One of the most common questions I get from authors is about how long should they make their book? Well, how many words do you need to tell your story or communicate your ideas fully? That being said, there are two more key considerations that need to be looked at: pricing/cost and marketing your book.

Pricing/Cost: The length of your book is an important consideration when pricing your book. Obviously the longer it is the more it will cost to produce and the more you will need to charge for it. At CreateSpace (Amazon’s printing partner), it would cost $6.85 wholesale to produce a 500 page 6” X 9” book. If you were to sell that book on Amazon at $20.00 you would only make $5.15 per sale. Not the best margin. Yes, you could charge more, but you most likely will price yourself out of the market unless your book is highly specialized.

Now, let’s take that same 6” X 9” book and look at the numbers for it as 200 pages: $3.25 to buy wholesale and an $8:75 royalty if you sold it for $20.00 on Amazon. Keep in mind, though: if your paperback book goes under 125 pages then you most likely will not be able to print on the spine and your book will look more like a booklet than a book. Obviously, for a Kindle or eBook you don’t need to worry about this.

You can run various pricing/royalty scenarios for yourself here:

Marketing: Perhaps the most important pricing consideration for your book is marketing. Here are some of the elements that need to be considered:

What is your competition doing? What is the length of their books and how are they pricing them?

Would you be better off having two shorter books that sell at a more attractive price point than one long one? Keep in mind having two books gives you two sales pages on publishing platforms like Amazon or Barnes & Noble instead of one page, which gets your book greater exposure. Keep in mind that a well-done series keeps readers coming back for more. Also, two books will produce more revenue than one and they will give you more marketing and promotional options.

If you are new author, readers may have some resistance to “investing” in a higher-priced, longer book.

There is a trend toward shorter books using eBook platforms. Amazon has “short read” categories, many of which have become quite popular.

If you have any questions about the length, pricing, or marketing services for your book feel free to send me an e-mail:


Keep Writing!

Howard VanEs