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Hello group!  I am writing a book that I want to keep to 90 or 100 pages long.  I have 13,000 words so far.  I'm not planning on having photos, worksheets, etc.  It's a non-fiction book.  If it helps any, it is 30 pages long at 14 pt font in a Word doc.  


Does anyone have a guess as to how many words I would need?




Sutton Parks


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Thank you Brian. I plan on using CreateSpace as well. I'll check this out.

What kind of book will it be: ebook, hard cover, etc.?

14 pt. is rather large so it depends on what the final font size and type will be in the book.

But generally, you probably want to keep it between 35,000 and 40,000 words.

Thank you Deborah. I may shorten the pages and increase the font. This gives me an idea on how to set my expectations for the book length.
Sutton, don't forget about the "space wasters" haha.  You will use several pages for the Title page, permission and copyright info, about the author, dedications, endorsements, etc...  Also, skip a page at the beginning and end if needed.  Most books do.  Also, be sure to use a few pictures.  There is a 4th grader in all of us who likes to see pictures.    This is not fluff, but, rather a means of getting your message out there without having to write a huge novel you may not be ready to release yet.  It is a stepping stone that will get you to the next level.
Jeff, your book, Drumming Up Business, was one of my inspirations. I loved it! It kept me engaged, you told a story and had several teachable moments in it. That's the kind of book I would like to end up with. Thank you for your suggestions.

Usually you can figure a double-spaced manuscript page has about 250 words, more or less. A 90 page manuscript would contain about 22,500 words. A 100 page manuscript would be about 25,000 words. If you have 30 pages now, 13,000 words means you have 433 words per page. At the rate you're going, 100 pages will mean you could have 43,300 words. If you're using MS word you probably have a Word Count Tool that will help you get a more accurate count as you write.

However, I'm not sure it matters how many words you have so long as you give enough information for your readers to feel that they have received good value. I've reviewed many how-to and self-help books over many years for authors and publishers and the only time I felt "cheated" was when someone used up 90 pages to tell me something that could have been explained perfectly and adequately in a one-page article.

When I consider writing a book, I ask myself: "Is this a book, or is it really a booklet, report, article, tip sheet, or newsletter?"


My books, etc.: www.AndreaReynolds.com



Thanks Andrea. I've written almost 24,000 words but I'm going to split it up for 2 projects. My book is biographical about a certain time in my life and some lessons I've learned. Where I'm at is bare minimum, but i don't think it needs a whole lot more. I guess with CreateSpace I could add more or change it and resend them the new files if I felt I needed to.


A traditional tradebook is 240 pages and has 72,000 words.  So that works out to be 300 words per page.  And 13,000 words would be about 45 pages.


But in today's writing environment there is plenty of room for creativity.  Just 300 raw words per page may be tedious reading - no matter what the topic.  I always create a "call-out" about every 200 words - a quotation, cartoon, or reverse print drop-in.  

I've also taken 20 pages of double spaced content and had a designer turn that into a 40 page ebook.  I'll attach Learn and Grow Rich - that's pretty much exactly what we did there.  Some of Seth Godin's book have lots of white space.  Rob Bells' new book Love Wins has loads of one sentence lines and even one word lines - where he just dropped down each word for extra emphasis.

Don't let length artificially drive you.  Present the message you want to present.  Then you can make it an attractive book regardless of the number of words.  

Thanks Dan! I'm printing up the ebook now so I can see it on paper. I love it, especially the quotations. I think I'll stick to making the story as interesting as I can, then be creative with the layout like you suggest. I can add some "bells and whistles".
I already received a lot of feedback after only 3 hours!

Hi Sutton

Back in the dinosaur days when I took a typing class, we estimated 600 words per letter-sized page (double-spaced). This would mean a 100 page book would have around 60,000 words.

However, since you are using 14 point type, that number would reduce to 51000 words. Typewriter type is the equivalent of 12 pt type, so the 14 pt is 17% larger.

Hope this helps

Thank you Jean. I remember typing on a manual typewriter. Wow, things have changed.

Hey Sutton, when I wrote my book, I was told 20 font on regular typed pages equals about the same as a 5.5 x 8.5 regular font book.  So, if I had 125 pages on 20 font, then I would have 125 pages in a book. 

To be honest, the other advice seems much better but I thought I would give you my two cents.


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