What's the Age Group for Your Target Audience?
When writing books for kids, it’s important to establish which age group you are targeting. The way you construct your book will be dependent on the age group you select.
How Many Pages Should a Children's Book Be?
The number of pages should correlate to the age group you are targeting. The industry standard page count for ages 3‑8 is 32 pages, while ages 5‑10 can range from 32‑64 pages. These numbers are just averages, so if your page count is short or exceeds these standards, then that is fine!
What is the Average Word Count for a Children's Book?
The philosophy of less is more applies when writing books for kids. If you are trying to target a young age group, like babies and toddlers aged 0‑3, you should rely heavily on pictures, rather than text. You may even choose to create a picture book with no text. The older the age group, the more text you can include. Think about the average attention span for your age group and what they can handle.
Picture books for children ranging from 4‑6 average 1,000 words or less. Books for ages 5‑9 contain around 2,500 words. Chapter books for 7-, 8-, and 9‑year‑olds range from 10,000‑12,000 words. Short novels or middle grade novels are generally 20,000‑25,000 words for ages 10‑12. There are always exceptions to these averages but for first time writers, use these wordcounts as a framework for your story length.
What’s the Best Font Size?
Rather than the standard 11 or 12pt font for chapter books, a larger font should be used for kids’ books. When laying out your book, try using font sizes 16‑24pt. For the youngest age groups, a larger font is especially important, while older age groups can be smaller.
Tips for Editing and Refining Your Copy
When editing your children’s book, keep the age demographic in mind. Does that secondary character take away from the main plot? Do you need to swap out a few larger words to make the language easier for kids learning to read? Should that comma go there?
It helps to have a second set of eyes review your content before you send it off to the printers. Have a trusted friend, well-read family member, or even a professional editor review your content. You can ask them to check for any grammatical errors or suggestions on how to refine your story.
Using Pictures and Illustrations to Aid Storytelling
Illustrations are an important aspect of children’s books. They are essential in capturing the essence of what your book is about. Visual aids will help in a child’s understanding in what the text is demonstrating. If you are not an artist, you may need to hire an illustrator. Think about the look you are going for. It helps to have a color scheme and style in mind, too.