The next round of changes was actually multiple rounds. John sent me his suggestions and I’d work to incorporate those in then send it back and he’d have a few more changes. In all I think there were actually 3 rounds of back and forth. His experience in the industry and insight improved the book with each round. Having trust in your agent is an important thing and in my case I think it’s paid off.
Overall the story stayed very similar. The biggest thing we worked on was the flow. This required some restructuring of pages and how images worked with text over 32 pages. When sending out your book to publishers my agent sends what is called a “dummy” or mock up of what the layout of the book would be. So the first page is the title page the second page is the copyright and dedication page and the third page is where the book starts. the remaining 30 pages are where the words and pictures go and I needed to make sure they were structured the best way possible.
One of the best tips he gave was to keep in mind the visual rhythm of the story. Basically this meant that there should be a good variety and balance of types of pictures. Single page illustrations, two page spreads, close ups, wide, framed, or paneled, there are a lot of possibilities for how to handle each page and it’s important that you don’t overuse just one or that you don’t too much of one style in one section. For me, I needed to incorporate more two page spreads throughout the book. Originally I only had 2 double page spreads in the book. After working with John I added 5 more throughout the book. I was surprised how much this helped. It really does break up the book visually and make it more interesting.
So now the dummy is ready to send to publishers and I have to wait and see if it gets picked up.