gifts and passions, this is the process that works best for me:
Your Perfect Picture Book Package is designed with both of us in mind. I know how I work best, and I also want to be flexible to best meet your needs. We begin with a complementary phone consultation to see if we agree we’re a good fit for working together. If you have questions or misgivings about writing for children at any point in our work together, I promise you open, honest answers.
WRITING & MANUSCRIPT OVERVIEW CALL
During our second call, or during a longer version of the first call if you’re eager to begin, we’ll discuss your current needs, information you may want, issues that may be holding you back, and an overview and summary of your manuscript before I read it. This is a unique step of this process that often reveals information that can be addressed before the manuscript is sent to me, which saves you time and money. It’s here that you may hear information about writing for children—those “unspoken rules” we’re sure exist (at least, I sure felt that way).
When you’ve had a chance to review or rewrite your manuscript based on our overview discussion, you may email me your picture book manuscript as a Word attachment. I will critique your story, reading it several times at different times, and make comments right in the manuscript. When you get it back, you may want to sit with my thoughts awhile to determine which ones fit your vision and feel right to you. You are the author, and you are in charge of your own writing. Also, getting detailed comments back can be overwhelming, and processing them at your own pace will help.
As you go through critique notes on your manuscript, you are welcome to send emails asking for clarification, guidance, or reassurance. If you feel it would be better to schedule another phone call at this time, that’s possible, too. I want you to feel comfortable moving ahead with your revision and have a good understanding of the comments I made. Don’t hesitate to ask anything!
This step is just what it says. You take my comments, anything else you’ve learned or discovered, and revise your manuscript as many times as you wish. When you feel you’ve done all you can with it, you are welcome to send it back to me for a final read. You may request that I write general comments on your revision and/or set up another phone call to discuss them.
FOLLOW UP PHONE CALL
In our final phone call, we’ll discuss any further revision questions and needs, evaluate our time together, plan your next steps (whether they include further coaching or not), and review what we did and what you learned.
With these steps, we’re both aware of the process and the fees before we begin. I can take all the time I need to focus on manuscripts without tracking and limiting my hours. In addition to working on manuscripts, I get to use my creativity coaching skills to help my clients overcome their blocks and misbeliefs. Being off-the-clock frees my passions for writing and teaching so I can make a bigger difference. I’m successful only when my clients are successful.
The fee for the Perfect Picture Book Package is $425. That’s far less per hour than I used to charge for a simple critique.
There are significant discounts for multiple manuscripts.
The fee for two packages purchased at the same time is $790 ($395 each).
The fee for three packages purchased at the same is $1095 ($365 each).
For four or more manuscripts, use the three-package rate and add $350 for each additional manuscript.
Please schedule your free introductory call before purchasing.
FOLLOW UP COACHING
After going through the Perfect Picture Book Package, most clients continue coaching with me. Some purchase additional PPBPs (usually for a new manuscript but sometimes for additional support on the same manuscript), others switch to the Beck & Call coaching, and a few have co-designed their own plans with me.
Don’t wait! Email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your free phone call. The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. Don’t you and your stories deserve that?
“Deb Lund graciously reviewed my picture book manuscript, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes. I found her feedback enormously helpful in adjusting the meter to perfectly match that of the original rhymes. Her clearly communicated advice improved the quality of my manuscript. Mission accomplished!” Henry Herz
“Having my manuscript edited by Deb has been phenomenal. She has such a love of what she does that she really puts her heart into the process. She made me feel that working with me was the highlight of her year, while having me rewrite my book two or three times! Because of Deb, I’m working on my most valid manuscript to date. Most editors purely do what they are contacted to do. They do their best to improve a banal manuscript. Deb could push anyone to doing better. She has some packages for literally holding an author’s hand through writing a book. I can guarantee she is worth every penny. If I ever get published it will be due to Deb.” Elizabeth B. Martin