Ask Daphne! How do I categorize my tween novel?

December 5th, 2008 • Kate

Some comfy but trendy sneaks for Beth, who writes:

After much revision, I’ve got what I can only classify as a “tween” novel–a bit above MG, a bit below YA. How should I query this? There don’t seem to be any agents who are looking for tween novels, and the genre still seems rather new. Should I just hit YA and MG agents and hope one will look at something in between? Should I call it something else, even though I think it is mostly tween?

My gut reaction? Call it a MG novel and target agents looking for that. Remember that publishers market books that they figure kids will read up to — so a tween novel will be directed towards a slightly younger audience than your protagonists’ ages. If you call it YA, and if it were published as such, there’s a chance it would miss its major market.
Or just think of it this way: “tween” is just shorthand for “between,” right? And what’s more “between” than something in the middle, like middle grade? Hope that helps!
In other news, though I plan to be reading over the Christmas holiday, I won’t be online quite as much. I may set up some automatic posts to go up while I’m gone, but the web monkey and I are still working on that. And email will be answered only if it’s of the utmost importance, or not at all.
Which is to say, if you please, so I don’t have an enormous pile of queries waiting for me after the holidays, rather than sending me a query that you know I won’t get to between December 20th and January 5th, consider taking those extra two weeks to polish it, and send it after the new year.
What are your holiday plans?

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5 Responses to “Ask Daphne! How do I categorize my tween novel?”

  1. lotusloquax Says:

    Holiday plans include slashing and polishing my ms–no queries from me till that is done.
    Thanks for the info on the 'tween novel. Mine is really more YA. I've been trying to figure out what really makes up the YA books and blogged about it today. After all that discussion from your last post, I felt I just had to take it to my own platform. Have a great weekend.

  2. Julia Says:

    Letting my NaNo novel simmer on the back burner and continue working on revisions on my 1st book.
    Oh, I might celebrate my birthday and Christmas while I'm at it, too! :^)

  3. yellowbrick08 Says:

    Taking a week off and plan to use it to (hopefully) finish revising my novel.
    As well as Christmas presents, more turkey, egg nog… all the good stuff. My favorite time of the year.
    Best wishes to everyone!

  4. Kiersten White Says:

    Hopefully finishing up my newest novel, and definitely polishing my cover letter. And getting really, really nervous and excited for January, when my agent starts submitting my book!

  5. suzanne72 Says:

    Heading to Vermont for sledding, snowmobiling, long walks to the sugar shack through the snowy forest, followed by puzzles, Scrabble and Boggle fireside. Amazing meals, big hugs and lots of family fun.
    Happy Holidays!