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Chapter book word count

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Does anyone know the rough word count for a chapter book for ages 7-10. Ar book finder and other resources are showing a big range. It's so confusing! Plus there are always exceptions to the rules, right?
#1 - October 24, 2015, 04:38 PM

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#2 - October 24, 2015, 06:38 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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I attended a webinar last week with Amy Cloud from Aladdin. She edits chapter books. For them, chapter books aimed at 7-10 year olds come in at between 6,000-8,000 words. For 6-9 year olds, the word count is a bit less.
#3 - October 25, 2015, 06:01 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
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I attended a webinar last week with Amy Cloud from Aladdin. She edits chapter books. For them, chapter books aimed at 7-10 year olds come in at between 6,000-8,000 words. For 6-9 year olds, the word count is a bit less.

Hi JodyJS,
That sounded interesting. Who held the webinar? I would like to participate in something like that.
#4 - October 27, 2015, 06:13 PM

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It was organized by the Texas-BrasosValley SCBWI. I might have heard about it on the blueboards; can't remember. It was good.
#5 - October 27, 2015, 06:24 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
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Neat. Would you have to live near Texas to be allowed to participate in the webinar?
#6 - October 27, 2015, 06:28 PM

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I don't think so. I don't. I live in Missouri. It only cost $10 and lasted 1.5 hours. She took participants' questions at the end. And now we have one month to sub to her.
#7 - October 27, 2015, 07:44 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
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This is a great post on word count to refer to - http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html
#8 - October 28, 2015, 08:22 AM
KICK! JUMP! CHOP! THE ADVENTURES OF THE NINJABREAD MAN, Sterling Publishing 2017
BEDTIME MONSTER, Raven Tree Press
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Hi,
Does a chapter book need to be part of a series to find appeal with a publisher/agent? :goldstar
#9 - December 03, 2015, 01:04 AM

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Hi Ali,

I was on the Amy Cloud webinar too. From that and what I've heard generally, chapter books are a tough sell unless they have series potential.

That doesn't mean that you have to have written the whole series, but that your character and concept lend themselves to additional books.

Good luck!

Kirsten
#10 - December 03, 2015, 06:25 AM
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Would the Sammy Keyes mystery books fall into chapter books? Or just MG?
#11 - December 03, 2015, 07:25 AM

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Ali, I sold a single chapter book to Aladdin P!X. But I submitted it as a PB, and was asked if I would adapt it to a CB. I haven't got notes from the editor yet so I don't know how long the rewrite will be. (the PB was only about 500 words)
#12 - December 03, 2015, 09:09 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
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Also, if you do have an idea for a CB series, you can write up a proposal. For my KPC series (4 book deal) I submitted a proposal that included a brief series overview (like an elevator pitch), synopsis for the first book, character bios, and three additional synopses (all 1-3 lines) for possible future books. I also included the ms for the first book, and some art samples. If you are not an illustrator as well you do not need to include the art samples, of course.

Hope that helps!
#13 - December 03, 2015, 09:14 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
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Wow!
Artemesia, congratulations. So the proposal was an overview of the whole series? But only around 35 words? And then 3 synopses for additional three books? Correct? I've never done a proposal.   :sadcry
#14 - December 04, 2015, 05:48 AM

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Hi,
Thank you all for the helpful info! I have a 9,000-word story, initially written with a chapter book in mind. But a few people have suggested that I pitch it as an early middle-grade.
#15 - December 04, 2015, 06:32 AM

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Ali, 9000 words is on the upper end of the chapter book spectrum. MGs are usually around 25-45k, even longer if it's a fantasy. But more than word count, it's content and reading difficulty that will better define what you have.

Hairaplenty, yes, the overview was a one sentence concept pitch. I'm on my phone right now but later I'll dig it up and post the overview here to give you an idea. The proposal was about 3 or 4 pages, including character bios, and 3-sentence book synopses. I also had a complete ms (the initial sub package was only a sample chapter, but after the editor expressed interest I wrote the whole ms for her to take to acquisitions), and art samples.

ETA: Here is the series overview.

In the city of Fowladelphia, one chicken stands against injustice. Armed with amazing abilities, a super-snug super suit, and a plucky sidekick, Kung Pow Chicken is the ultimate superhero...or at least he would be if not for scary clowns, leotard wedgies and a super over-protective mother.
#16 - December 04, 2015, 08:01 AM
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 08:48 AM by Artemesia »
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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In the city of Fowladelphia, one chicken stands against injustice. Armed with amazing abilities, a super-snug super suit, and a plucky sidekick, Kung Pow Chicken is the ultimate superhero...or at least he would be if not for scary clowns, leotard wedgies and a super over-protective mother.


 :dr Well, that is just impossible to resist!
#17 - December 04, 2015, 10:46 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
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 :thanx
#18 - December 04, 2015, 10:50 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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You had me at Fowladelphia.

 :grin3
#19 - December 04, 2015, 01:18 PM

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 :lol4
#20 - December 04, 2015, 01:25 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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Wow! What a pitch, Artemesia--Leotard wedgies!   :lol4
"Hairaplenty, yes, the overview was a one sentence concept pitch. I'm on my phone right now but later I'll dig it up and post the overview here to give you an idea. The proposal was about 3 or 4 pages, including character bios, and 3-sentence book synopses. I also had a complete ms (the initial sub package was only a sample chapter, but after the editor expressed interest I wrote the whole ms for her to take to acquisitions), and art samples."
The 3 to 4 pages was an overview of more than one book? Each proposed book was a 3 sentence book synopsis similar to the one you posted? And did you supply the art samples? Are you an artist? I am not! Sorry to be so slow on this. I'm such a visual learner that I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. I've had this idea for years! (YEARS!) and would like to revisit.    :yourock
#21 - December 06, 2015, 09:38 AM

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Thanks!  :moose And yes, I did the art samples. I'm also an illustrator. If you are not, you don't need to worry about art samples, of course.

Here is the basic structure of the proposal I submitted for KPC:



Author Name
Agent name & agency (if represented)




Series title: TITLE

Series Overview:

         One to two sentence pitch.



Tagline: one line

Volume One: TITLE

   1-3 sentence synopsis



CHARACTER BIOS:

Character name:

Paragraph character description.

(as many character bios as needed for the major charcters)




Additional Synopses:

Title: TITLE

1-3 line synopsis


(as many synopses as needed, I included 3 additional synopses here)



When it was all filled out, it was 3 pages (plus the ms and art samples). This was tailored specifically to what the publisher asked for as we were responding to a call for submissions (this would be 3 years ago now I think). It was an exclusive submission, so I would definitely check the submission guidelines for each individual publisher and modify as needed. Some may require outlines, or have other specific instructions. My agent hasn't subbed a series proposal widely for me yet (my other CB was subbed as a PB, but we got an offer to turn it into a CB) so I don't know if I would have had to do it differently for each editor, or if we'd have subbed a basic proposal and then waited to see if the editors wanted more materials. If you are querying agents, I'm not sure if you would query the one ms and say you think it has series potential, or also sub a series proposal with the ms. Others here might be able to answer that. I fell into CBs by accident; I queried my agent with picture books, so I only have my own experience to draw on.

But I hope this is helpful!
#22 - December 06, 2015, 01:16 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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Artemesia-
So helpful--Thanks so much for your time and expertise.
 :thankyou
#23 - December 06, 2015, 09:10 PM

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 :curtsy
#24 - December 06, 2015, 09:17 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

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