Authors Lounge discussion

34 views
Misc. > How many words in and ebook?

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Andy (new)

Andy Frazier | 10 comments In this age when some authors are writing specifically for ebook, is there difference in the acceptable word count of an ebook and a paperback?
Eg, paperbacks used to be 80-100k words, but I am increasingly finding ebooks are shorter and shorter, especially the 99p ones


message 2: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Nuckels | 3 comments http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...

Our novel follows this format.


message 3: by Andy (new)

Andy Frazier | 10 comments Courtney - I hear what you say, but I am referring to kindle novels only. For 99c can readers expect a full 80k words?
Amazon used to include the word count in their description, but they dont now.


message 4: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Nuckels | 3 comments On mine you can. If you go to smashwords or amazon you can see how many words are in each book. That way you'll know if they're long enough for you.


message 5: by Andy (last edited Feb 16, 2012 09:07AM) (new)

Andy Frazier | 10 comments Just had a quick look at yours on Amazon.com and I dont see a word count on the 2 books listed. Just a file size.(Sorry didnt buy them, chick-lit not quite my thing!) Maybe I am looking in the wrong place for the word count?


message 6: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Nuckels | 3 comments No problem! Not at all offended ;) Well, Amazon used to have the page count listed in the info section, but I don't see it. I know for sure smashwords does though. You can always ask ;)


message 7: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Kline | 1 comments My publisher lists a Novella from 20,000 to 60,000 and a novel from 60,000 to 140,000. My book came in right at 80,000. I asked the same question while writing my first novel and I was given this great piece of advice. "Take your time, write the story and the story will decide its length."


message 8: by Andy (last edited Feb 17, 2012 12:01AM) (new)

Andy Frazier | 10 comments Courtney wrote: "No problem! Not at all offended ;) Well, Amazon used to have the page count listed in the info section, but I don't see it. I know for sure smashwords does though. You can always ask ;)"

You have sort of missed the point. I have published 15 books of all sorts of lengths in 3 genres, all suitable for each one. What I am saying is, the fact that Amazon no longer include the word count (page count is irrelavant in ebooks) on Kindle books, does this mean that books written specifically for e-publishing only, at a very low price, will get shorter?
And if so, what is an acceptable length for an ebook novel.
Thanks to your mentioning of Smashwords,( I stopped using them, some time back) I have done some checking on there and they do have the word count included.
I am not sure if you have heard of John Locke? He is the guy who was first to sell 1 million books on kindle and has a dozen novels out, all in the top 100. Once I found him on Smashwords, I have found that his novels are 40-50k each. As he sells at 99c, I guess people accept that.
I have a book that I am considering putting out that is only 25k (a biography) and dont want to get bad reviews because it is 'too short'. At 99c, what do they expect? I think I might blog this question.


message 9: by Bridget (new)

Bridget Bowers (bridgetbowers) | 212 comments Andy, the length for ebooks seems as random as the pricing. Some people are going for lower prices will translate in more volume and exposure. Others are focusing on receiving what they view as a fair price for their hard work and aren't as concerned about volume.

I'd say length is very much up to the individual. If you are concerned about making certain readers don't feel "cheated" by not getting more for the price you decide on you can make it clear in the description for your work what the length is so that readers are forewarned. I have seen several listings that state, "This is a novella not a full length novel" or something along the lines of "This work is XYZ word count."


message 10: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Llorca | 49 comments @Andy. I have had comments that my first epub was long, 600 pages. 600 e pages is a little bigger than a paper back Michael Connelly. I think that size should be comparable to paper works. But it is nice to sneak one in that is a little too long for a short story and not long enough for a novel. When MacMillan New Writers started, one of the first to accept electronic submission they wanted between 60, and 120, thousand words.


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim Kukral (jimkukral) | 12 comments It's about value, not words. If I can get great value/entertainment from 2 pages, I don't care about how many words it is.

Jim Kukral
http://www.authormarketingclub.com


message 12: by Bryan (new)

Bryan (airithauthor) | 7 comments I have done 30k, 60k and 100k books and it comes down to one thing....the story. Is your story complete? Does it send the reader on a journey? If so, the work count is the last thing you should worry about.


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim Kukral (jimkukral) | 12 comments Bryan wrote: "I have done 30k, 60k and 100k books and it comes down to one thing....the story. Is your story complete? Does it send the reader on a journey? If so, the work count is the last thing you should wor..."

