“Official” word counts for the various kidlit formats vary slightly, depending on where you look, but here are general guidelines. If your count differs greatly, you may need to consider revising your manuscript or accept that finding a publishing home for it may be challenging. Preferences may vary by publisher/agent, so pay attention to industry chatter and submission guidelines.
- Board books: under 100
- Fiction picture books: under 1,000 (ideal 200-500)
- Nonfiction picture books: under 3,000 (ideal 1,000-2,000)
- Early reader books: 100-2,500 (check publisher guidelines)
- Chapter books: 3,000-12,000
- Middle grade novels: 20,000-35,000 (upper MG: 40,000-55,000 )
- Young adult novels: 55,000-80,000