Why the Length of Your eBook Matters Banner

Length matters! How many pages should your eBook be? There is no simple answer. There are various perspectives in which to view the question. How long does it take to capture and keep your reader’s attention? One could argue that it depends upon the genre.

Readers of fiction wish to identify with the characters, so if that doesn’t occur within the first few chapters, it won’t matter how powerful and compelling your book may be. Studies conducted by Jellybooks conclude that the percentage of readers that start books, lose interest, and don’t finish the book can be as high as 9 out of 10 readers! You may believe that your book is fascinating at 400 pages long; however your reader’s attention span may lend itself to only 175 pages.

Freelance writer Lee Masterson explains, that in most cases, the industry standard preferred length is 250 words per page, which means a 400-page novel would be about 100,000 words. If you want to see what size book is selling in your genre, take a look on the shelves or online.

Nonfiction is unique, in that readers may jump between chapters, which differentiates it from fiction, where the author wants the reader to read from start to finish. Educational tomes and cookbooks typically range from 192 pages to 392, which is on the high end.

Consider the Device

Another consideration is the medium on which it is being downloaded. Readers don’t care to download an eBook that bogs their device down. The size of the file correlates directly to the time it takes to download. Illustrations and images take up more space, take longer to download, and may frustrate your reader, which is the last thing an author wants. A normal ePub file ranges from about 300 Kilobytes (KB) to 1 megabyte (MB). Epub size depends greatly on the program, as well as the amount of images. Image sizes can be quite large, as today’s readers (retina screen, for example) are high resolution. Text-only eBooks can be quite small, while those with many images can easily top 50 MB. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) guidelines state the largest single image file they can accept is 5 MB. If you submit a larger file, it will take much longer to convert, or may fail completely, so it’s better to stay below these limits. For textbooks, adding large numbers of video and audio files to a book file can dramatically increase its file size. At this time, KDP supports files of 650 megabytes or less. If you attempt to upload a file larger than this, it will not convert. Amazon says, “The maximum file size for conversion through Amazon KDP is 50 MB.” If you create a book that is larger, it may not convert to KDP, or it may cause delays in conversion.

Gender Matters

Andrew Rhomberg, Founder of Jellybooks, writes that you must capture your reader within the first 50 to 100 pages. If they are women, you have 50 pages, maybe even 100, to woo them. They become invested with their characters and push on to see what happens next. Men on the other hand, are simply more fickle, and you may have just as few as 30 pages to achieve that goal. That’s why it’s important to know your audience.

Beginnings and Endings

Jacob M. Appel, author of “10 Ways to Start Your Story Better”, suggests that initial reactions matter. He believes that the fate of most literary endeavors are sealed within the initial paragraph—and that the seeds of that triumph or defeat are usually sown by the end of the very first sentence. Many writers are taught that the more unusual or extreme their opening line, the more likely they are to “hook” the reader. The problem is that few readers, if confused, will ever make it that far.

According to nownovel.com, you must understand the importance of knowing how to end a story effectively. Will your ending be happy, sad or somewhere between the two? Will you tie everything up, or do you plan to leave loose ends? Endings can make or break a novel, so it’s important to get it right. Your ending should be consistent with the characters and plot as set up throughout the rest of the novel. How do you want your readers to feel once they set your book down for the last time? Do you want to create a feeling of total satisfaction, or (with a series) leave them craving more?

Does eBooks2go Have any Specific Length Requirements?

At eBooks2go, we can convert up to 200 pages for Mobi and ePub files. For further clarification, and assistance in your writing endeavors, visit the “How to Get Started” page.