When I decided to write more stories, I realized I needed to learn more about the publishing industry and joined a local writers group. This is when I learned how to create a dummy book, which is what every children's book author should do before submitting anything to a publisher.
However, before tackling the construction of one, you should first print out your complete text and carefully go through it line by line, marking each in numerical sequence according the coordinating page number you see it going on. Then cut the lines out, being careful to keep them in order.
To create a dummy book is very easy. Most children's books are 32 pages. Simply follow these easy steps:
1. Take 16 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 paper and fold them in half to create a set of 16 pages.
2. Staple down the middle seam to secure the pages.
3. Start your title on the second page since the first page is your cover.
4. Flip that page over and write copyright page. You don't have to be fancy or detailed.
5. The next page may be your devotional page or the beginning of your story.
6. On your beginning text page, begin to paste or tape your cut out lines in order onto the coordinating pages until the end of your story. Any extra pages just leave blank.
7. Now go back and draw stick figure pictures of what you think each page scene might look like or simply write in the details if that is easier. That's all there is to it.
Making a dummy book will let you know if you have enough text to actually fill up a children's picture book format. If you don't have enough text, you may need to add more to your story. If there is too much text and not enough room for pictures, you need to edit down your word count significantly or reconsider your audience age range. You might actually have a short story or the beginnings of a chapter book. Likewise, if your stick figure drawings are all too much the same and do not offer significant variety and interest, you may not have a picture book story.
Either way, booking out your story is a good idea. It will help you know if your story will work in a picture book format and help you see if the text is picture book material or more for early readers.