A diligent client will be measuring the value of the ebook by the number of people who follow this call to action, which means you need to make it as persuasive as possible. So don’t leave the CTA to the last minute, when you’re exhausted and can’t wait to type the final full stop.
You don’t have to worry about your Kindle book being too big.
For starters, let’s clear something up: though having a book that’s too long can challenge readers’ attention spans, the size of your Kindle book file isn’t much of an issue. Take the 8 gigabyte (GB) Kindle Fire, which has 6 GB of available space to store e-books. This Kindle device can hold 6,000 books if each e-book file is 1 megabyte (MB). Of course, larger books take up more space than 1 MB. But suffice it to say that you probably don’t have to worry about your finished e-book being too big for readers to download.
Does Kindle have a maximum size for an e-book?
Handling e-books that are over 650 MB
Kindle cannot convert e-book files larger than 650 MB. If your book is over 650 MB, Kindle advises reducing your audio and video content, if applicable. You could also consider publishing your book as a series.
Download speed is rarely an issue.
Hallmark #3: Great writing
And the third hallmark of a great ebook is the writing itself. Reading it should be an enjoyable, enlightening and inspiring experience, not a slog. If you write as if you’re having a great conversation with your reader, about something you both care about, you can’t go far wrong.
- Read the brief. If you’ve been given a written brief, read it thoroughly and make a note of anything you’re not sure of. Then have a quick call with your client to clarify those points. It’s always better to clarify upfront than to second-guess what the client meant and have to rewrite your draft when it turns out to have been wrong.
- Make sure you have enough information. The best ebooks come from carefully interviewing relevant experts – either within your client organisation, or in the wider industry. These are the people who have the ‘sweet spot’ information that will make the ebook genuinely relevant and useful to your reader. Don’t write the ebook without this expert input, unless you feel that you yourself are already an expert in the topic you’re going to write about.
- Do your research upfront. Your ebook needs to be convincing, which means you’ll need to include stats, figures, and quotes that support your argument. You should also arrange interviews with subject matter experts whose knowledge can help add credibility.
If you can’t find stats, figures and quotes to support it, it almost certainly means you don’t have a convincing argument. It’s best to find this out before you start! So do your research upfront, and gather together all of the supporting information you’ll use in the ebook.
There are lots of ways to write an outline, but we’ve learned the hard way that the outline should not be a rough first draft. Very often, a client will misinterpret your ‘rough first draft’ as the actual first draft, and wonder why they’re paying you. Rather, think of the outline as a ‘pitch document’, as if you were pitching your ebook to an editor or literary agent. There’s lots to consider there, so that’ll probably be the subject of my next post…
A word of caution: as you write, a new thought or idea may occur to you and you may be tempted to go off in a different direction from the outline. Don’t do this. Your outline has been approved, and it’s what you’ve agreed to deliver. Hold the thought, though – maybe it can be used in a different piece of content down the line.
How many pages?
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I found this article very helpful, thank you! I have written and published some short stories and priced them at .99 each. In Scrivener the default value for words per page (via project statistics) is 350 words per page, but I haven’t figured out how Amazon works out the number of pages. I can give some examples of word count and Kindle pages if this helps anyone.
I used a Word document and Kindle Create for these books. Some short erotica titles in the same genre as my book are priced much higher; I noted one was $3.00 for 19 pages and another was $3.28 for 39 pages. Although the royalty rate is much lower, it just didn’t feel right to charge more than .99 for such a short book. My current work in progress looks as if it will be over a hundred pages and will likely be priced a little higher, but I’ll keep my shorter pieces at the lowest possible price. I want readers to feel like they receive value for money and aren’t being ripped off.
FWIW, I would still call it a novella if it meets the basic word count definition of one (roughly 30-40k words). This way, readers know what to expect and you become less likely to get reviews that say your novel is too short.
I write for fun. Many of my stories end up in the 7K to 10K range mostly because it’s a once concept story. They aren’t too complex and usually either horror or dirty romance. As I’m just getting started, I haven’t found whether people enjoy the shorter stories or not. I’ll be honest with you, I prefer shorter stories. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve glossed over novels by famous writers because there is just too much unrelated information. I sitll read their books because the stories are good, but I could do without the 200 pages of what I call fluff. But that’s just me. I think I’m just going to price everything at 99 cents no matter how long I make it (probably never over 30K.) Hopefully that will keep everyone happy and I will sell enough to keep me happy.
I have to question that Amazon words per page estimate. I wrote a 50K book and based on how many pages it is — at least according to Amazon — I have roughly 340 words per page. That’s WAY different than the 187 words per page that they estimate. Am I doing something wrong? Should I be editing or formatting my book in a different way to get a higher page count? This is especially an issue for me because I also have it listed in KU, which pays out per page.
Great and good insights I have found here as well as challenging questions and answers.
I have not made eBooks before. I am just on training. I just woke up with this question in my mind,”what should be an ideal words count and page of a standard eBook?”
I am writing a ebook to present a complex subject (Genera Systems Theory) in a comprehensive, integrated fashion that is also geared for like high school students. BIG need for such! I estimate that I will only need about 25 pages of text and about 12 pages of graphics.
Got a friend who is trying the mainstream route for her book and is still being told by agents and writing tutors that the MS must be 85,000 words!
My ebooks and paperbacks range 72k to 101k and all sell. I’d love to word count “published” novels to find out how many really are 85,000.
My latest will finish around 75,000 because that’s where the story ends. Another 10,000 to pad out would be ridiculous. (One reviewer who doesn’t like me says my books already have “too many words” – and she’s bought three of them!)
Like the idea of a novella though, very useful for good ideas that don’t have the legs for longer but they would have to be cheaper or I’d feel I was cheating the reader.
The publishing industry though! One name of some renown told me that Medieval Crime Comedy was three things and I was only ALLOWED one!! Ignore these people!
I don’t mind buying a short story or a novella if I know that’s what I’m getting, but a “book” shouldn’t be less than 100 pages or 40,000 words. It’s about setting expectations and delivering value for money, and too many people are charging book prices for short fiction. (And vice versa, but that’s another rant.)
Personally, I blame Amazon’s royalty structure. The 70% range shouldn’t be static. It should be adjusted for length, to allow people to sell a short story for a buck and make a fair amount from each sale. The same goes for epic-length box sets on the other end of the scale; if I’ve got three full-length novels on the market for $5 each, I should be able to collect them into a $12 box without cutting my throat on the royalties.
True, JB. At least Kindle do give a page count, so buyers are informed. However, the page count is not perfect, as some are based on a paperback version, which can be misleading. Whereas ebooks without a paperback version are based on KENP. The results can be wildly different.