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Hello! I’m Simone Kaplan, and I'm a picture book editor, coach, and manuscript consultant.

Through my personalized manuscript development process, I help authors bring their stories to life—and develop, write, and polish the very best manuscript they can craft.

While I have worked with hundreds of successful authors in my time at Harper Collins and Henry Holt + Company, I now help individual picture book authors like you get their manuscripts “marvelous and marketable” – with the highest chance possible to succeed in traditional or self-publishing.

If you’d like to work with me to develop a strong, marketable manuscript, see my full range of services here, and read what authors say about working with me here.

You can also sign up for my newsletter here and get advice and resources.

I’ve spent over 30 years in children’s publishing, where I’ve worked with a range of brand-new to best-selling authors —and now I look forward to getting to know you (and your manuscript!).

Simone Kaplan Left

How I got here

I fell in love with children’s books when, as a magazine editor, I attended South Africa’s first children’s literature conference.

Years later, after moving to New York, I learned the craft of developmental editing at Henry Holt + Company and Harper Collins, and refined it by working with hundreds of authors around the world.

I’ve had the joy of publishing first books from authors who have gone on to become highly successful in their genre (even winning coveted book awards).

In 2006, I left mainstream publishing, but some authors I loved (and loved working with) continued to call on me for editorial advice.

As their requests came in, I decided to begin my own editorial consultancy, Picture Book People. And today, I continue to work with writers to find, develop and polish the best manuscript they are capable of crafting.

How I work

When it comes to my work, I have three simple beliefs:

  • Writing a picture book is worth doing, and it’s worth doing well.
  • Writing a picture book is both harder and easier than you might think.
  • There is a reliable, replicable, and exciting process for the creation of any picture book.

I take a very hands-on, interactive approach with my clients, working them through the sticky parts of their manuscripts and encouraging them to develop their craft and create the best manuscript possible for them. When I work with someone, I help develop both the manuscript and the writer.

My clients applaud my deep understanding of manuscripts, my ability to energize the creative and playful side of writing, and my knack for helping them find what it is they’re really trying to say. The spirit and struggles of my hard-working clients consistently inspires me, and I take no greater pride than getting you, the author, to the point where everything in your manuscript feels “just right”.

I believe picture books play an important role in the world. The stories they contain create life-expanding experiences for children, influencing the way they see the world. It is our responsibility – to both our readers and ourselves – to create the best work of which we’re capable.

If you want to write and publish a children’s picture book, I can help.

Together, we can make your manuscript both marvelous and marketable.

Your next steps:

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5 Powerful Practices cover

Do you want some tools to uplevel your writing?

Free Download

You’ll also receive our newsletter filled with strategies, advice, and insights to help you develop as a writer.

We collect and process your data according to our privacy policy.