One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how long should my book be?
The answer to that depends on many factors: Book size, font size, interior design (spacing), how many chapters, etc The quick answer is that it should be as long or as short as you feel comfortable with. The minimum pages that can be published on Amazon is 24 pages, the maximum is 480.
The average word count in a book is 250 words per page. You can determine how many words in your manuscript by checking with Word’s word count feature. This won’t be exact as spacing, margins, font size, images enter into the equation, but it will work as a “guide” or rough estimate.
For nonfiction books, most readers like no more than 100 pages, but they want good, succinct information. They may be willing to pay more for a longer book if it is chock full of information, similar to a text book, but they don’t want any rambling or deviation from the topic.
You can also do a series of books; that is, covering different parts of the same topic. For example, if it’s about writing a book, one part might be on how to write the book, another part would be on how to research your topic, another part might be on marketing, etc. A series is good because then the reader can choose to purchase only the part for which they feel they need information.
Determine how many pages your target market is likely to be interested in. A good way to determine that is to research how many pages similar books have. You can find that out by going to Amazon, click on the book, and in the information section it will tell you how many pages a book contains. A look inside will give you an idea of how the book is formatted.
As the author, you have the choice of choosing an interior design which starts the beginning of each chapter at the top of the page or further down. You also have a choice of font size; 12 is a good size font, but you could choose to use a larger font. I would not recommend ever using a smaller font size. You might also choose that instead of single spacing, you will use 1 1/2 spacing or double spacing. You might also choose to start each paragraph by indenting it or by having an extra space between each paragraph.
Until recently, if the book is a print book, each chapter should begin on the right side, which means there may be blank pages between some or all of the chapters. Images and the size of the images will also affect the page count. This is still true of books other than fiction, but is not true of fiction.
To go back to that question about how long should my book be—the real answer is not how many pages you type, but how many pages you end up with and are you fulfilling your promise to the reader about the information you are providing.
A typical novel should be around 70,000 words, while a nonfiction book can contain as few as 6,000-10,000 words.