Beneficial Breakdowns

I am currently working on a proposal for a non-fiction children’s book for my current publisher. Before I delve into the actual research, I need to intensely study the publisher’s format for this type of book. Here are some tips on how to do a beneficial breakdown.


·   Pick 2 to 3 books from the publisher’s list that fit the same genre. In my case I asked my editor what books she would recommend that were similar in style.

·   Take notes on each book. Look at the total number of pages. Count the words in a full page of text to determine the average word count per page.

·   If there is a table of contents, note any prefaces, introductions, number of chapters, indexes, and bibliographies. Write the total number of pages for each section. Multiply the number of pages within a section by the average word count per page to determine the word count for that section. This will help determine how best to breakdown your chapters.

·   Read through the book, noting style and format.

·   Note the number of illustrations (if any) per chapter.


Once you have finished reading and taking notes of all the books, analyze your information. Pay close attention to any similarities because these will be the techniques you will need to apply to your outline and sample chapters for your proposal.


Book breakdowns are necessary in understanding the style and format of your publisher. Taking the time to study  will greatly improve your chances for success.

One Response

  1. Catherine, great information!

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