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What it’s like working with me

When we work together, you’ll get a dedicated partner who will help you make your manuscript stronger and work with you through all the issues you encounter, large or small.

I develop a deep familiarity with your manuscript as well as with you, your hopes, your intentions, a sense of how you write and how you think, so you’ll find our calls full of present and engaged conversation on all the details of your book-to-be. (And your process and progress as a developing writer.)

When we work together, your manuscript becomes my priority, too. I’ll often wake up at 3 in the morning with ideas, or hop out of the shower to take notes. I’ve also been known to burn dinner because my mind is on your manuscript.

I also take supporting you as a writer very seriously indeed. I care about supporting you for who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. I care about helping you get excited about your work and learn new ideas and processes and ways of thinking about writing. And I care about holding you to the highest standards, so that your writing is the best it can possibly be.

You might find the process challenging, but that’s how you grow as a writer. I want you to fall in love with the work, be excited by engaging with the challenges and difficulties and experiencing the joy that comes with a successful process. Working through the difficult bits—and there are always difficult bits-- can be enormously fulfilling. Like a good workout, it stretches you, it keeps you limber, and it makes you better at what you do.

When it comes to feedback, I promise to be honest while being both sensitive and kind – and I will gently (but firmly!) encourage you to improve and do your very best work.

I have worked with countless authors – both experienced and newbies – at publishing houses like Henry Holt and Harper Collins, and I know that authors, no matter what stage of their careers they are in, need support, encouragement and someone to bounce their ideas off of. I’ll provide you the same level of professional feedback, compassion, clarity, kindness and honesty that I gave them.

When we work together, I’ll support you in becoming the best writer that you can be. I’ll create a safe place in which you can go all the way to the edge of your abilities, and keep pushing that edge. Your book’s journey to publication isn’t only about the manuscript – it’s also about your development as a writer.

My goal at the end of every call we have together is for you to go back to your manuscript feeling smarter, stronger, and more prepared to refine your writing so that you will ultimately end up with a book that you can honestly be proud of.

Ways we can work together

I work with picture book authors wherever they are in the process. Whether you’re starting with an initial story idea, have a fully-written manuscript, or find yourself anywhere in between, I can help.

Take a look at the different ways we can work together, and then schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me. We’ll get to know each other and I’ll talk to you about how I can help.

Manuscript Review
and Consultation

You’ll leave this call with actionable steps to make your manuscript the very best one you’re capable of writing.

Writer Support

Packages of consultation time that you can use in small sessions or long ones to help you get past key stuck points, sharpen your story, work through craft issues— whatever you need, whenever you need it.


I take on the twin roles of editor and project manager. I’ll help you develop a strong manuscript and then will manage the innumerable moving pieces required to produce a book that looks and feels like it was produced by a traditional publishing house.

Curious about working together?

If you’d like to find out if we’re a good fit for working together, you can schedule a free, no-obligation call with me to get to know each other. We can talk about your manuscript and where you are in the process, and I can discuss more about how I can help.

To schedule a free 30-minute “getting to know you” call, click the button below to set up an appointment.

If you just have a simple question or want to chat as soon as possible, you can or email me at

I look forward to getting to know you, your book, and how I might be able to help.

Kind Words

I have used similar services before, but Simone is the only one who spoke with me in real-time on the phone versus the less engaging email correspondence.

Speaking with Simone on the phone meant I couldn’t hide behind emails and actually had to face myself, my desire to write and all the fears and blocks I had around writing. The very first day, we spoke, she saw my fear and knew where I needed to begin. She sat with me while I wrote my way through it.

I will never forget that moment of facing the page with Simone on the phone and the incredible joy and release when the block that had built up over so many years melted.

I have completed more satisfying writing than I knew I had in me in the few months that we have been working together than I had in years of wanting to write.

On the phone we are able to have back and forth discussion and to make the changes that arise from those very alive and active discussions Each time I hang up from our weekly phone call I feel filled up and ready to revise. I know exactly what I need to do. Working with her is priceless.

— Shell LeDrew

Working with Simone Kaplan at Picture Book People has been the best writing decision I ever made! Prior to working with

Simone, my writing was not attracting attention from agents or at writing contests. After working with Simone, I have found my voice.

Agents are now sending personalized feedback and requesting additional submissions; stories are placing in competitions. Simone is a unique and brilliant soul. She provides positive, constructive feedback, and she elicits my best work. After a session with her I look forward to making revisions.

— Melissa Stiveson

When you work with Simone, she helps you get to the heart of your story. It probably won’t happen in one session and it is rarely a linear process, but Simone will sit and dig with you. You will sift through the dirt, twigs, and rocks together and then plant your story.

Her passion for picture books is contagious and makes the hard work more enjoyable. She is direct about what is working and what isn’t and she makes the why clear. This instills trust. I feel safe trying things because I know that the discussion about why something is or isn’t working will move the story further along.

I love working over the phone. The process is conversational and spontaneous ideas pop up from our discussion. Creativity sparks through the phone line and I learn something new with each session.

— Lisa Desimini

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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.