Posted by: nancyisanders | March 19, 2008

Book In A Month Club! Editor’s Hat

While you’re working on the first draft of your manuscript over these final two weeks, I’m going to post tips on what you can do AFTER the Book In A Month Club is over. Most of these suggestions involve editing tips, so please don’t try to incorporate these steps now while you are writing. Print these suggestions out for reference. Wait until the first draft is over. Then roll up your sleeves, put on your editor’s hat, and begin the editorial process.

If you don’t have it already, get Eve Heidi Bine-Stock’s book, How to Write a Children’s Picture Book–Volume II; Word, sentence, Scene, Story. This is an excellent resource to help you begin self-editing your manuscript to make it shine.

Follow the examples she provides through classic picture books and take time to go through your own manuscript with a fine-toothed comb.

For instance, Eve discusses the importance of each word we choose for our picture book story. For my Book In A Month Club manuscript I wrote a bedtime book. So I made sure to go back in and add as many bedtime and nighttime words and phrases as I could such as: yawn, sleepy, tucked into bed, warm blanket, settled into bed, moonlight, and moonrise. I wanted the words I chose to create a sense of going to bed. The words themselves create the atmosphere of my story.

I also took out any word or phrase that conveyed an image that I didn’t want in a bedtime story. I didn’t want anything scary that might scare the reader. I didn’t want anything loud or boisterous or hip, hip, hooray! I wanted the whole story to have the soft feel of moonlight glowing in a quiet bedroom, so I followed Eve’s book as a guide and went through my entire manuscript to make sure each word, sentence, and scene contributed to the success of my bedtime story.


  1. Nancy, you must have chosen the right words. I caught myself dozing off! 😀

    I will check my story and, hopefully, choose just the right words.

    Have a great week!


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