You are here:

Writing Books/story not long enough


What length does a book for teens have to be.I am sure that I am a good enough writer to get a book published but I'm more used to writing short stories.How do I make my book as long as possible.

Dear Em,

There's really no "specific" length for a book for teens, except that of course it has to be much shorter than a heavy-duty novel that many reading fanatics like me can get into, that's for sure! I remember my attention span when I was a teen, and it was limited, to say the least! SMILE

I just edited a book for inner-city adolescents/teens, and in published form, it came to 212 pages.

Now, bear in mind that the publisher will often "space it out" to lengthen it -- this book, for example, is set in wide, 13-point type; there's a "design" above every chapter heading; and every chapter starts mid-page.

Another good thing to do with this genre is to include a lot of dialogue, which of course takes up more space than endless narrative (which would be dull, anyway), and to also include "e-mails" from one character to another, which is set in a narrower format, with wider margins, and also must be in a different typeface and font to distinguish itself from the rest of the book. It's also a good idea to use e-mail communication as dialogue because teens relate to that so strongly these days, and it's a good selling point because it will pull them in much faster than a book without it. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, but it works!

I hope that helps! Good luck, and if you feel the urge to write, NEVER, EVER talk yourself out of it because you may think you're not "good enough." Certain people are born writers, just like there are born pianists, religious or spiritual leaders, engineers, you name it.

If you have the desire to do this, you can. A good editor will straighten out any problems with the writing itself; a good writer comes up with the genesis of the book, the ideas. That's a talent. Use it!

All Best,
Catherine Van Herrin

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Catherine Van Herrin


I am an American-born, native English speaker with a BA in English and more than 26 years of professional editing, writing, and proofreading experience. I have edited several books and book-length manuscripts. References and titles available upon request.

For further work or assistance with larger projects, see my profile here, with 190 excellent reviews: WordChannel Professional Reviews, Ratings

I can use British-English or American-English, and I am very familiar with Chicago and AP style.


More than 26 years' U.S. publishing industry experience, editorial (print). I provide crystal-clear, clean grammar; strict attention to style, consistency, flow, logic, accuracy, and spelling, and I work quickly and efficiently.

I do not format or provide technical assistance in publishing books. I use MS Word only.

If I can help you further, contact me at the website above (create a job request) or write to me at My rate is $0.008 per word. Send requests/inquiries to I accept currency only through PayPal, with 50% of the total at project initiation; the balance is due upon project completion.

Editorial Freelancers' Association, USA

AA, Liberal Arts, Anderson College, Anderson, South Carolina. BA, English, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Post-graduate concentration: Post-war Irish poetry and early 18th century English fiction, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked with authors in the UK, Canada, the US, and several other countries. References and titles available on request.

©2017 All rights reserved.