How Long Should an eBook be

When you decide to publish your book, one of the major concerns is the length of it. As a writer, you wonder if your book is too long, short, or if there is a perfect length. The first aspect to understand is that there is no perfect length for a book.

As far as eBooks go, there is no set length for it. The length varies depending on the genre and word count. Still there are a few factors to be taken into account before you decide how long your eBook should be.

Length of Print Books vs. eBooks

The concept of length is poles apart as far as print books and eBooks are concerned.

Firstly, page length and word count matter a lot as far as print books. It was an issue to print lengthy books mainly because of the printing cost. The cost automatically increases and so does the cost for binding it.

Printing is never an issue with eBooks. The digitization has helped immensely benefitted many writers and publishers. The publishing house no longer has to go into the process of printing and binding, they can publish an eBook with lesser time and effort. Writers also now have the amazing option to self-publish their eBooks.

Secondly, the size of a book mattered in traditional books. The physical size of the book still matter in Bookstores. It is a commonly believed that lengthier the book, more the potential for sales value when it is placed on a Bookstore.

The physical dimensions are irrelevant as far as eBooks are concerned. You can go through any type of eBooks in eBook stores at any time. When you go through eBook store and scan a couple of eBooks, you would notice that the length differs heavily for different eBooks.

Finally, the length of a print book is seen with the number of pages. The page countdecided the size of the book. In turn, the printing design and cost varied according to the size of the book.

It is not the same case with eBooks. Word count is seen while producing an eBook. It is mainly because the normal page in a print book might be short when read as eBook. The other reason being the length also differs according to various eReaders and devices. For instance, a page might be 450 words in iPad; the same page would be 200 words in Kindle, and 150 words in other devices. 

eBook Length by Genre

eBook length can be long or short. Today, it is possible to publish an eBook with any length. Still, there are factors that influence the length of an eBook. The genre mostly decides the length of any book for that matter. A poetry compilation might be shorter than an autobiography, or a novel.

Different genres demand different lengths. Most literary genres have an expected word count or length.  For instance, a historical fiction might run longer than a young adult fiction. As a writer, it is always better to have an understanding of the expected word count or length of a specific genre. So, that you are aware of the need and don’t fall short or too long.

Here is a general list of average word count for different genres for eBooks:

  • Micro-fiction: 100 words
  • Flash Fiction: 100- 1000 words
  • Short Story: 1,000- 7000 words
  • Novellas: 7000- 30000 words
  • Novels: 50000- 110000 words
  • Picture books: 500-600 words
  • Memoir: 40,000- 90,000 words

eBook Word Count & Price

There are several factors that influence the pricing of an eBook. Factors such as, author’s popularity, royalty percentage, length of an eBook and apparent quality, and the price of other eBooks in the same genre affect the pricing.

eBook length is one among the factors. Word count is taken into consideration when the pricing of an eBook is fixed. The pricing of eBooks varies according to the length or word count. For instance, longer eBooks are generally priced more than shorter eBooks.

A creative fiction or novel that runs to 50,000 words would be priced under $2.99, and a full-length novel that runs to more than 1, 00,000 words would be priced more than that. But it is always advisable not to price it beyond $9.99 because it might be too expensive, and in turn, will affect the sales.

A non-fiction eBook might be priced higher than fiction because of its content. It might be shorter in length than fiction eBooks but since the writing would’ve demanded more research and fact-checking. The value of the content is assessed more here.

Also, longer eBooks are generally priced more since there is more time and effort is added to the creation of it. But, if it is your debut in publishing, it is always better not to price it too-high even if it is lengthy because not a lot of readers would take that chance with a new writer.

eBooks can be any Length

Your eBooks can be of any length. It can be a novella with 8,000 words, or a non-fiction eBook with 90,000 words. As a writer, you have the freedom to decide the length of your book. But it is always better to understand the above mentioned factors that decide the length of your eBook.

If you’re an aspiring writer seeking to publish, before you get into the process, do a little more digging. It would be beneficial for you to come to a decision about the length.

1. Understand Reader’s Expectation

Readers are always better judges of your book. They invest time, money, and effort in reading an eBook, so their review about it might be more genuine.

For instance, readers might get lost if a romance novel runs too long, or if a crime thriller ends too soon. Readers might get slightly disappointed with the whole experience.

As a writer, it is your job to make your eBook an engaging experience. So, do a little more research to understand the expectations. Know more about the other books in the same genre, and also be aware of the reviews by the readers. You can get different types of feedback and perceptions by many readers.

2. Do Market Research

It sounds like a non-creative task for a writer. But, it is better to be prepared, and be aware of the genre standards and expectations. Look at recently published titles in the same genre, compile a list, and find the average length of the eBooks.

It will enhance your understanding of genre standards, and also get to know the average length or word count. It is a task that demands more time and effort, but the results are rewarding.

Also, do more research on the pricing as well. Look at the price of other eBooks in the same genre to understand the pricing standards. It helps you come to an informed decision while pricing your eBook.

You can plan the length of your eBook according to all these factors and research.Since, there is no perfect length for an eBook, let the story decide however long it should be. 

3. Use Probable Word Count

Have a schedule planned in place so that it becomes easier to create an eBook. You ought to do some planning which will help you decide the word count and even the flow of the manuscript.

Before you sit to write your eBook, have an action plan which will include these factors:

  • Create a Table of Contents
  • Have a chapter outline.
  • Have the evaluated length of similar eBooks of your genre.
  • Determine the estimated length of your eBook.
  • Determine estimated length of each chapter.

 Have a rough and brief idea about these factors so that it helps you while creating your eBook. When you have these ideas in place, you have a fairly good idea of the length of your eBook.

You can plan the length of your eBook according to all these factors and research.Since, there is no perfect length for an eBook, let the story decide however long it should be. 

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