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Just this week, someone asked me:
How long should an e-book be?
I didn’t really have a definite answer—because there is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the length of an e-book.
The biggest consideration in length for an e-book should be this:
How many words are needed to say what needs to be said?
Don’t panic! You don’t have to know the exact answer to this question right now. But your goal for an e-book should be to clearly communicate your message or tell your story. Once that is accomplished, you can set your price point accordingly.
If your e-book is nonfiction, your readers will likely purchase it to gain information or inspiration. If it’s fiction, they purchase it to hear a good story. Think of your book from the reader’s viewpoint. When a person reads it, will they feel that it accomplishes those goals? Whether the book is 6,000 or 40,000 words, when the reader reaches the last page, will there be a sense of satisfaction and completion? Or have you included so much “fluff” that there isn’t much of substantive value?
If you are unsure whether you have found that sweet spot for your book’s length, ask a few trusted people for input. Choose people from your target audience as well as people who have knowledge of the e-book market.
The bottom line:
When it comes to choosing a length for your e-book, it’s really all about quality content.
During this series, we’re chatting about everything self-publishing—design, branding, marketing, formats—you name it! Pulling questions from Design by Insight clients, Re:Write Conference attendees, and you, we’ll take a look at what can often be a confusing and potentially overwhelming subject. Have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave it in the comments below!