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Note 254 – How many words or pages should an ebook have?

Just before I trotted off to the library this lunchtime, I casually mentioned to a friend (and fellow writer) that I didn’t have a clue what the subject of my blog was going to be today. We started talking about how many days were left on my writing challenge and what I was going to do with all the writing tips afterwards.

I could repackage certain posts into ebooks as explained in Note 249 – Researching how to create ebooks from your blog content, but how many posts would I include?  The 366 posts that I will have written by the end of April 2012 could be split into several ebooks.  I googled it to find out more on this topic and as suspected, people have written some great articles on this subject.

The first article that caught my eye was called The Average Length of an ebook by Glen Ford on the website Publish you own  It looks like my question is a common question with no straight answer, but he does add that things are currently changing because of how easy it is to read ebooks online e.g. with the sale of the Kindle and the iPad.  I also learnt the following points from reading the article:

  • ebooks have historically only contained what a reader needs to know.  This is because it used to be difficult to read a lot of information online.
  • The length of an ebook also used to be short, about 20 pages or so, but never more than 100 pages.  Glen Ford explains that with the ease of reading ebooks this size will increase over time.  He writes that ebooks are “moving towards the same length as regularly published books. Self help ebooks need to be between 100 and 200 pages (twenty five to fifty thousand words) now”.
  • As far back as 2006, a question was posted on a forum called digital point: “How many words and pages is a good ebook?”.  A response by Astral Walker explained that ebooks could be as long as 200 pages, but stressed how important it is to know your audience and how much time they have to sit and read your ebook.
  • Now that publishers are converting their paper based books into ebooks, care needs to be taken not to price a short ebook (or report) at the same level.  I would imagine it is a difficult time to price your ebook and whilst this transitionary stage is going on, “the short ebook will need to be rebranded as what it really is (a report or white paper) in order to avoid consumer backlash” says Glen Ford.

I think I need to put a lot more thought into this.  Any tips from anyone would be handy here.

Thank you for your time today

Until tomorrow…

Freelance Writer

About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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