What's the right number of pages for an eBook to sell well?

Want to write an ebook (that you can sell) but are not sure how long it should be? 30 pages or 300? There’s different schools of thought on this but here are some tactics you can use.

Ebook: length, format, audience & price

Start backwards. Don’t worry about the size of the ebook yet. Instead do an insane amount of market research.

  • Audience – define exactly who you want to sell to. For example, if you’re writing an ebook about setting up a business blog, ask yourself is this for beginners or experts? Is it for people at home (price is an issue) or someone in an office (with access to the credit card).
  • Price – look at ebooks your competitors sell, for example, this from Kristi Hines on Guest Post Blogging and this from Remarkamedia are both examples of high quality information products with lots of actionable tips. Create a spreadsheet in Excel and add the price, page count and other factors, e.g. other free books or discounts.
  • Format – most ebooks are PDFs. Others are available as Kindle downloads or for the iPad. Again, gather as much data as possible and see what trends emerge.
  • Length – armed with this information, you should see patterns in the pricing, length, and formats. Focus on the length and look at other factors, such as in-depth tutorials as in the Twitter Dummy Guide.

For example?

How to make your Ebook longer

Let’s say you write 5000 words on how to make money writing guest posts.
You can increase the length of this book without undermining its quality in the following ways:

  • Font Size – Choose a font that’s easy to read and works well on different platforms. Instead of using Times Roman 11, try Arial 12 or 14. Which is easier to read?
  • Margin – Create a wide left margin. This squeezes the body of the text, increasing the page count. If you do this correctly, you can add 20% to the ebook length.
  • Line Spacing – Add line space (e.g. 6 pts) above and below the text. This creates more white space, again adding to the book size. Don’t overdo it or it looks scammy.
  • Add Images – Decorate the ebook with images that add a little sparkle and compliment the text. Again, make them relevant and give credit in the appendix.
  • Multiple Chapters – Don’t create one long ebook. Split it into different chapters, each with an introductory page.

Takeaway

Perception is everything. If you can increase a 45 page book to 75 pages, your customer feels they are getting more value. And if you offer some nice tables and screenshots to jazz up the document, then you’re onto a winner.
Research your competitors relentlessly. Note how they’re writing, presenting, and ‘Positioning’ their ebooks. Then apply this to your information products.
What else would you add? What’s the right length for an ebook?

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