Book Writing, Self Publishing, and Marketing Coach

How Long Should your eBook Be? 4 Answers

I get this question often as a book coach, so I decided to let you know my 2 cents.

There’s no hard and fast rule on what length an ebook should be, but from my 12 years as a book coach online, I know these ideas will help you decide.

Decide Which Number is Best for your eBook’s Purpose!

#1. A 10-20 page eBook is a good length if your purpose is to use it as a bonus to web visitors when they opt-in and subscribe to your site or ezine.

We call it an “ethical bribe.” This book can also be sold as a leader on Kindle for 99 cents or $2.99, depending on its specific help to the readers. General titles don’t usually sell as well as specific ones. Within these low cost or no cost ebooks, you need to add some powerful promo that leads the reader to check out your print books and other packages and services.

#2. A 30-120 page eBook (best under 100 pages usually) can sell well.

Especially if it offers specific information your audience has to have! Then, sell it at a higher price from $15.95 to $39.95. Higher for ebook courses and other training packages.

#3. A 20-30 page eBook with a specific title and specific audience can sell well through Kindle from $2.99 to $9.99 for best commissions.

#4. Aim for your sweet spot.

It could be 70 pages or 99 pages. If you book is offered at your site in PDF you have an advantage because it’s totally downloadable and printable, and can be ordered any time. Most buyers will print up to 70 pages of a book if they want it bad enough.

Since ebook opportunities are everywhere, you can get started today with any of these choices!

Judy Cullins’ Bio: My life’s mission and passion is to help unknown authors create the income they deserve, build their confidence, writing skills, and marketing tactics to get their unique, useful story out to their book’s audience who wants an outstanding life and work.

If you have a comment, please leave it. You’ll make my day!

Learn how to get your ebook finished and selling today by downloading Judy’s most popular ebook!

  • http://www.enosrussellblog.com Enos Russell

    Hi – I like what you'e doing here for writers. My questions is, the article about length of stories refers to 'pages'. Since e-books are not formatted with pages in mind (and don;t use page numbers) please consider adding a word count.
    Thanks!
    E L Russell

  • summit4sucess

    Thanks for the post and reminder to get started ! Very helpful , think I will start with a short ebook first.

  • http://www.jerryxshea.com Jerry X Shea

    My oh my oh my – Judy, what has happened to the "literary world?" What was once a "PR release" now has to be a "E-book" that we should sell first? How sad. So if someone writes a book (a real book of 250-350 pages) on "How to cook a Great Meal in under 30 Minutes" they need to do a e-book first to attract the reader? Something like "The Right Fork for Eating Pasta" that they will sell for 99 cents to get the "reader" to want to spend $15.95 – $39.95 for the whole book. Have I got it? And for this we will just call it an "ethical bribe." Judy, I know you are just the "messenger" on this "snake oil salesmenship" (Note: this internet page says salesmenship is not a word – it comes right after salesman in the dictionary) for books, but with 12 years in the business you must really cringe when you see what people are posting for "quick money" in selling books. I find the whole Internet book selling of "short books" very sad. Then again it is just proof that the attention span for a book these days really is only 10-20 pages.

  • http://www.jerryxshea.com Jerry X Shea

    Hi Judy – I sure hope your are on a weekend vacation. If not – why have you not posted my response to your "How long should your E-book be?"

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Jerry, I'm so glad this article helped you grow a new backbone. Now I've added some questions to qualify my "buyer" and they're working well! One guy hired me instantly aftter I posed the questions. He was so impressed with my approach! Glad to be of service!____IF you didn't already, please join my site and get more answers each week by email at my site.

  • http://thehomemakerhelperseriesblog.blogspot.com/ Diane Ziomek

    Thank you Judy! I have written a couple of eBooks and am working on another. The hardest part for me is pricing, as I cannot justify charging a lot of money for an electronic book. Having printed copies of my books also available, I know what my profit margin is and I can sell an eBook for one third the price of the printed book and still make money.

    I do admit to needing more assistance with the marketing aspect, which will undoubtedly increase sales.

  • http://www.getselfandhealth.com Donniel

    This is exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you for making it simple and clear!

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Donniel, So gad you got value from this one. Simple and clear–good way to write books, blogs or promo! I hope you'll join me fo my weekly free gems at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.p

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Diane, Did you subscribe to my weeklt free info on making money with books?

    I hope you'll join me fo my weekly free gems at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.p

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Jerry–KI do post answers every few days. So sorry for this negligence! Sounds like you a traditional guy. I was too from 1980-2000. Had a leasrning curve and I disagree with you that ebooks are part of snake oil mkg. My 25 years as a devoted book coach shows others, who are willing, to discov er discover more producrive approaches to book marketing.

    I don't go for quick money–and warn those who think books will bring quick money! (lose some clients this way too)

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Enos, We don't use word count for ebooks–not like traditional publishing. You can see page numbers in PDF ebooks for sure.

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    So gal you stopped by and sorry for late response!

