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How long is your sequel?

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inspired007

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I've completed the first draft of my mg sequel.  It's currently 26K words.  My first book to the story is completed at 37K words. I still have some more layering to do which could add as many as 2-3K more words.  My goal is 30K, but it possible it could end up shorter.

Is there a typical industry guideline for how long sequels and subsequent series books should be.  Should it be similar to the first?   :thankyou
#1 - January 05, 2009, 07:51 AM

I would think if you can get it to 30-32 K you're not far off.

Is this series sold? If not, don't worry about it. You'll need to get an agent for the first book and the agent can guide you in the second one. It's sticky to work too much on a full series without selling the first one.
#2 - January 05, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Published by Penguin & Flux:
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inspired007

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I would think if you can get it to 30-32 K you're not far off.

Is this series sold? If not, don't worry about it. You'll need to get an agent for the first book and the agent can guide you in the second one. It's sticky to work too much on a full series without selling the first one.

No,the book's not sold yet.  Just keeping up the writing just in case.
#3 - January 05, 2009, 09:44 AM

Gotcha. I say wait until the story is complete. If that is 30K, then so be it. The key is just making sure teh story has everything it needs.

 Then get started in your querying. Many people sell series/two book deals without even STARTING the second book, so you're ahread of the game.

Next, I'd say start somethign totally fresh and independant, so that while you're working at getting an agent for book 1, you have a back-up plan.
#4 - January 05, 2009, 10:06 AM
Agent with D4EO Lit
Published by Penguin & Flux:
PRADA & PREJUDICE
YOU WISH
BUT I LOVE HIM
RIPPLE
IN TOO DEEP
DANGEROUS BOY

SarahP

Guest
My agent says within about 15% either way and you're okay.

My first book was 55K, the second in the series was around 50K, and nobody's had a problem with that. 

Good luck!!
#5 - January 05, 2009, 11:24 AM

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I think Sarah's 15% rule is probably about right.  Three of my YA's have sequels- I just looked up their word counts and here you go:

Golden is 59,000 words; Platinum, its sequel was 48,000 (so just under a 20% difference there)
The first Squad book is 68k; its sequel is 81k (about 20% difference again)
Tattoo is 56k; its sequel is..ummmm... 84k (50% longer...sheesh)

A few readers have complained about Platinum seeming short- but I've never had anyone complain about a sequel being longer.  Hope this helps!
#6 - January 05, 2009, 11:43 AM

inspired007

Guest
Well, I've finished the sequel and it needs to be edited and critiqued.  By no means do I have a finished copy yet, but right now it sits nicely at about 30K.
#7 - January 13, 2009, 08:07 PM

I think as long as you stay close, it's fine. I wasn't given direction on how long the sequel needed to be, but FWIW Book #1 is 85,000 words and Book #2 (as of right now, before editorial revisions) is 90,000.

Good luck on the agent hunt!
#8 - March 13, 2009, 07:57 AM

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I can add that my sequels for FLUX used to have the luxury of being as long as I wrote them. But for my DEAD GIRL books, I had to cut when I went over 65,000 words. Due to paper costs, word length is specific for some publishers.
#9 - March 13, 2009, 09:43 AM
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Chelsea

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Interesting thread!  I have to admit to a lot of pointless word count obsessing... especially with my mg book that's about 36k.  I keep telling myself it's okay for middle grade, but I looked up tons of text stats on Amazon to see if there were books shorter than mine!  (Coraline and Cricket in Times Square were the ones I found before I made myself stop worrying about it.)

My ya book that's coming out next spring is about 80k (60k first draft + 20k for extended, revised version), and I'm estimating its sequel will end up somewhere in the 80-90k range.
#10 - March 25, 2009, 10:46 PM

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