Creating a Book Dummy

Was going to title this post Book Dummying for Dummies or The Idiots Guide to Book Dummies, but thought better against it, hence (am always slightly concerned I’ve used “hence” wrong), my boring title.

Getting back to the process of getting ready to be published, you’ll remember a while back I blogged that Step One was imagining and writing the story, and Step Two was storyboarding – click here for a refresher.

Even though I skipped ahead to some more visual aspects by talking prematurely about design details like texture – remember I am as easily distracted as a crow – the true next step would be to take your story and your storyboard and develop them into a book, dummy. (BAD JOKE! I apologize)

A book dummy is the first time your book will be three-dimensionalized. It allows you to figure out how the text will interact with the illustrations. They are very useful in the development of your project and allow you to get a better feel for how the book will be once printed. For some reason, holding your story in your hands helps to develop it even further than the 2-D story board.

You can make your book dummy really tiny and extremely cute – for this you have to have the magical fingers of tiny little elves (I think) – or your can make it full-sized.

Picture courtesy of the Mousehunter Blog.

Chunky Charlie Book Dummy



Inside pages

Inside pages

Flips just like the real thing!

5 Tips for Creating a Book Dummy

  1. Create a blank book dummy by gluing or stapling pages together – use your storyboard as a guide.
  2. Figure out how you want your text to flow with the pictures.
  3. Cut out sections of plainly printed text and tape them to your book dummy.
  4. Add your illustrations around the text.
  5. Glue down your text once everything has been finalized.

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