Chris A. Baird | June 18, 2021
How Long Should A Self Published Book Be

Are you planning to self-publish your books but your not quite sure how long should a self-published book be? Check this out to find what will be the most favorable length of books in the market.

Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it is a secret as to the exact perfect length for your self-published book if you want to maximize sales. So you're going to want to stick around for that.

Let's get into it. Today's topic is on how long should a self-published book be? Now, this is a very common question that I hear all the time from my students and generally authors everywhere.

You're writing your book and you're wondering, is this long enough? Are people going to want to read it if it's too long or if it's too short? That might create problems for your readers.

Then you're pushing out additional pages when maybe it's not necessary. Or maybe your book is too short, people won't end up wanting to buy it and you get it out onto the market and then make no sales with the book. So you wonder what exactly should be the correct length for your book?

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Let's get into it. When I first got started, I wrote my first book and I was shooting for 15,000 words. I think it may have been 12,000 or somewhere in there, I can't remember. But I put the book on the market and I also wrote a free giveaway in that first book.

That was only maybe 3,000 or 4,000 words long. But it was like a freebie to get people on my email list which was my initial plan. But then some things happened, I started listening to other people and they said longer books are better.

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One of the guys I was following at the time had written a 35,000-word book. He said it didn't sell that much more but I thought on my second book I would come out with a 20,000-word book and so I put that on the market. It did become an Amazon bestseller, it was on "sleep", helping you improve your sleep.

The thing is it was there for some time and even came back up as a number one Amazon bestseller. I did see a great deal of success with regards to that book but I'm not sure if it was the length. It may have been the topic because I was getting a little more clever on understanding which keywords should be used and the target audience.

I was curious if shorter books actually would sell. I ended up taking the free book that I was giving away and then also putting it onto the market about 3,000 words. And what did I discover? I found these shorter books were outperforming the longer books.

Even to this day, many times my short book on "email management" outperforms my "sleep" book or "goals" book and these other ones. I was completely shocked by that. The shorter books had better sales than the longer books.

Audiences Are Your Epicenter

But the thing that I discovered was that there are different audiences and they have different expectations. I made the mistake of aiming for too many different audiences. It makes it hard to optimize for one.

As I just mentioned, I had books on how to sleep better and how to achieve your goals. There were lots of things that I find interesting. I was writing about these books that subjected and things that I've spent a lot of time thinking about.

Over a while, I still am getting sales in all of these books. But I probably would have done even better if I just stuck with one and pounded into that niche. Establishing myself as an expert on that one thing as opposed to multiple things.

The question is how long should a self-published book be? Well, the first thing is most self-publishing experts would agree, it should be between 15,000 and 30,000 words long. This is the ideal length but I can make a quick comment on this one and that it depends.

This is the thing that your audience expects and one way to know is what are the best sellers in your niche? How long are they? Now there are two options here, one of them is shooting for the same length or the average length of the best sellers in your niche that generally will work for most authors.

The second strategy is doing short books but making it clear to the readers that they're short. I still see my books that are 3,000 words selling. Since they are paperback books, so you have to be at least 3,000 words to get to the paperback. This is an amazing strategy.

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Then you can bundle these things together to make them up to 100 pages. Does that make sense? So, in other words, 3,000 words will give you a 24-page book. If we have 4 of these books bundled together, so you have 2 on the same subject.

You'll have a hundred-page book as a four bundle. That also gives you the audiobooks and I discovered the audiobooks for making more money. Even the paperbacks are just pulling an insane amount of money.

These short books had some advantages and there's a whole series of strategies. If your book is seen so long on audiobooks, people love to read long audiobooks. I found even cookbooks sell on Audible, so the length of your book will have an impact on these different things.

Focusing On One Niche

Let's get to the secret answer for today's question. It is the exact correct length and the answer is you should test out different links and not be stuck with one specific link for your books. It would be a huge mistake if you were to just stick with a particular length and say I've got the right length.

I'm not going any longer or any shorter than that. I would say "No" to find out about your niche. What exactly is currently selling? Your readers will not complain there was an issue with this and by the way, you can get bad reviews if you have a really short book.

But at the same time, I've had lots of people say, look I was interested in this subject and when I read your short book, it helped me get into it quickly. It's not deceptive because it's listed on the listing for the book. You can see how many pages the book is.

If you think you're going to get a thousand-page book, you might go and look first. But you do risk bad reviews for these short reads. But sometimes they fall under the phrase even on Amazon as short reads so that your reader won't be too disappointed if they buy a book and it's short.

But then again, it's also pretty cheap and as I've mentioned before, in pricing, we still only want to make $5 per book that we sell. The shorter the book the lower the price is going to be. But make sure your profit is at least $5 a book, never less than that for your paperbacks.

For your other ones, it's $2 for your Kindle books. That is like a baseline profit margin that we want to make on those books. We put as many books out onto the market as we're writing them or you're paying for ghostwriters to write books. Targeting these keywords on subjects on which we may not be experts.

Then going from there and shooting for either I would say 3,000 words or whatever the average is for your niche. My biggest mistake again was that I did not stick to one niche. I was in 10 different niches or 15 niches something like that.

A crazy number of niches but the thing is I didn't stick to a single one. Because then it would have given me that ability to build more expertise. Also using an email list, leveraging lots of things that you don't know until you get started. That's one of the reasons why it's so important for you to get your book onto the market right away.

So how long should a self-published book be? My question for you is, how many pages are in your books? I want to know so tell me below in the comments. And check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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