  • http://www.iprojectconfidence.com deborah

    Hi Judy,
    Thanks for the to the point article! I’m researching putting some of my information from my classes into an ebook format, and this helped. :) have a great day!

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Deborah, Thanks for your comments. I hope you’ll come by again! What are you researching? Ebooks are great to market your classes.

  • http://www.kathysart.com Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

    This is all so inspiring! After reading this and several other of your blogs this morning I realized that I CAN do this! I can create the books I planned in an EBook. I have been a fan of yours for a long time but not until now had I considered how your advice fit my work as a visual artist. Light bulb! I think I have a plan now. Thank you!

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Kathy, I’m so glad my info is useful to your work as a visual artist. what is your specialty? The promotion is often the same with books and art.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rQagmoFthA Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

    I am a figurative artist. I paint in oils primarily and also sculpt. Attached is my sculpture youtube. I write a lot of poetry and used to post them on ezines but stopped posting them on those as it began to not make sense to me anymore. I did it because I read it was a good way to improve my SEO. Maybe it did but I really was not sure. Another thing that caused me to stop was a promotion the major ezine had to write 100 articles in 100 days. I did that once and then realized how inferior my writing was in that effort and so that was that. Creativity should never be tainted by a contest I feel. The sales I got off one of my websites selling posters and cards never really did that well for all my posting on ezines either. I don’t offer enough products on my website and need to redo it so I cannot blame it all on ezines not working for me. It was actually on a Ezine Article blog I found out about you, someone in the know said you were the best at what you did. I have followed you ever since. I may have conveyed that to you on Twitter before. I wrote on another one of your blogs that I am inspired to create EBooks with my poetry and illustrations. I have done that as a free gift on one of my websites but only as a coloring book and letter from the tooth fairy. Happy today, Kathy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rQagmoFthA

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Kathy, this made my day! What haunting, yet beautiful sculptures you’ve created. I noticed you got over 880 responses. That’s good.

    I am so moved by the sculptures there. What a gift. I sure hope someone big sees it and helps you get noticed!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rQagmoFthA Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

    Thank you so much Judy.. wow I feel special! Thank you for that.

  • Ken Hughes

    Hi Judy

    Thanks for your insight.

    I’m helping my partner Kathy put an ebook(s) of short stories/fast fiction/quick reads (stories of a few thousand words) together (Kathy’s stories are published in uk women’s magazines such as Womens Weekly, Take a Break etc). I have not found anything on amazon kindle /smashwords that provides a definition ie number of words, word count per page, number of pages required for a ebook, it’s an area of epublishing that seems poorly defined.

    My question is – would your rules about ebook length apply to a ebook containing five stories of 2000 words(each) and say 30 page in total?

  • http://www.bookcoaching.com Judy Cullins

    Hi Ken – Yes, this count works for your stories in 30 pages. It’s not etched in stone though.

  • http://www.freelanced.com/nathanleesellar Nathan

    Hello, do you have any formatting tips for example, single spaced, double spaced, spaces between paragraphs, paragraph indentation?

  • Ronni Graham

    I’m so glad to have found you! I signed up for your newsletter, looking forward to receiving them and reading more from you! Thanks so much! -Ronni

  • judycullins

    Welcome aboard! :)

  • Janet Arnold

    How wonderful to serendipitously find you this morning! In a ‘number of words’ search, I have hit a gold mine of info for the first timer! I have numerous ideas and adventures to write about. I am so glad that I found you. I appreciate your work and devotion to our craft. Thank you so much!
    Janet Arnold

  • Sarah

    Thank you for the info. I appreciate it. Thank you!

  • disqus_2SDpZ602iO

    Thanks!!

  • Kukata Kali

    I’m so lost in this process. I have a “short” but sweet book I’d like to publish in ebook form. I never knew it could be this difficult. Not sure what to do from here.

  • Ken Casey

    Wow, thanks for the ‘length in pages’ guideline, respective of type and content.

  • judycullins

    Hi Kukata,

    Yes, it it may look difficult now, but you need to keep reading good information on book writing and marketing and get ready to do your book the right way the first time. May I suggest you read this page on writing and marketing your book – http://bookcoaching.com/tips-writing-a-book2.php

    Invest time and money now, so your book will be a guaranteed success.

  • Dr. Niama L. Williams

    Just in the nick of time!!! I am preparing to write an ebook on ending homelessness (a personal, spiritual story) and wasn’t sure of the length I should aim for because it will be a freebie for those who sign up for my list. Thus a huge thank you is in order!!!! I am appreciative!!!

  • Teresa

    Just signed up and am looking forward to working with you. Yes, I am wanting to start making a living from writing. I have been informed, that I am in need of more practice in order to hone in on my skills as a writer. I am looking forward to working with you on this matter.

  • Andrea

    I’m formatting my first ebook (for sale, not opt-in) and am stuck on what platform I want to use. It seems it is simple and easy to format and create a PDF but when a person purchases it aren’t they then free to send it to their friends etc…Am I missing something? It seems like I should put in the extra learning time to format it and get it onto Amazon?

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