How Long Should A Book Be?
The question about how long should a book be is a common one among aspiring authors.
A short eBook can be just as satisfying to read as a long eBook, and a short paperback is the same. The issue is really about giving the reader good value; it’s not about how long a book should be.
Nowhere can I find in the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) guidelines information about the minimum size for an eBook. They do not appear to set a minimum size.
KDP hasn’t set any definitive limits on the minimum length of a self-published Kindle eBook.
On the Amazon website, there is a category called Kindle Short Reads.
When you drill down a bit further you will see that Kindle Short Reads has a number of sub-categories. These categories are broken down into the length of time it takes to read an eBook and then the number of pages the eBook has.
- 15 minutes (1-11 pages)
- 30 minutes (12-21 pages)
- 45 minutes (22-32 pages)
- One hour (33-43 pages)
- 90 minutes (44-64 pages)
- Two hours or more (65-100 pages)
It is quite obvious that the minimum size for a short read eBook ranges from just a few pages to about 100 pages and the reading time ranges from 15 minutes to two hours. These Kindle Short Reads give you some idea of the acceptable sizes for Kindle eBooks.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about the best size for your eBook. There is no hard and fast rule with Kindle eBooks.
Try to ensure that your minimum word count is not lower than 2500 words – the length of a short-short story.
Amazon is more concerned with Kindle eBook file size rather than with word count or the number of pages. You can upload eBook manuscript files up to 650MB.
Focus on outlining your Kindle eBook, plot out the story or information, and decide how to best present the information. Then get into serious business of writing.
It doesn’t matter if your book is 2,500 words or 250,000 words the important thing to remember is to provide your readers with value.
For Paperbacks the Paperback Submission Guidelines in KDP state that the minimum page count for a paperback is 24 pages.
Does a paperback need to be 150-200 pages or more?
No. There is no hard and fast rule for how long a paperback should be.
The genre may impact the size of a paperback. Many illustrated children’s books are about 32 pages with just a few words and a lot of illustrations.
A short story could be at least 24 pages while a full-length novel could be 500 or 1000 pages.
For a non-fiction book, I personally try to aim for a minimum of 10,000 words. Depending on the size of the font and the number of illustrations or photographs a 10,000-word book can be anywhere between 50-100 pages.
But again there is no hard and fast rule.
A paperback book should be as long as is needed. What is being communicated to the reader should be told in as many words as it takes.
If you want the author name and the title to be on the spine of the book the paperback needs to be about 110 pages. Amazon specifies this, otherwise, a book with fewer pages is unlikely to have the information on the spine of the book.
There is no definitive answer to this question about how long a manuscript should be.
You could examine books in your genre and look at the number of pages. Model your book on some of these.
But ultimately the size of your paperback is your decision.
In a couple of weeks, I will be launching an online program of 52 weekly lessons on how to become a self-published author. In the meantime learn more about self-publishing in my Free Online Class.
Author and Coach