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3x3 Manuscript Development Program

The 3x3 Manuscript Development Program is a custom-built, clear process for accelerating the journey towards a wonderful, ready-to-submit manuscript.

When we work together in this program, I will provide you with the structure and accountability necessary to get your manuscript to a level of quality you couldn’t imagine from where you are now. We’ll brainstorm and discuss your manuscript in depth. We’ll find the heart of your manuscript and articulate it in the best way possible.

If you’d like structure, accountability, and a clear process to follow to get you from a manuscript that’s “meh” to one that’s marvelous – in addition to the eye of an experienced editor – then this program is for you.

How this program works

In the 3x3 Manuscript Development Program, we develop an ongoing creative collaboration where I get right in the trenches with you help you refine your manuscript through an iterative process.

Here’s how it unfolds:

  • We’ll meet 3 times per month for 3 months total. Our appointments last 45 minutes each.
  • Each week, we’ll discuss developments and improvements to your manuscript.
  • After each call, you’ll work on your manuscript to implement the changes and edits we discussed.
  • 48 hours prior to our next appointment, you’ll send me your updated manuscript, and I’ll review it before the call.

We’ll start out by focusing on the biggest issues first, then gradually refine. Step by step, page by page, element by element, we will elevate your work until your manuscript is where you want (and need) it to be. We will also craft a cover letter so that when you submit your manuscript, it represents your work in a way that will intrigue and capture the attention of editors and agents.

Through many years of helping successful authors develop the best manuscripts possible, I’ve found that my 3x3 program provides an optimal timeframe for getting a manuscript to a place of excellence. It’s long enough to account for the editing and development time required to improve your manuscript, but it’s short and focused enough to make it easy to keep doing what needs to be done. I’ll give you precise, achievable direction so you’ll always know what to do next to improve your manuscript, week after week.

The writing, reviewing, and revising cycle will sharpen your understanding of what makes a picture book great. It’s a repeatable pattern and process that you can learn and then use on every book you write in the future.

Package details and pricing

The cost of the 3x3 Manuscript Development Program is $449 per month (or a 1-time payment of $1,250,) and is non-refundable. When we work together, we both commit to bringing our all to the time we spend on your manuscript.

Our weekly calls take place over the phone – however, if you’re an international client, we can arrange to speak via Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom.

In almost all cases, 3 months is what it takes to get your manuscript to a level where you can submit it with confidence that it is the very best story that it can be. If for any reason we don’t feel your manuscript is complete after three months of working together, we can continue on a monthly basis at the same rate or prorate for one or two more sessions. (You must complete the initial three months first in order to continue in this fashion.)

How to sign up for the 3x3 Manuscript Development Program

The 3x3 Manuscript Development Program is available to clients who have already completed a Manuscript Review and Consultation.

If you are interested in reserving a package, get in touch for a quick call during which we can discuss how much time you might want to reserve, and what needs you have coming in. Click the button below to set up an appointment.

Alternatively, you can email me at

I look forward to working with you – and your manuscript!

Kind Words

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.

The 3X3 option worked perfectly for me. The program ensured my commitment and focus and has enabled me to create picture book manuscripts that I love.

— Melissa Stiveson

Simone loves picture books, and it shows in her passion and respect for this genre.

I liken my experience working with Simone like meeting a master carpenter. She pulled out her editorial toolbox with tools like her knowledge of character, plot, structure, pacing, tension and language. But it’s her uncanny knack for helping me find the emotional moment in my story that took my work to another level.

I signed my first publishing contract, and simultaneously, I acquired an agent.

Thank you, Simone, for so deftly sharing your wisdom and insight with me.

— Jacqueline A. Kramer

I have used similar services before, but Simone is the only one who spoke with me in real time on the phone. This meant I couldn’t hide behind emails and actually had to face 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.

I will never forget that moment of facing the page with Simone on the phone and the incredible joy when the blocks melted away.

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