Amen Bryan.


message 14: by Andy (new)

Andy Frazier | 10 comments I hear what you say Bryan. It annoys me that everyone chases word-counts - a story is a story and is long as it need be. I just dont want to cheat readers who expect War&Peace-like novels and then complain when a book only takes 4 hours to read. I think Briget made a good suggestion. If Amazon have now dropped the word count from the description (they obviously have their reason for doing this), if a book is quite short, then mention that in the blurb. I did just that with one I put out last week (non fuction, 25k words) and have had no complaints so far.


message 15: by Nike (last edited Mar 02, 2012 11:31PM) (new)

Nike Chillemi Andy wrote: "I hear what you say Bryan. It annoys me that everyone chases word-counts - a story is a story and is long as it need be. I just dont want to cheat readers who expect War&Peace-like novels and then ..."

Good for you! I think the blurb is there to tell them what the book is. The cover does that too.

If there's anything that makes the book out of the ordinary, it should be mentioned or alluded to...w/o hurting the marketing of the book.

If it's shorter than what might be expected, mention it in a positive way. If it's a grizzly crime fic novel about a serial killer, make sure the reader knows it's going to be in their face w/the violence. If it's erotic, they've got to know. If it's Christian or inspirational, they've got to know.

There have been Christian fiction books on sale on Amazon for free for a week and they got bad reviews because the reader got it for free and didn't expect it to be Christian. Personally, I think if you got it for free and don't want to read an inspy novel, just toss it. Hey, you got it free. Don't write a review trashing is cause it's Christian.

Same if it's erotic and you got it for free. Just toss it if you don't like it. No need to trash the author on Amazon or here.


message 16: by Bryn (last edited Mar 03, 2012 03:25PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 23 comments I like that ebooks can be any size. Though how do you tell purchasers what size you are? I'm with Smashwords who have word count - except, do readers have a sense of what 100,000 words comes to? Here on GR, you're asked for page number: I used a calculator on a writers' site that gives my 210,000 words as 600 pages (350 a page, pretty average) and I quote that.

The download size you see on Amazon means nothing to me... and doesn't that include things other than the text? I'd like an idea of size, yes... not because I hate shorts or hate epics, just want to know what to expect.

I had trouble selling a 210,000 word novel; meanwhile my sister had trouble selling her novel of 60,000 words. Both are the size they ought to be, and both fell outside the range agents and trad publishers specify. That's why indie and ebooks are great.


message 17: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Bryn wrote: "I like that ebooks can be any size. Though how do you tell purchasers what size you are? I'm with Smashwords who have word count - except, do readers have a sense of what 100,000 words comes to? He..."

Before I was serious about writing, I'm fairly sure I understood how many words were in a novel by the thickness of the print volumne.

I think if word count is used in a standard way, 60K 80K 100K 120K readers will soon catch on.

Obviously if the word count is 58900 it would be called 60K for the public.


message 18: by A.G. (new)

A.G. Claymore | 27 comments I think size was a lot more important for tradtionally published works. The extra pages meant extra cost that the publisher had to risk to get the book to market. Very few new authors were making it past the gate with stories outside of the 75 to 120 k range.

I aimed for 75k with my last title and ended up at 99.
Regardless of length, I list the wordcount at the end of each blurb.


Give the reader all the info and let them make an informed decision.


message 19: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Davies (debbie16) | 3 comments I'm agreeing with most comments above you tell the story and the word count is what it is, I know when I'm choosing a book the word count doesn't put me off I just the words that are there to mean something


message 20: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi A.G. wrote: "I think size was a lot more important for tradtionally published works. The extra pages meant extra cost that the publisher had to risk to get the book to market. Very few new authors were making i..."

I have two novels out and one on the way. I aim for 80K. I've been pretty close on all of them...a little under an little over.


message 21: by Andy (new)

Andy Frazier | 10 comments Nike wrote: "A.G. wrote: "I think size was a lot more important for tradtionally published works. The extra pages meant extra cost that the publisher had to risk to get the book to market. Very few new authors ..."
Are you publishing these in paper or just ebook?


message 22: by Nike (last edited Mar 31, 2012 08:51PM) (new)

Nike Chillemi Andy wrote: "Nike wrote: "A.G. wrote: "I think size was a lot more important for tradtionally published works. The extra pages meant extra cost that the publisher had to risk to get the book to market. Very few..."

Andy,

I'm publishing then in ebook. However, I don't want to write a mini-book. I want the reader to feel as if they're reading a novel. So, I aim for about 80K. And I want all of the books in my series to be about the same word count.


message 23: by Jilly (new)

Jilly Paddock (tabbycat23) | 2 comments I decided to price my novellas (both under 50k) at 99 cents, which I felt was fair. The novel is about 85k.
I have seen 5k short stories at 99 cents, probably because it's the lowest price point. I did buy a novella and felt short-changed because the story ended at 65% of the length and the rest was an advert for a novel by the author. A third of the e-book as promo? That's just mean!


back to top