Important tips for story text in children's books

Old Mate Media
 | Updated February 9, 2022

Important tips for story text in children's books

Old Mate Media
 | Updated February 9, 2022

When placing your story text in the art of your children's book, there are important tips to keep in mind to ensure you don't run into any issues.

Chris Stead covers three essential tips you need to keep in mind as you plan the story text to place in the artwork of your children's book. Watch the video below to learn how to correctly include text in your artwork, or read the video transcript below the video.

We also have a full in-depth guide on what you need to know before starting your illustrations which covers everything in this video. So make sure to read through that too.


G'day indie authors Chris Stead here from Old Mate Media with another guide for you and this time we're going to talk about the idea of putting your story text in your art. I'm not talking about layering story text on top of your art but actually having your artist do the story when they're doing the art. Now a lot of people seem to think this is a great idea and I do get presented with a lot of art where the story is actually in the art Don't do it. It is not a good idea and I'll explain to you, there's many reasons, but I'll explain to you three key ones.

The first reason is you don't want to be holding on your artist if you need to change your text for any reason so for example you might just want to go I would want to change a little line here or for example you might get some feedback from some of your test readers that go oh you know what I didn't like this bit of story and you want it changed or I couldn't read it properly, I don't like that kind of fancy font that the artist has done or you might just get your print copy and you might look at it and kind of go well I can't actually see that font that well on that background it's actually, you know, really hard to read. Now in those instances even if you just want to change an end to an n or something like that as simple as that you're going to have to get your artist to go and redo the art then now it's going to be resubmitted and it's going to be relayed out it's going to be put out. So that's number one, that's one reason why you definitely don't want to have your body text for your story. So I'm talking about your actual body text, not like something fun like that toy factory which is written there which is just part of the art, that's okay but your actual body text. Right the other thing is, is what happens if you want to translate it. So what happens if you decide you want to do a Spanish version or maybe it's already in Spanish you want to do English. Something like that if your artist has put this story into the art then what's going to happen then? I'm going to have to go in there as the designer and just delete a hole in your art. I can't redo the art without the text there unless I have a source file and text as a layer.

So you don't want to be restricted from being able to do those types of things and you've got to remember as well when you're doing translations, the certain link that it might be in English you convert that to Spanish or Japanese or Arabic or something like that, the link's going to be different as well. So the space that you might have saved for your book in English, a little corner of the book so you can have your little story up here, might fit in English might not fit in the joys of another language.

And the third reason is because when you're laying out a book from page to page, when you go into each page okay, the fact that the art looks like this on each page may not mean the art was the same size. I might need to blow up the art a little bit because some key detail was in here, in a channel so you couldn't see it, so I needed to shift the art or make it bigger or smaller to see the most important bits. Or a bit of the art doesn't work well or show something you don't want and you've got to move it in that. As soon as you have to scale your art in any shape of way, if the text is in the art then it scales as well. So if I have to make one image a little bit bigger to make it work on the page then your text is going to be a little bit bigger there's nothing that looks more unprofessional than going from page to page to page and all the text is a different font size or font that just shows straight away rookie design.

So those are three of the key reasons that you should be avoiding having your artist do to the text even if it looks cool for the main body. Just keep it to things that work well like that toy factory song or maybe you've got a character that might go whoa and you might want to have that kind of in the art, stuff like that is fine, your main body text, keep it out of the art.

I'll show you another example, why I'm here as well, this is a book that we did and this is just kind of an example of just the text laid on top of the art and since we're here talking about it, I'll just show you this because it's
something to think about. If your text doesn't fit on the page in a nice spot. Here, so there's a bit of sky here but there was too much text over here to fit perfectly, black text, blue background, easy to read I can put it there no worries. Over here you've got to put something behind
it, otherwise, you lose the text in the branches and the black and it becomes hard to read. You don't want your book to be hard to read you don't want grandparents sitting there going I can't read this to my kid, you don't want to be straining when you're a parent, you're sitting there in the
middle of the night you've just spent all that time trying to get the kids to bed, going I can't read this. That puts people off your book. So you've got the white background I just put a little fluffy cloud underneath it so you can actually read it against that. So something else to think about if you go the route of having your text on your image.

There you go another little guide for you and the authors out there from Chris Stead Old Mate Media. Make sure you head over to the website check out our guides, we've got stacks and stacks and stacks of free guides over there, other than that ask any questions if you've got them and good luck.

Check out the complete guide for laying your story text in your artwork. 

Where to next

We have a bunch of free indie author guides to help you on your self-publishing journey. You can find them all here. Let us know what other topics you would like us to cover by getting in contact with us at the bottom of this page. If you are looking to self-publish and have any questions, get in contact with us or book in for a free call to discuss your book.


Old Mate Media

Let us know your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 2 3 5

Latest Stories

Have a question?

Contact Us!
  • Services

    Service One
    Service Two
    Service Three
    Service Four
    Service Five
    Service Six

  • Quick Links

    Contact Us

  • searchclosearrow-circle-o-downarrow-circle-rightbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram