News room: Just the Right Size: How Big Should Your Book Be?

Just the Right Size:  How Big Should Your Book Be? by Jessica Barrah

Are you self-publishing your book this year? How long should it be? It’s best to meet certain expectations, both for your readers, and in order to make a profit. Find out what the best length is for your genre.

How Long Should Your Manuscript Be?

When you are sending your manuscript to agents for publication in the traditional manner, then the length of the manuscript is important. Although, initially, you may only be sending some sample chapters, you will need to submit your book in full at some point. Besides demonstrating that you have the skills to construct a tightly written narrative, agents know that publishers don’t like to publish books that are outside the normal limits of a genre. Much of this is due to the expectations of readers, and what they’ve become used to in a romance or sci-fi or literary novel. Another thing to consider is the attention span of readers – for example, a thriller might not be so thrilling if it’s 150,000 words long. You don’t want to put an agent publisher off by writing something too long and overblown. If you are self-publishing using print on demand, then length has a more significant impact on the price and you may not want to make your book too expensive to produce, and reduce your potential royalties.

Printing Costs

With CompletelyNovel the minimum length is 18 pages. If you test this out on our print cost calculator, currently this costs around £1.25 + P&P for a Demy sized book (the size most commonly used for fiction) – but you can go up to 48 pages for the same price. At 49 pages it jumps to £1.96 + P&P. You can write and publish a book up to around 1000 pages – but for a Demy sized book this will cost £11.77 per book + P&P with CompletelyNovel.*

You need to make a profit on your book to make it worthwhile. Selling directly via CompletelyNovel you get 100% royalties, but if you are selling via Amazon or other retailers they will take 30% off. If your book is £11.77 to produce, you’ll have to price it higher to get royalties after the 30% is taken off. And a paperback priced around £15 is twice the £6.99-£7.99 price point that most books seem to retail at.

For more information, read our article ‘How to Price Your Print Book’

Calculate your print costs here.

*Prices as of January 2017. Prices for a Crown sized book, the larger size often used for non-fiction are slightly more expensive.

Guidelines for Different Genres

As with everything, there are always exceptions to the rules. If your book is way over the guidelines below, take another look at your manuscript. Have you been sufficiently ruthless with your editing? Are there any parts that you could cut out – either cutting down on non- essential words, or re-evaluating whole pages. Does that descriptive passage or long sections of dialogue add anything to the book as a whole, moving the plot forward or revealing more about your characters?

If your book is significantly shorter than the guidelines, is it actually a novella or a long short story rather than a novel? Or do you need to do more work and flesh it out a little more? Each story does have its natural length, and if you are self-publishing then you don’t need to justify anything to anyone except for yourself – and your future readers.


Novellas fall between 10,000 and 40,000 words.

Adult fiction (commercial and literary)

Usually between 80,000-100,000 words. If you aim for around 90,000 words you should be fine.

Science and fantasy fiction

Science fiction and fantasy readers like more of an ‘epic’ tale – so here the maximum is higher. 110,000 counts as ‘epic’, but books usually fall between the 90,000 to 120,000 range, with 150,000 as a maximum.

Historical Fiction

Similarly, historical fiction readers also like ‘epic’ tales with historical details. You don’t want to bore them with too much historical information, but you still need to write a convincing story which conjures up the feel of the era. Aim for the 100,000-word mark.

Romance Fiction

Romance novels can be very varied, with an array of different sub-genres. They can be from 50,00-100,000 words, depending on if it’s a Mills and Boon style, a longer Chick Lit, or an even longer historical romance. Look at books that are similar to yours to see which sub-genre yours fits into, and how long it should be. Is it a quick pool read, or an epic love story? If you aim around the middle, 80,000 should be fine, but it’s up to you.

Crime Fiction

Around 70,000-90,000 words is a good guideline. Keep the narrative taut and full of suspense without excessive description, making the book long enough to satisfy the reader without making if feel like a slog.

YA Novels

It’s harder to say what the ‘expected’ word count is for YA fiction. Around 50,000-80,000 words is normal, with a little flexibility due to the sub-genres found in YA, for example fantasy and sci-fi books could be longer.

Non-Fiction Books

Unfortunately it’s not really possible to advise on the ideal length for non-fiction titles as the range is too varied. We can only advise to read the kind of books you’d like to write, especially those which have been published recently. This will give you an idea of the length that publishers and readers expect at the moment.

Children’s Books

The world of children’s publishing is varied, depending on the type of book and the age range of the intended reader.

Read this article from Writers & Artists to give an overview of writing for the Children’s book market.

We hope that’s useful information, and good luck with your book in 2017.

Further reading:

14 Posts

Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Latest response Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Most popular response
    Mike Malone


    30 Mar 12:30

    In my opinion what matters is the pupose of the book. Dictionaries should be big and stay at home. Small novels should be light and easy to read in public transport. I read at writing service that they prefer lighter editions and I agree with them.

    Angela Maria


    03 Apr 13:18

    I think the piece of information which you have provided here would be useful to all writers those who are going to publish their books in this year. Following these steps will be useful to make profit so I will follow this. modular home manufacturers

    milan joy


    28 Apr 13:04

    Before publishing your book for the first time, I think you should go through this article. It clearly gives an idea on the length of your genre in order to make a profit. I have gone through this article and it is well written. Keep up the good work. louvre guided tour

    Daisy Faith


    10 May 08:25

    In my opinion what matters is the pupose of the book. Dictionaries should be big and stay at home. Small novels should be light and easy to read in public transport. I read at term paper writing service that they prefer lighter editions and I agree with them.

    Kristine Stevart


    16 Jun 12:15

    The authorities’ identify that by headfirst a document that contentedly fits into essay writing service a profitable class they have a much improved opportunity of selling your book to the suits.

    jiya joseph


    22 Jun 12:27

    While giving a book for publishing, the publishers should be aware of the average size of the book to be published. Don’t make it too big as it will be difficult for the reader to carry to other places. Different types of books have different size.

    April Russell


    10 Nov 09:47

    I wanted to have the novel size as 5.5×8.5 but most of the novels I measured are much smaller…7.5 max. Any suggestions/ideas? I am planning to self publish but the book will be available in a few local stores as well. juegos friv gratis online.

    rosesandra sandra


    15 Nov 11:40

    Impressive way of acknowledgement! Students who need coursework writing help can get the best assistance around them.

    Anna Shetty

    Anna - Most popular response

    23 Jan 01:51

    I was excited & so happy. Fast as I could blink the moment was gone. I loved every minute! Do router login

    Glwo blog


    18 Apr 06:42

    The 32-year-old wideout is coming off his best season as a Patriot, finishing with 61 catches for 659 yards and two touchdowns cheap jerseys wholesale. As solid as that production was, Amendola’s work in the postseason was even more impressive, leading Rob Gronkowski to dub him Danny NBA JERSEYS “Playoff” Amendola. In three playoff games Amendola tacked on 26 receptions for 348 yards and two more scores.

    Amendola battled injuries after signing a big free agent deal to join the Patriots in 2013 following the departure of Jacksonville Jaguars Jersey Wes Welker. As a result of those injuries, the Patriots monitored his play time – as well as his salary – in the ensuing seasons.

    Amendola accepted pay cuts in each of the last three seasons, New York Jets Jersey and according to reports was unwilling to accept less to remain in New England. NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported Amendola’s deal is for two years and $12 million with $8.25 million guaranteed.

    wiatmppgryar Bloggs


    18 Apr 08:35

    Custom made Jerseys less costly

    A several years in the past My partner and i has been any co-chair for our university market. Looking for NFL jerseys throughout the industry? Below are a few recommendations on just how and also where you should acquire Jerseys: jordan hicks jersey There were long gone out there and also obtained charitable contributions for your market together with expectation regarding elevating a large amount of funds to aid with your university plans. There were had the oppertunity to produce contacts having an NBA baseball staff and so they provided us all any monetary gift of your staff shirt. lane johnson jersey That they had that autographed simply by a number of the participants. We all have been actually anxious about the particular monetary gift Philadelphia Eagles.

    We we hadn’t given it significantly considered, jerome brownish jersey nevertheless the evening with the market we all noticed we all we hadn’t considered significantly about how precisely we might exhibit the particular shirt. We all swiftly received a great easel and also put up that around the easel. jaylen watkins jersey That seemed excellent, yet My partner and i was hoping we might have got considered from the alternatives regarding showing the particular shirt. My partner and i realized a diverse means of showing the particular jason peters jersey may have effortlessly improved the worth with the shirt.

