Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Word Count for Writers: Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult and More


Word Count/Page Count and More

If you're a writer just starting out, you might have a lot of questions. Some might involve craft, how to create a story, how to develop a character or just how to even begin the process. I'll try to cover those issues over the next few months but I wanted to start with some basic information today about "required" Word Count/Page Length in books.

"Required" is a loaded word because some people say the word count is whatever it takes to tell the story. That might be true in a creative sense but, if you eventually want to get your book published, you'll want to follow some general guidelines that will make your book more attractive to agents, editors and publishers. 

I have looked at publishing links, agent blogs and expert recommendations to gather some basic guidelines to follow. Here’s what I’ve found:


Board Books should be no more than 100 words

Early Picture Books should be a maximum of 400 words

Picture Books should be up to 600 words

Nonfiction Picture Books can be longer at 3,000 words max, but try to keep it closer to 1,000 to 2,000 words

Early Readers are 1,500 words is the max

Chapter Books vary widely based on the audience but usually they start at 4,000 words and max out at 15,000 words

(Additional information according to Scholastic)

Middle Grade Books are for kids in 3rd-6th grade with age ranges of 6-11 years.

Word Count Length: 30-50K words

Young Adult Books: are for kids in 7-12th grade with age ranges of 12-18 years.   

Word Count Length: 50-75K words


Chapter Books are typically 35-65 pages 

Low-Middle Grade Books are 45-90 pages

General Middle Grade Books are 90-120 pages

Young Adult Books are 150-200 pages

And, if you’re curious about chapter length, check out Mary Kole’s 2017 blog post: Children'sBook Manuscript Chapter Length | Kidlit

Helpful links:

FrequentlyAsked Questions about Children's Writing (

According to Writing World  FrequentlyAsked Questions about Children's Writing (

According to Mary Kole at ManuscriptLength: How Long Should a Children's Book Be? | Kidlit:

(According to Writing World:

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