Ask a Picture Book Editor

Our blog this month is all about . . .

(Here are steps 6 - 10! Head to last month's post for steps 1 - 5.)

Once the blads are in, it's time for the Rights teams to head off to the book fair! Depending on the time of year – and when your book is scheduled to be published – your book will be presented at either Bolonga (in March) or Frankfurt (in October).

Here’s what a blad looks like in comparison to the finished book.

The Foreign Rights team will sell your book to overseas publishers who will translate your text into their own language.
So that one English edition . . . 
No! by Tracey Corderoy and Tim Warnes
Becomes MANY foreign language editions!

Back in the UK, the sales team will be presenting your book to all the big retailers you can find on the high street and on the internet.

The editor and designer, production person, author and illustrator will make one final check of the book. Then, at the printers  – usually in the Far East for picture books – your book will now be rolling off the printing presses. The pages will be getting trimmed, bound and fixed to the covers, ready to be shipped to the warehouse in the UK and sent out to shops in time for . . .

Hooray! Your book has hit the shelves! And it might be lucky enough to receive a very nice review from your friendly bookshop assistant:

Big Bad Owl by Steve Smallman and Richard Watson

With your help, the marketing, publicity and promotions teams will be arranging trips, school visits, bookshop signings, print and online coverage and reviews to spread the word that your utterly fabulous book is available to buy right now

Steve Smallman, Tracey Corderoy and Catherine Rayner at the Edinburgh Festival

As the author or illustrator, you can help spread the word and build interest to make sure that your book is read and enjoyed by as many children as it deserves to be!

Phew! And how long did that all take? Usually the whole process takes between 18 to 24 months from acquisition of a text. It certainly feels like a long time – and has taken a lot of passion, hard work, perseverance and belief from everyone involved – but the result is definitely worth it!

Next month: Keep your eyes peeled for our fantastic FESTIVE special!

Natascha Biebow is editor, mentor and coach at
Check out the Cook Up a Picture Book Courses:



  1. Thank you for these two posts - a brilliant insight into the whole journey!

  2. Great stuff. So THATS a 'blad'!

  3. What a journey!
    ( love the pic of all the foreign editions of 'No!')


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