Posted by: nancyisanders | October 23, 2014

Writing Opportunity: Chapter Books

Remember when I ordered two sample chapter books from Kaeden Books?

That was just 10 days ago and my books arrived at my front door yesterday! They were very prompt to send them to me.

I don’t know why, but somehow it also made me feel good just to know they’re a real place with real products and real people.

Now that I’ve got those two chapter books in my hand, I’m going to start typing them into my computer.

I might end up typing up the whole things.


For one thing, doing this trains your brain to write at this level just as riding a bike with training wheels trains your brain to learn to ride a bike.

For another thing, I like to evaluate various key elements of a published book I’m using for my mentor text. It’s so much easier to accomplish this by having it in a word document where I can search and find, run a Flesch-Kincaid readability check on various portions, and check word counts on specific pages without having to count them by hand.

I recommend you do the same as we continue in upcoming posts with the nonfiction submission we’re preparing. Whether you’re just looking at the GOOGLE PREVIEWS of chapter books Kaeden has, or you’ve ordered in your own titles to really dig into, go ahead and start typing some of these puppies into your computer.

It’s a great exercise for any genre you’re working with!


  1. Hi, Nancy. Thanks for sharing all the helpful information.
    When you are typing the book, do you type a separate page for each page in the book?
    Do you line the text in rows exactly as it appears in the book?
    In other words, if you were to print out your typed text, would it present a layout exactly like the book’s?

    • Hi Sally, great questions! If you want to make a book mock-up, you can do it exactly as you say. Sometimes I do that if I don’t have the book in my hands. But more often I just type it out exactly how it appears in the book at a younger level with the line of text in rows the exact same way. Then I skip a line for the next book page and write it on the same manuscript page. This is because for readers at this level they only can handle 3 or 4 words per line.

      So when I submit my own manuscript to them I can line my text on my manuscript page in a similar way. If you want to read more about this I talk about it in my book, YES YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO WRITE BEGINNING READERS AND CHAPTER BOOKS in section 8.1 Sentence Structure and Vocabulary.

      Hope that helps!

    • Oh, Sally, I forgot to mention…when I type out a chapter book I don’t line the text on the page. That’s because they don’t break the text into chunks like for younger reading levels (such as THE BIRD FEEDER does). Hope that makes sense!

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I truly enjoy your helpful posts. How do you run a flesch-kinaid readability check on various portions of text once it is typed into a word document?
    Thank you,
    Carole Jenks

    • Thanks, Carole! I’ll tell you how to do that in the next post. It takes too long in a comment…so keep posted!

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