    The increasing reputation regarding Countrywide Sports Little league mack hollins jersey(AMERICAN FOOTBAL) and also arrival regarding custom made jerseys inside the sports clubs provides altered the particular staff products. Staff products like the jason kelce jersey is now trendier. Shirt provides transcended the “working clothes” effect. Custom made jerseys regarding Along with good quality timepieces, high-class automobiles and also diamond jewelry custom made personalized evisu denims are becoming with a mark regarding position, which usually value just isn’t determined by planet trend styles. present day AMERICAN FOOTBAL sports participants have got reduced fleshlight sleeves, radiant shades and also desirable styles. donnie jones jersey The particular sports clubs today pay out significant consideration toward layout and also physical appearance of these staff products.

    Wearing look-alike jerseys regarding AMERICAN FOOTBAL sports complements to guide their particular staff will not be a fresh sensation for your sports followers. Nonetheless, today the particular nelson agholor jersey has brought any stage in advance and you may locate many individuals sporting AMERICAN FOOTBAL traditional jerseys also out from the sports domains. Sporting countrywide sports little league team-brian dawkins jersey of these favored sports staff or perhaps person has changed into a private type assertion with the youthful technology. This kind of alteration ’s regarding improving requirement regarding sporting activities products generally speaking and also rodney mcleod jersey specifically. everybody knows in which From suppliers jerseys can easily help save plenty of your cash.

    Moreover, the particular intense reputation regarding sports since sports activity in the us provides more popularized the particular jaylen watkins jersey. You can find way too many ways regarding sports followers; many of them are usually AMERICAN FOOTBAL Sports, School Sports, NCAA Sports low-cost legarrette blount jersey can’t simply allow you to seem a lot more gorgeous yet Keep your funds. and extremely There are a variety regarding fantastic varieties of Louis Vuitton Bags accessible at the same time with all the “LKS” layout published to them. well-known Friday Night time Sports. These kinds of activities have got included with the particular increasing requirement regarding sports jerseys and also staff products. Many individuals have a passion for gathering traditional jerseys (video game used) and also look-alike wilbert montgomery jersey regarding AMERICAN FOOTBAL celebrities.


    crothermbeme bloggs


    18 Apr 08:35

    On Monday,NFL jersesys shop US local time, the New England Patriots began their first voluntary activity in the offseason. Many media have focused their attention on the absence of quarterbackShop NFL Jerseys By Team Tom Brady and near-fielder Rob Gronkowski. However, the return of a key player deserves the same level of attention. He is the wide receiver – JulianBuy Customized NFL Jerseys Edelman. On Monday, Edelman appeared in the Gillette Stadium. This was his first step toward a $500,000 training bonus.Shop NFL Hats
    The amount Shop NFL T-Shirtsof this bonus ranks first in the Patriot team. The following is the comparison of Edelman’s total training bonus with other players in the team: Edelman:Shop NFL Hoodie $500,000 in Glonnowski: $250,000 Kickback Goalbacker Kodarel Patterson: $250,000 in defense Endpoints Lawrence Guy: $200,000 kicker Stephen Gestkowski: $100,000Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys security guard Patrick Bell (Clock family): $85,000 In addition to the bonus, Edelman’s appearance is also A positive signal was Minnesota Vikings Jerseysreleased: He was recovering systematically from the anterior cruciate ligament tear injury on August 25 last year. With Brandine Cooks Customized Seattle Seahawks Jerseysbeing traded by the team, Danny Amundola joined the Miami Dolphins again through the free agency market. As Brady’s numberCustomized Carolina Panthers Jerseys one goal, Edelman’s return to health in the new season is The Patriots’ top priority. As a rule, Brady and Edelman hadIndianapolis Colts Hats practiced many passes during this offseason.
    In addition, Edelman’s move Tampa Bay Buccaneersto Gillette Stadium on Monday was also a balance between strength training and Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero. Edelman, who willSeattle Seahawks Hoodie soon turn 32, is a frequent guest of the TB12 Sports Therapy Center founded by Guerrero.
    It is reported that Brady may reduceLos Angeles Chargers Hoodie the frequency of participating in the Patriots training during this offseason, and will pay more attention to his training withBaltimore Ravens T-shirts Guerrero. From the current situation, Edelman does not seem to have similar ideas with Brady. (TB12 is Tom Brady’s English initialsAtlanta Falcons T-shirts and jersey number.) If you don’t remember what Elderman’s Patriots lost last season, perhaps the following three facts can remind Denver Broncos T-shirtsyou of Edelman’s Importance: 1. He collected data in 89 postseason games, ranking third in NFL history, second only to Jerry Rice’s 151Jacksonville Jaguars Hoodie and Reggie Wayne’s 93.
    This also means that as long as Edelman completed Los Angeles Rams Hatsfive postseason catches, he will surpass Wayne and rank second in history. 2. He was one of 14 players who completed at least 1000 yardsCustomized New England Patriots Jerseys of NFL postseason advancement and ranked 13th in NFL history with 1024 yards of data. As long as Edelman finished San Francisco 49ers Jerseyscatching the ball in the 39-yard playoffs, he will be ranked in the top ten in history. 3. In his career, a total of four postseasonArizona Cardinals Jerseys games have completed single-field catches and advanced over 100 yards. In this data, he and Dion – Blanche together, ranked first in the history of the Patriots.

