I’ve been asked this now and then: “must I do a complete 32 page dummy for this ms of mine when they’ll change it anyway?” YES! Of course it’s totally up to you how you present your ideas, ms, and yourself. All I can do is advise. But YES! Even Daniel Kirk at a talk at Books of Wonder once said he always does a complete dummy for pitches. Apparently Dan Yaccarino also had 5 dummies working at one point to sell a story.
And that’s the point really isn’t it….SELLING THE STORY. If you believe in it you want others to ‘get it’ and believe in it as well. And if they can SEE it full-out they can ‘get it’ much much more easily, and THAT might sell the story. You just need one or two color samples to show how you envision the finishes, and the rest can be in finished clean sketch form. Every page. Can incomplete perhaps be saying “lazy?”
Once a publisher KNOWS your work, perhaps this full-out dummy wouldn’t be necessary. Some artists DO just present a double spaced typed ms and let a couple of pieces of art (color) do the talking. However, the more immediate the experience of a picture book, the better the results and a more full response. Even if they don’t take the story, the feedback will be ever so much better. That is huge as well!
Showing a dummy is also a wonderful way to showcase your art and your ‘thinking a story.’ Use this to FULL advantage when you have a buyers eye. They can not visualize this if the dummy is incomplete or too sketchy. I advise taking the time to present a fun experience. Make their job easy, and they just might make YOUR day!
their days are SO SO busy, don’t you know….make it easier to read and buy!