I can’t remember the last time someone requested to see a full mechanical for a picture book, also called a mock-up or a book dummy. A mechanical isn’t requested much anymore for a proposed picture book since we submit most of these tentative projects via the internet.
A storyboard might be appreciated if the story needs further explanation (and most of the time it should not be necessary). I provided one for this idea because there are about about 15 words in the entire text. Picture story books almost always need a storyboard to explain them. Writers who can’t create a storyboard can submit a manuscript that clearly identifies the illustration description that fills out the text.
If you don’t know what a storyboard looks like, I’ve posted a few examples in previous posts. A mechanical is a mock-up of the book, and usually to size. A terrific book that talks about all this stuff is still in print, Uri Shulevitz’s Writing with Pictures.
So what happened was an editor who had expressed interest in a picture book I submitted said that my storyboard was okay, but she really needed the physical book that a mechanical portrays to try to get a true feel for the story.
Today I had fun printing, putting it all together, and then searching for a glue stick. Even all blown-up to full-size, I still love the idea and to note, it is all still at the sketch-stage. But it was a joy to see the idea as it might someday become: a real book.
And nope, that’s not the real title. But maybe it should be!