re: Why Aren’t Chapter Books on Agents’ Wish Lists?

in Submissions by

Dear Editor…

I’ve written a couple of chapter books and would like to find an agent. However, very few list “chapter books” as something they look for. Should I query agents who say they represent “PB, MG and YA,” assuming that chapter books fit in between the PB and MG so the agent would be interested?

Thanks so much.
Heather

Dear Heather…

Here’s the deal: Today’s chapter book market is dominated by series, and publishers are more likely to commit to multiple books by an author who is already established and thus probably already repped by an agent. This is why agents aren’t actively prowling for new chapter book writers. So it’s on you to hunt them down. Study the websites and acknowledgement pages of established chapter book authors to identify their agents. Then study those agents’ websites, blogs, and online interviews to see if their literary sensibilities match your own. Build your submission list this way, expanding the list to children’s book agents with your literary sensibilities even if they don’t already rep an established chapter book author. If your project is well-conceived and well-written, it doesn’t matter if “chapter books” are on the agent’s declared wish list or not—they’ll want it. I’m watching a likely chapter book sign-up unfold for a debut author even as I type this.

Happy writing!
The Editor

6 Comments

  1. Do love to read about others getting a shot at being published. I hope it works out for the unfolding chapter book author. Nice.

  2. I had an agent suggest trying to publish a series of chapter books before I tried to publish a literary picture book. I think the key is having more than one chapter book ready to present to an agent.

  3. Are all Chapter Books eventually more successful as a series of books about the same characters or neighborhood?

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