How would I go about finding a children’s book editor for a 15 page book?The first thing you need to know is how this question sounds to anyone in the business. It sounds ignorant. And very confusing. I have no idea what you meant to ask.
For one thing, there aren't different editors for different page counts. (Though of course some editors specialize in picture books and others in novels, etc.)
For another thing, 15?
How did you come up with that number?
Most authors have only the sketchiest idea of how to count pages, so I'm going to go way out on a limb here and guess that you're just wrong about that.
- count the number of pages the manuscript fills when typed or hand-written?
- count the number of pages the manuscript fills when space is left for illustration?
- count the number of spreads the manuscript fills when space is left for illustration?
Ok, you know what? Everybody: stand up right now and go to your bookshelf. Pull out a picture book and flip to the first two pieces of paper that you can pinch between a finger (i.e., I'm not talking about the paper that's glued to the covers).
Are the two pages made of the same kind of paper? You're holding a self-ended book.
Are the two pages made of two different kinds of paper? You're holding a separate-ended book.
Go through your picture books until you're holding one of each. I am personally holding Wild About Books by Judy Sierra (self-ended) and The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney (separate-ended). Good. Class is now in session.
Ok. The very outside of a book is the jacket. It's loose, and would slip right off of the book except for the way it's folded around the book's cardboard cover. The two parts of the jacket that get folded into the book are called the 'front flap' and the 'back flap'. The front flap usually has a description of the book and/or marketing copy (and by 'copy' I mean 'text'). The copy on the back flap is usually information about the author and illustrator. Take the jackets off of your books and set the jackets aside.
Next you have the cardboard cover. This is the 'hard' part of the term 'hardcover'. It is this cardboard that makes the book not a paperback.
Next are the ends, or endsheets. Let's come back to these.
And then we come to the actual book pages-- the book block. (Aside: if asked for the 'trim size' of a normally bound book, it is this-- the size the pages are trimmed to-- that is being spoken of.)
Printers set bundles of paper sheets into the cover in sets of four. Once bound in, and counted front-and-back as pages, those four sheets make 16 pages. This is a signature. A 32-page book has two signatures of paper in it.
It costs a little extra to split a signature into smaller units, and so a publisher may be reluctant to do this. It is for this reason that many books have page counts in multiples of 16. (It is still possible to have a page count in a multiple of 8 or 4, but never 2--as you'll realize if you try building a book this way.)
So most picture books have 32 pages. Once bound into the book, page 1 is not part of a two-page spread, and neither is page 32. The pages in the book look like this:
Though of course I haven't indicated the gutter in the middle of the two-page spreads in this image.
So here's the thing about endsheets, or 'ends'. If the printer was asked to put 'separate ends' into the book, then he's put two sheets of paper between the cover and the book block. Two sheets of paper, once bound in, make 8 pages. If we numbered these endsheets (which, in bookmaking, we do not), page 1 and page 8 get glue applied to them and are glued onto the cardboard cover. You now cannot look at page 1 or 8, and their other sides, pages 2 and 7, you can look at, but they are now serving as the inside of the cover. Then you have a loose page of endpaper at both the front and back of the book (endsheets 3-4 and 5-6), and between them comes the printed book block.
In the case of separate-ended books, every page in the book block can be printed upon. Page 1 will have the title or half-title. Page 2 may have the copyright information, dedication, acknowledgements, and permissions info (depending on the kind of book) and page 3 the full title, or the CR info may go on page 32, and pages 2-3 may be the first spread you can use for your story. At the most, you will have 15 spreads to tell your story.
But what if the printer was not asked to put endpapers in? Then we go back to our fig 2. Then all we have to work with is the pages of the book block, so page 1 and page 32 are the ones glued face-down onto the cover. Spread 2-3 is the first thing you see when you open the book, and spread 30-31 the last thing before you close it. Now, you will often see those two spreads printed with patterns or extra illustration-- but those spreads cannot have meaningful information printed on them, because librarians are going to stick their little envelopes and barcodes all over them. And librarians have a big voice in children's books, make no mistake.
So, in a self-ended book, pages 1,2,3, and 30, 31, 32 serve as ends. They cannot have another use. Spread 4-5 will have the copyright info (etc) and the title page, and the remaining 12 spreads are what you have in which to tell your story.
I hope this was clear, but if not, I strongly recommend every picture book writer do what they must to figure it out. This is very basic book information.
Now, to the questionner: How many pages is your book?