Ebooks serve various purposes and are becoming an increasingly popular type of content.
In 2020 alone, over 191 million ebooks were sold in the U.S.
In 2021, one in six books sold in the U.S. was an ebook. Whether you’re a fiction writer, researcher, or marketer, ebooks can help establish and improve your reputation and create a generous profit.
In marketing, an ebook is not just an ebook but a powerful lead magnet and a chance to show off your in-depth knowledge of a topic.
As a fiction writer or researcher, selling ebooks helps you reach a broad audience without spending on printing and distribution costs.
So, if you want to write your first ebook, you’re probably wondering how long should an ebook be.
In this article, we’ll explore ebook length, covering average word counts for different types of ebooks. Knowing what your target audience expects from a particular ebook will help you write one that succeeds.
How long should an ebook be?
There is no standard ebook length, but they’re usually shorter than print books.
Typically, ebook lengths vary by type and genre, i.e., different ebook types have different average sizes.
A children’s ebook will typically be shorter than a cookbook, and a cookbook will typically be more concise than a compilation of research on a complex subject.
What is the purpose of your ebook?
Consider its purpose to determine how long your ebook should be.
For what purpose are you writing this ebook? Do you want to use it as a lead magnet for your business? Or do you want to attract a target audience and make a direct profit by selling copies of your book?
If you have a target reader in mind, it’s wise to research popular ebooks with that audience. Find the ebooks that are popular in the niche and consider their length.
If your goal is to build an audience for your brand, you might want to avoid a lengthy ebook. A short, free or cheap ebook with a length of around 2000 to 6000 words is enough to attract first-time potential customers and readers.
A short, free ebook of 5000 words (or less, but no lower than 2,500 to 3000) is easy to create and can help you find more leads who may convert to customers with an effective supporting marketing strategy.
What type of ebook do you want to write?
The word count for your ebook largely depends on the type of ebook you want to create.
1. Children’s ebooks
The word count will be low if you want to publish children’s books in ebook format. Such books rely heavily on images and illustrations, whereby a low word count simplifies the reading experience.
A typical children’s book, ebook, or print, will only be a few hundred words long. This may seem too short to be successful but consider that illustrations will increase the page count.
2. Self-care/wellness ebooks
Self-care and wellness are incredibly popular ebook topics. They appeal to most demographics and are popular among health services and therapists for use as lead magnets for their business.
On average, self-care ebooks count anywhere from 10-60,000 words. This is a broad range, but such is the nature of book writing and publishing in the first place.
Again, consider your ebook’s purpose. If you want to sell it to therapists and other healthcare workers so that they can attract leads by offering the ebook for free in a newsletter, then it doesn’t need to be so lengthy.
However, if you want to publish on KDP and make it available for the public to purchase, you can afford to fill it with more in-depth and elaborate information.
3. B2B Ebooks
B2B ebooks are typically short.
They differ from the ebooks one finds on the Kindle store in that they’re not short stories or guides but insight into what your business has to offer. They also typically feature as a free giveaway, whereby a company offers a free ebook in exchange for an email address and subscription to a newsletter.
These short pieces of content draw customers further along the marketing funnel. They work well as top-of-funnel content because they enlighten the reader on your business’s services and values, and the content is presented in a concise and accessible manner.
They typically offer solutions to problems experienced by the reader and establish your reputation as a business that can solve that problem, thereby making a reader’s (potential customer’s) life easier.
Ebooks are generally short, so keeping your word count to around 2500 to 3000 is best. B2B ebooks typically feature just a few pages, and much of the space features an aesthetically pleasing format with supporting images, graphics, and infographics.
4. Fiction Ebooks
Fiction ebooks are those found on the Kindle store and other online bookstores. They are similar to print books in that length varies considerably; the only difference is that the book is available in digital format.
Another common difference is that many fiction books are written by self-publishing authors, who don’t have to meet the standards and requirements (including book-length and theme) set by a traditional publishing company.
Now that you understand just how effective ebooks can be for your business or simply making a profit from your writing, you might be wondering which type of ebook to write.
There are many ebooks, and each can help you achieve business or financial success. Some of the most popular ebook types include:
- How to’s
1. ‘How To’ ebooks
As the name suggests, ‘how-to’ ebooks teach readers how to do something.
These are written by authors who have experience in the topic, such as a professional in the field. Photography, budgeting, and starting a business are popular types of ‘how-to’ ebooks.
So, if you have experience in finance, you may consider writing a book titled something along the lines of:
How to Budget for the Whole Family
How to Actually Start Saving
If your experience is in photography, you might write an ebook titled:
How to Take Professional-looking Photos for your Brand
How to Shoot a Wedding: Expert Tips on Wedding Photography
The title of your ebook is significant.
Consider how the title of an online article influences your decision to visit the site. The title should be catchy and informative, letting the reader know exactly what they can expect.
2. Listicle Ebooks
A listicle ebook contains a list of ideas or advice on a given topic.
Numbered articles are some top-performing articles online, as readers enjoy listed content. The same applies to ebooks.
Listicles make for popular and accessible ebooks because, per their nature, they break up the content into smaller, easy-to-read sections.
That means the reader can read for a short session, feel fulfilled by that session, and return later to read the next item on the list.
Here are some examples:
10 Steps to Successful Marketing Strategy
7 Must-Know Tips for New Business Owners
12 Rules for Beneficial B2C Relationships
Again, the title of a listicle ebook is incredible. Numbers attract readers, but the other words in the title can draw them in further. For example, ‘Must-Know Tips’ makes a potential reader worry about missing out on crucial information.
Workbooks are short but valuable ebooks that help your reader achieve success. Workbooks can be about any niche and serve a similar purpose to how-to books that help readers solve problems.
Consider a therapy workbook that guides a reader through the process of self-administered cognitive behavioral therapy. This workbook will establish your reputation as a therapist or therapy business and entice readers to learn more about your work.
If your business is interior design, you may consider an ebook workbook that helps readers redesign a particular room in the house.
They’ll enjoy their newly designed space by following and completing the workbook. Your readers will not only appreciate your help but will likely recommend the book to friends, helping your reputation as a business grow.
It’s normal to wonder how many words should be included in your ebook, but it’s more important to consider if you’re effectively conveying your message.
As stated earlier, there is no exact average book length. So, instead of worrying about such a thing as the perfect word count, focus more on writing a practical ebook, one that meets your own and the reader’s needs.
B2B ebooks can vary in length but average at around 2500 words.
Most other ebooks have no average, so instead of worrying about word or page count, focus more on the content itself. Have you said everything you wanted to say? Do your readers have enough information to justify having bought the book?
To understand how long your ebook should be, it’s best to do market research. Reach out to your blog readers and social media following to see which types of ebooks they prefer, and use analytics tools to assess which types achieve the highest success in your niche.