Less is More
Less is more.
Because our stories on mainstream publishing are few and far between as well as sometimes not religious enough for our kids, Muslim reviewers like myself see and recognize the importance of telling our stories. We are one of the only ones in the #bookstagram community that accept self-published work and bring exposure to those stories.
One of the most common things that I personally see in those books is that the story is way too long for the age group (picture books). Many authors choose to self publish because they deeply believe in their story and they are passionate about sharing and inspiring others with it. However, having a very long picture book does the opposite of inspiring the reader, no matter how valuable the message is:
1) It gets difficult to actually finish the book. The new readers will will find themselves unable to successfully get to the end of the book. It will be put aside to finish later, or never finish. When we try to read them to young kids, the little one will find themselves distracted, lose focus and simply move on to something else.
2) It gets difficult to unravel the main message of the book in the midst of all the text. If they make it through to the end of the book, the lesson is completely lost and hard for the kids to identify.
3) Once they have made it to the end of the book once, they will not be drawn to pick up the book again. Repetition makes the message stick, so having your book sit untouched in the shelf, it is not benefiting the readers thus not fulfilling the intent of the book.
While picturebooks hold tremendous power, often times, authors forget to let the pictures help tell the story but this is the essence of picture books.
This post was inspired by @selfpublishlegacy and her post 'Book Types and Their Ideal Word Counts - A Brief Guide'