picture book and children's book editing

Picture Book Editing / $299 and up

The picture book market is blazing hot, and a lot of writers are trying the fun and challenging craft of picture book writing. This is an edit of your strongest picture book manuscript and will provide you with valuable feedback about your plot, characters, illustration potential, voice, and more. Query letter editing is included, as well as feedback on up to three more paragraph-length pitches for future ideas, if you have them.

Today’s picture book writers need a really strong grasp of the form as well as many saleable ideas that will attract the eye of an editor or agent. Most agents will not sign up a picture book creator unless they have at least three truly stellar projects. This edit will help you refine your craft and, more importantly, your thinking about writing for this very specific audience. Short picture books (under 300 words) cost $299. Manuscripts between 300 and 600 words cost $399. Longer picture books (between 600 and 1,200 words) are $499. Manuscripts longer than 1,200 words are billed as an early reader or chapter book, see below.

picture book editing with illustrations or dummy / $399-$599

I also love working with author-illustrators. I am happy to do picture book editing with art direction notes. When I was an agent, most of my picture book client list was composed of author/illustrators. If you are also an illustrator, I am happy to review your dummy and provide art notes in addition to manuscript feedback. My base price for a picture book edit applies. If your word count is under 300 words, the total is $399, if it's between 600 and 1,200 words, the cost is $499, and over 1,200 words, the investment is $599.

Mary Kole is an incredible editor. She help me to see the story I meant to write within my manuscript. Working with her was a privilege. She gave me tremendous insight into the craft of picture book writing and illustration. I can’t wait to work with her on my next book.
— Gabrielle T.

Picture book edit and overview HYBRID bundle / $599 for three manuscripts, $699 for five manuscripts

This is a very popular combination. With this package, I provide in-depth editorial feedback, as described elsewhere on this page, on one picture book manuscript (up to 300 words). You'll also receive margin notes on that manuscript's query letter. But most picture book writers have multiple ideas. And if an agent is interested, they are very likely to ask for more than one polished project. (A lot of agents want to make sure you're more than a "one hit wonder" and will ask for three before making their decision.)

To help you hone in on the rest of your WIPs, I will also read and comment on up to two additional picture book manuscripts (of 300 words or fewer) for $599 and four additional manuscripts for $699. Those comments will be more bird's eye in nature, and will appear in paragraphs at the end of each document. Higher word counts will incur an additional fee, and the total number of manuscripts can be adjusted to fit your needs, please inquire with your totals.

Picture book edit bundles / $549 for two manuscripts, $749 for three manuscripts

Bundle pricing for comprehensive notes on two or three picture book manuscripts (up to 300 words each) and their associated query letters. For two picture books, the price drops to $274 per manuscript, and for three picture books, you pay $249 per manuscript, whereas a single Picture Book Edit for that word count is $299. Higher word counts will change the total, so please describe what you're looking for and I will send a custom quote.

Early readers and chapter books / $599 AND UP

Though this page focuses mainly on picture books, I also work extensively with early readers and chapter book projects, which can range in word count from about 1,200 words to 2,500 for early readers and 2,500 words to 10,000 words for chapter books. Since there is a lot of variety in these categories, please inquire for pricing based on your exact word count.

I just wanted to let you know how much your notes have helped me. I felt so inspired! I have been working furiously since I received your notes and today presented my revised text and storyboard to my group. I wasn’t sure if my new idea was going to work and, believe me, my writers group would tell me if it was a bad idea. They were thrilled and even got tears in their eyes – I knew I had hit a home run!
— Elizabeth
I was referred to Mary Kole to edit my picture book. As a new writer, I am on a huge learning curve. Mary’s notes were honest and forthright, if a little hard to hear. But, they have taken me in a completely new direction with my little book. She explained some things to me and I am seeing my story with fresh eyes. She was kind and positive at all times and I am very happy to have found her to work with me. Thank you, Mary!
— Joy
As a newbie picture book writer, I am glad I decided to enlist Mary’s editorial services. When I read her feedback, it was spot on and gave me a lot to think about. Every piece of feedback was important to improving the picture book’s flow and presenting a professional product. While writing this book, I spent a lot of time reading about the dos and don’ts of writing and I even purchased a book on punctuation. However I can see that hiring a professional to do the editing is imperative. Thanks again, Mary!
— Agnes