    Kevinogi jhome


    19 Apr 06:22

    Manfred said he didn’t philadelphia phillies jersers know that new york mets jersers the Marlins’ new owners planned to tear it down
    In the early moments of the interview, Le Batard asked Manfred whether he knew prior to the recent sale to the group fronted by Bruce Sherman and Jeter whether the new owners planned to slash payroll. After some prodding (and Le Batard’s saying that the commissioner was lying), Manfred answered, We do not get involved in operating-level decisions in chicago white sox jersers the ownership approval process.

    We did not have chicago cubs jersers player-specific cleveland indians jersers plans from the Miami Marlins or any other team that has been in the ownership process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared by us or approved by us. … Those are local decisions that really are not part of the approval process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared with us or approved chicago white sox jersers by us.

    Manfred went on to say that he didn’t receive a payroll plan from the Marlins until two days prior to his interview miami marlins jersers with Le Batard. cleveland indians jersers More: We don’t get into, are you going to trade ‘Player X’ or ‘Player Y’ at a particular point in time, nor do we ask them to make st. louis cardinals jersers a commitment to people before they even got in and made an evaluation of their talent level, their ability to win with the people that they have. That’s just not how the ownership process works.

    wholesale baseball jersers
    But some of that may not be true
    Here’s a key excerpt from a must-read Barry Jackson piece in the Miami Herald:

    A source directly involved in the Marlins sales process, after hearing the Le Batard interview, said, miami marlins jersers via text: Commissioner said was not aware of [Jeter] plan to slash payroll. Absolutely not true. They request and receive the operating plan from all bidders.

    Project Wolverine [the name for Jeter’s plan] called on his group to reduce payroll to $85 million. This was vetted and approved by MLB prior to approval by MLB. Every [Jeter] investor and non investor has the Wolverine financial plan of slashing payroll to $85 million. Widely circulated.

    First off, Project Wolverine is ludicrously self-important and sinister-sounding, as budget strategies go. That’s the name of a secret NSA laboratory deep under the Caballo Mountains in New Mexico, not a financial schematic. Do better, Jeets. Anyhow, there’s enough careful phrasing in Manfred’s comments (operating-level decisions, ‘Player X’ or ‘Player Y’) to give him some plausible deniability. However, the idea that he didn’t know about plans to engage in yet another demo job by Marlins owners strains credulity.

    loa kéo


    05 Jun 09:40

    I feel the goodness after meet this creative type of the page which has the full description about the xe kéo hàng or Xe đẩy Inox giá rẻ, Xe nâng tay Pallet and tell to the every user the easiest way of the handle delete search bing engine. If you want to apply this then guys just visit here and look the option for you.

Purple_arrow_up-53af132e228e5075307be4092eb6fda7 First Post

Your comment



Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Self-publishing, Writing, Editing, Books, Authors, and Novels