September 3, 2015

How Long Should Your Ebook Be? - Sylvie McCracken

A few weeks ago I asked you to submit your biggest questions when it comes to creating and selling ebooks that sell like crazy. 

The first and most important question was about how to know what to write about, which led to this cheat sheet I made for you to download: How to Start The Right Ebook That Sells Like Crazy

Today I’m answering 2 questions from Vanessa and Heather about the length of your ebooks, aaaand a bit about pricing too!

Click below to see my 5 minute video reply:

YouTube video

If you want to know how long your ebook should be, this video is for you.

On my blog, I encourage people to ask me all of their questions about ebooks. I got a lot of questions about how long ebooks should be. In my free cheat sheet, I tell people not to worry about the length of their ebook when they are just starting. But, for those of you who are already started, I’m going to answer two questions about ebook length and pricing.

“I’ve got an ebook in the works but I fear it may be too short. It would be about 32 pages although there will be illustrations added which would bulk it out a bit. I could beef it up with more information but I kind of like it short and sweet. Would it make sense to try to have a higher goal for length without sacrificing quality of course?” –Vanessa

“I would like to know how long an ebook has to be to be considered an ebook versus a free giveaway, and also how to price it if your market mostly doesn’t have a ton of money to spend.” – Heather

Your ebook has to be as long as it needs to be to get the point across. Tell them what they need to know, and not any longer.

I would NOT recommend fluffing or beefing it up with any sort of filler!

That said, 32 pages is a bit short for an ebook.

To give you an example, the ebooks of mine which have sold really well were around the 150-page mark. Now, about three of those pages are references. Probably the first five pages are table of contents, disclaimers, the about me page, and that kind of thing. So it’s not all content necessarily. So, if you are writing in Word or as a Google Doc and it is 32 pages, it will probably end up being more around 50 or 60 pages by the time you add all of the graphics and other necessary pages.

So you are probably a lot further along than you might think. If you feel like you are done now and you’ve got nothing more to say, then trust your instinct. Then figure out how to price it.

If it’s going to be a $9.99 ebook, that’s fine. But if you want to make a “staple ebook – one which is more like a print book which has tons of information and value, then you should probably work on it a bit more. After all, length is a feature which adds value to a book.

See if there is another section that you can add to the ebook to make it longer. For example, if it is a food-related ebook, then you can add more recipes. If it is a workbook, then add something to make it more of a “flagship” ebook.

Try to go past the 100-page mark, but of course making sure that it is all quality content.

But, ultimately, trust your gut. Fill it with quality information. Proof it. Work on it. Refine it. But don’t obsess about the length.

In regards to pricing an ebook, I feel like it mostly depends on the benefits of the ebook. What are they going to get from this ebook? Are they going to be able to change the way their family deals with natural remedies? That’s a pretty good value, right?

Pricing an ebook also depends on the features. One of the features of an ebook is its length. Let’s take Vanessa’s ebook as an example. At 32 pages, it is more than I’d do for a freebie download. You could do the ebook as a free download, but then most people won’t value it. If it’s free, they won’t take the time to go through all 32 pages of information, which means you won’t get your point across. It’s not really a free download and it’s not really the size of an ebook that I would sell for, let’s say, $25. It sounds more like a $5 ebook.

Design also plays a big part in pricing an ebook. Is it a beautifully-designed ebook? How professional does the content look? Words on a Word doc are one thingm and a beautifully-designed, full-colored PDF is another thing.

Pssst – If you haven’t submitted your question, comment your question(s) below!


How Long Should Your Ebook Be? - Sylvie McCracken

9 thoughts on “How Long Should Your Ebook Be?

  1. Are ebooks just about stories? I am a Tech Writer and am putting together content to explain a very complex subject (General Systems Theory) in minimal words. Again, are ebooks just about stories?

  2. I am considering doing a free ebook as a email list builder and was trying to determine the right length for it, as I didnt want it to be too long or too short. I didnt fing the exact answer to my question, but did get a basis for where to start. Great information.

  3. Came here through google search. Nice blog and much needed information. I was planning to work on my first ebook but had some doubts. Now, some of my doubts are cleared. Thanks a lot for this valuable info.

  4. I recently been wanting to start an ebook, I stumble across your blog and have found some valuable information that will help me get on the right track. I will be visiting your website. Thanks for the inforamation,

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