I am on a few forums and in a few groups where we discuss writing and publishing books, mostly in Amazon’s Kindle store. It’s a great way to test the waters, I believe, though it does appear that the more GOOD books you produce, the better your chances are of making a decent income.
However, income from Kindle books is not the topic of this short post today. The topic is “How long should my book be?” That is a question that is asked often within these groups and forums. I just read two threads in a smaller forum touching on this very topic today. Usually, the answer is, “long enough to cover the subject.”
Today, I found a post by Ann of CreativeBoomer.com at http://www.creativeboomer.com/2012/07/publishing-books-on-amazon/ that actually answers this question.
Ann started looking at Dean Wesley’s books on Amazon due to his assertion in his book, Think Like a Publisher, that you can make a comfortable income on Amazon “… by selling a few copies of a lot of titles.”
What had Ann looking at Wesley is because of not only that assertion but due to his differing opinion on the amount of marketing required to sell your books. However, when you realize the man has 400 books for sale at Amazon, I think he is in a bit different boat than the rest of us just starting out. I want to know how he is so prolific. Perhaps that is related to the following.
Back to the subject of book length. Ann decided to check out Wesley’s books on Amazon. She stopped at 40 of his books after removing certain ones like his Star Trek ones which have a built in audience. She took a look at the size and ranking of these 40. What she found is surprising:
Over thirty of the forty books I analyzed were under 7000 words. Of the six books that had a rank showing they sold at least a few a month, four of the six were under 7000 words.
Looking at the chart she provided, comparing word count vs. price, we can see that a large number of those books are even under 4,000 words for which he charges $0.99 or $1.99.
Now, that is a fascinating finding. Maybe when we have 400 books each up on Amazon, we will be able to write very short books. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is to learn to be a prolific writer of GOOD books and earn a comfortable income.
Thank you, Ann.