How long should a nonfiction book be?
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
- To maximize your revenue per word
- 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?
I’ll see you in the classroom,