How long should a nonfiction book be?

10,000 words.

Yes, that is my final answer.

Now that I’ve addressed the question, “how long should a nonfiction book be?”, allow me to explain my answer.

  • “10,000 words” is a big number, with lots of round zeros in it
  • “10,000 words” is the smallest number you can represent in 5 digits
  • “10,000 words” is the shortest you can write and still consider the result to be a book

To understand the psychology of “10,000” over “9,999” would require a college degree that I don’t possess.

Why Write As Short As Possible

  1. To maximize your revenue per word
  2. To charge as little as possible for your book (to be competitive)

Why Write a Nonfiction Book

  • Nonfiction guides of 10,000 to 20,000 words are standard
  • Fiction of 65,000 to 80,000 words are standard

Revenue per Word

Short nonfiction guides typically sell for $0.99 on Amazon which only generates a 35% return, or $0.35.  However, these guides only need to be 10,000 words long.

$0.35 / 10 = 3.5 cents per 1,000 words

Longer fiction books typically sell for $2.99 on Amazon which generates a 70% return, or $2.09.  However, novels are at least 65,000 words long.

$2.09 / 65 = 3.2 cents per 1,000 words

You will make more revenue per word selling cheap nonfiction guides than short fiction novels.

Benefits of Cheaper Books

  • A price of $0.99 is the lowest that you can set for an Amazon Kindle e-book
  • You can write and sell six short nonfiction books for every fiction book
  • Write quicker, sell faster

How Long Should a Nonfiction Book Be?

10,000 words.

I’ll see you in the classroom,