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Word count for chapter books. Please help.

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Hi,
I’m a little confused about the word count for chapter books. From a conference, Paula Sadler had given out a handout that said the word count could be between 5,000 to 13,000 words.
 I understand there are 2 ages for chapter books.  The one I’m targeting would be the younger audience around ages 6 to 9. I wrote 2 books for a chapter books series. The first book is around 7,600 words and the second book is around 6,800 words.
I went to another conference and told an agent about my chapter books series with the word count ranges and she was like “That’s kind of short for a chapter book. It should be near 10,000 words.”
I thought chapter books could have a lower word count as Paula Sadler had said. I guess it would be okay for her house, but now I’m confused about the others.
Do publishers want a higher word count for chapter books? What is the general word count? I don’t want to submit to multiple publishers if my word counts are too low. What do I do?


#1 - November 09, 2014, 01:58 PM

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This blog post by our very own literaticat is really useful in determining basic word counts. http://literaticat.blogspot.ca/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html

But yes, there is a difference between early or beginning chapter books and chapter books. My chapter books are geared to 5-7 year olds and are all under 3000 words. Others in the same Branches line as mine are as low as 750, some around 1700. The more advanced Branches line for 6-8 year olds are around 5-6000 words. (I used Branches as an example since I'm familiar with them)

I think these early chapter books are becoming more common. The gap from easy readers to chapter books was pretty wide, so early chapter books are (as far as I know) fairly new and are attempting to fill that gap.
#2 - November 09, 2014, 02:21 PM
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 02:27 PM by Artemesia »
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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Thanks, Artemesia!
#3 - November 09, 2014, 05:34 PM

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 :curtsy
#4 - November 09, 2014, 05:47 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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I've written chapter book series with three different publishers. My Supernatural Rubber Chicken books are each about 10,000 words. My Zeke Meeks books are 8,000-9,000 words. My Silver Pony Ranch books are 5,500 words.
#5 - November 09, 2014, 08:46 PM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

http://www.DebraLGreen.com

You can find word counts and other info about many chapter books (and other books) here:

https://www.renaissance.com/Store/quiz_home.asp#quicksearch

I find it to be a handy resource when I'm curious about the word count or reading level of a specific book.
#6 - November 10, 2014, 04:51 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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