Literary books CHAIR BOOKS LITERARY AGENCYDedicated to original, page-turning books.
Welcome Welcome to Loretta Barrett Books, Inc. Founded in 1990 by Loretta A. Please forward this error screen to sl-507-1. Board Books: 0 — 100 words. Early Picture Books: 0 — 500 words.
Picture Books: 50 — 1,000 words. Nonfiction Picture Books: 500 — 2,000 words. Early Readers: 200 — 3,500 words, depending on age level. Chapter Books: 4,000 — 10,000 words. Hi-Lo Books: 500 — 50,000 words, varies greatly depending on age level. A large number fall between 500 — 20k words. Some 60-90k YA books get classified as Hi-Lo, but I don’t think they were specifically written for the category.
Middle Grade: 25,000 — 45,000 words, usually around 35-40k. Longer word counts allowed for fantasy, sci-fi, historical. Young Adult: 45,000 — 70,000 words. Longer word counts allowed for fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, historical. Memoirs seem to fall within the same range as novels for their age group. We all know there are exceptions, but I wouldn’t count on being one.
There are a lot of agents that will reject on atypical word count alone. From my own experience as an intern, I tend to be more critical of YA manuscripts exceeding 80-90k and have to be blown away to want to read a full that length or longer. How Long Does a Book Have to Be at Writing for Children and Teens. Word Count For Novels and Children’s Books at the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. Counting Chickens — A Few Words About Word Counts at Hope Vestergaard’s site. On Word Counts and Novel Length at The Swivet. Word Counts at Stacy Whitman’s Grimoire.
Writing for Children — Age Categories Determine the Guidelines for Your Children’s Book literary books Suite 101. Use Renaissance Learning to research word counts on existing titles. I recommend looking at a large variety to avoid exceptions. I agree that it’s safe to stick to the recommended word counts.
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I’ve seen people read these word counts and perk up because there are exceptions. Some want to badly to believe their novel is that special exception, so they try querying for their 150,000 word YA novel, and get nowhere with it. I think it also depends on whether this is the writer’s first book or not, too. First-time novelists would do better to stick to the lower end of the spectrum than think of themselves as the exception. But since then I have seen where publishers and agents actually refuse some YA thats too long or too short. I see a lot of that, too, Elizabeth.
I think, in a lot of cases, these writers just hasn’t learned how to identify what doesn’t move their story forward and needs to be cut. There is less leniency for debut books. Once you make a name for yourself, word counts are less of a concern. Though, huge counts may still result in heavy revisions. It just depends on who you are and expected sales. I hope some newer writers do find their way to the info.
I suspect most of my regular readers know their range. Someone asked me this question just a few days ago. I’ll refer her back to you. And hopefully new writers will read that post along with the agent spotlight ones!
I had to look all over for this info when I first started writing. It’s nice to have a one-stop shop, and it feels so «official» coming from your blog. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. I wish I could find a concise post like this one for mystery and romance. I’ve been pretty obsessed with this issue lately as I’ve been contemplating whether my middle grade fantasy was too long. I asked agents on blogs and like you said, did get some conflicting answers.
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