Storybook Consulting
Storybook Consulting
Helping authors and illustrators get their children's picture book on the right path.
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My name is Rob Broder. I am the Publisher and Creative Director at Ripple Grove Press, an independent, family-owned picture book publishing company that I started with my wife. Since I began building my skills and experience in publishing, I have read hundreds of picture books and thousands of submissions. I have a passion for well-told and beautifully illustrated picture books. I write, hike, play ukulele, and publish books.

If you have an idea and don’t know where to start, I can help. 

If you’re in the process of writing or illustrating a children’s picture book and need navigation through stormy waters, I can help.

If you want to create a picture book dummy and don’t know where to start, I can help.

If you’re wondering if you should be submitting to traditional publishers or go the self-publishing route, I can help.

If you’re stuck on what to say in your query letter, I can help.

If you’re confused about the ins and outs of the industry, I can help.

I believe children’s picture books should be honest, fun, and beautiful.  

I can help you make your story be honest, fun, and beautiful.  

Click here to read essays I’ve written about publishing.


  • Fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page. Please send your struggles and what you’d like to get out of this consultation.
  • I will reach out to touch base on your specific needs.
  • Please send your story or concept at least 3 days ahead so I have enough time to review your work. Your manuscript must be under 1,000 words (or we can discuss a special rate for longer projects).
  • I will send comments, feedback and edits.  We will continue a back and forth conversation until we get your story where you'd like it to be.
  • I’m happy when you’re happy.



In no way does our consultation guarantee you will be published. My goal is to help you shape your story into what you’ve been dreaming it to be.





  • My honest opinion and thoughts.
  • Help honing in on your objectives for the story, the project, or taking your concept and making it a storybook.
  • Help with character and plot development. 
  • How to create a cohesive theme.
  • If you’re going to write a rhyming story, we’re going to dig deep to make sure it’s amazing! The same goes for pacing, language, tone, etc.


  • Please email me with your query and my rates.  



Contact Me

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"Thank you for all of the help you’ve offered on revising my manuscript. I have enjoyed working together toward creating a more timeless feel to “Dani’s Dance”, and I am thrilled with the changes and improvements made. I will definitely recommend your services to others." - Heidi Y

"I have been obsessing over this story and your first thoughts. I have spent the last two days locked up in my office thinking about how else to tell this story, and after too many pots of coffee and antacids, I feel like I may have just figured it out! And I honestly have you to thank for it." - Leila B

"I had the good fortune to be referred to Rob Broder from someone in the book marketing industry. I was put in touch and Rob immediately got back to me. He took the time to speak with me first to get in an idea of what my needs were (free consultation) and then drafted a plan for me based on that conversation. He came up with some ideas for things that I was not even aware that I needed! He then got my deliverables back to me within two days. These included a list of potential reviewers, help with my press release, and book layout edit suggestions. I was very pleased with Rob’s attentiveness and turnaround time. He is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about what he does and went the extra mile by checking in with me a few times after he sent me my materials (for free). I plan to use him again as the need arises and highly recommend him. Thank you, Rob, from this first-time author!"    -Patty C, author of Catalina and the King’s Wall, releasing May 5th, 2018 from Eifrig Publishing 

"Thank you so much for your help!  I told my husband it was the best, most helpful hour I've had with learning small press stuff.  I'm sure I'll have more questions again in the future!"  -Arielle H, Orange Blossom Publishing



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About the Book - illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky - Coming Fall 2018

Not all who wander are lost, sometimes they’re just searching for a new song.

Paul was given a present.

“A guitar?” said Paul.

“It’s a ukulele.” said his parents.

Paul loved his ukulele and spent all his time crafting his own song. As he got older, Paul knew it was time to head out in search of something new.

When his travels took him to one small town, the unexpected happened. But from unexpected circumstances can come new friendships and new experiences. And maybe that new song he’s been looking for.


From Booklist, July 5, 2018:

Here is a quiet story of a life made happy by following a passion for music.— Maryann Owen

From Midwest Book Review, May 3, 2018:

An impressively original and immensely entertaining picture book story for children ages 5 to 7 by author Robert Broder and illustrator Jenn Kocsmiersky, "Paul and His Ukulele" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

From songwriter and ukulele player Victoria Vox, May 25, 2018

Paul and His Ukulele is a touching children’s book about finding a passion, growing up to be independent (but asking for help when you need it), and making new friends. Sweetly written by Robert Broder and beautifully illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky, the reader joins Paul on his musical journey in life. Paul traveled with his ukulele, singing his song, but a new friend comes along, proof that the sum is greater than its parts. Paul and His Ukulele has a great message, making this story enjoyable for every child, young and old.

Book Trailer - by Jenn Kocsmiersky, ukulele music by Robert Broder