All About Middle Grade Novels: What Are the Chances That My Middle Grade Novel Will Get Published?

What Is A Middle Grade Novel?

“Middle-grade fiction refers to books written for readers between the ages of 8 and 12, while young adult fiction refers to books written for readers roughly between the ages of 12 and 18. It is important to understand that the terms do not refer to genre but instead are an age-based categorization that can apply to science fiction, mystery, coming-of-age, and other types of fiction. The terms reflect the reading level, world-view, thematic interests, and maturity of readers.” Here

Generally speaking, chapter books are at the reading level below middle grade novels.

What Is A Chapter Book? How Is It Different Than a Middle Grade Novel?

How Long Should A Middle Grade Novel Be?

Accoring to Jon S. Lewis, the length of a middle grade novel is best measured in its number of words. He added that there are at least 3 divisions of middle grade novels. Here

  • Upper Middle Grade: 60,000-90,000 words
  • General Middle Grade: 45,000-60,000 words
  • Lower Middle Grade: 20,000-45,000 words
  • Check out Jon’s post. He also lists several books in each of the above categories and relates how many words are in each of these books. For instance,

Ranking Page Count (Shortest to Longest)

  1. 114 Pages: Spiderwicke Chronicles: The Seeing Stone by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  2. 142 Pages: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  3. 208 Pages: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  4. 309 Pages: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  5. 320 Pages: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Ranking Estimated Word Count (Shortest to Longest)

  1. 15,504 Words: Spiderwicke Chronicles: The Seeing Stone by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  2. 26,128 Words: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  3. 44,924 Words: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  4. 99,840 Words: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  5. 103,824 Words: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  6. 109,824 Words: Grey Griffins: Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis
  7. 119,040 Words: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Hannah Holt tells us that several years of work are required to get most middle grade novels written and published Here.

“It took 75% of middle grade authors four or more years to publish their first book.”

The Big 5 Publishing Houses Are:

1-Penguin Random House
2-HarperCollins
3-Simon & Schuster
4-Hachette Book Group
5-Macmillan

Big 5 Books Sell Better:

Here are a few sub-categories: [in regards to middle grade novels]:

  • Large houses average debut copies sold: 22,800
  • Small houses with advance: 9,000 copies
  • Small houses without advance: 2,400 copies

Big 5 Books Are Paid Higher Advances:

Here are a few sub-categories: [in regards to middle grade novels]:

  • Average advance at a small house (with advance): $15,000
  • Average advance at a Big Five publisher: $32,000
  • Average advance for all authors without an agent: $3,000
  • Average advance for all authors with an agent: $27,000

 

And Here is the Greatest Reveal:

In almost every instance, writers need an agent to have any chance at all to be published by one of the Big 5.

I have read this almost everywhere that I looked, and the information was verified in my own conversation yesterday with an editor at a Big 5 publishing house.

Holt Says the Following about the Middle Grade Novels Published:

“Authors with agents typically have advances nine times higher than those without.”