Today I felt like I was back in the Primary Grades of elementary school. I got to cut and paste until my heart was content. The task at hand was to make a "dummy book" of the picture book I have written, something that children's author Ann Whitford Paul recommends to all writers.
I separated my story, "I'm Just a Home Child", into 14 scenes. Then I printed out the text of my picture book (2000 words). I took 16 sheets of computer paper, three hole punched them and stuck them in a duotang. I numbered each page. Then I cutted and pasted each scene on to the pages of the duotang, leaving space for illustrations. I added an Epilogue to explain what happened to the main character, my great-grandma, as an adult. I added a Facts Sheet about the British Home Children along with my great-grandma's butter tart recipe. Next, I used clip art to make illustrations for my book since I'm not an artist (the real illustrations will be done by a hand selected illustrator picked by the publisher). I added some copies of photographs of my great-grandma to give the book more authencity and to give it a scrapbook effect.
Then I gave it to my daughter Jacqueline, my guinea pig, to read. She read it quite quickly and said that she liked it (of course, she's my daughter!). The dummy book is not to give to a publisher, but rather a way for the author to envision what the actual book will look like. It does make me feel like I'm a step closer to publication, though. What's the next step? Writing a query letter to the editor of a publishing company. Wish me luck!
Resource: Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication (Ann Whitford Paul).