Do ebooks have to be 200-300 pages long to sell?

by hooty
73 replies
I am just wondering whether people in general would buy a ebook if its "thick" like a few hundred pages long. Is it really necessary to publish ebooks this size in order to do well?

OR

It doesn't really matter?

Anyone with good sales experience and success with very short ebooks (20-50pages)?
#ebooks #long #pages #sell
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    You can write an ebook of any size. The number of pages is nowhere as important as what you offer your readers. I have written and edited a lot of different ebooks and they have varied from 10 pages to over 200 pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author leighk
    It's all about the content. Just think of real books, are they all the same size? Some are 70 pages some are 300 and some are over a thousand. If the content is clear, concise and correct, you can do well with smaller books no doubt.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    You can write a book in any length you want.

    What matters is ensuring the story is relayed and in the appropriate manner too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammod Ali
    ebook pages is not the main fact ,you should assure the quality content of this book.
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Nathan
    As others have said, it's all about the content. I don't think any length should matter. I usually believe in over delivering to your buyers, but in saying that, sometimes you can just rabble on and dilute any good content you have. I don't think there's a right answer. Just write, edit, and reevaluate. Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucktony
    You can write long or short eBooks as you want. But need to be well versed and error free.
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  • Profile picture of the author SamuelCheema
    As long as Ebooks go, they are a bit harder to keep a reader engaged than video in my opinion. If you are able to provide quality and engaging content for 200 pages then by all means give it, but then again what I would do is break that down into separate parts if possible and sell them as different Ebooks. i usually like the 8-15 page ebooks as they are not too short and have enough content to be able to give quality information.

    Samuel
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    I would say its the value your bring forward in the ebook. It can be a simple 7 page ebook but if it solves a problem and provides a solution then the job is done!
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Imo the length isn't as important as other things. To me the bottom line is the value the ebook offers in comparison to the price.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pradeep Bhagwat
    To sell a e-book you need...

    • Quality
    • Quantity
    • Quality Sells page
    • Quality promotion



    If there is no quality content the buyer will never buy from you again.
    If you have Quantity and Quality but don't have quality sells page your ebook will not sell.
    If you don't have quality promotion your good work may get ruin.

    So, all `four Q`s are essential to sell a ebook.


    - Pradeep
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    how long is a piece of string?

    Its all about the amount of value you put into it

    and how well you know your audience....

    If your audience needs to stop coughing at night and you know an old thai recipe that can relieve night coughing then you gotta a winner.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    As others have inferred NO one size fits all. It depends on your Niche, Audience, quality of the E-book etc..

    Personally, I would not read an E-book of that length. If it interested I would "skim" read it

    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author nikhilsonu44
    Having 30 to 50 pages with good content is better than having 200-300 pages long to sell a eBooks. People need good stuff in ebook which helps and works for them but they don't need more page counts as many ebooks which are less than 20 pages with good stuff are having huge sales in the market.
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  • Profile picture of the author MValmont
    Not at all.


    It really depends of the market.

    Non fiction books tend to have less pages and sell well, whereas fiction you usually need more pages because people want to be entertained...

    Non fiction= you provide a solution. If you give the solution in one page, the client will still be happy..

    Fiction: they want to be entertained, so it has to be long.


    There are exceptions to the rules of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    Hi, generally speaking, shorter EBOOKS that add sufficient value tend to perform better than the ones that flip, expand and play with words. However, there is an anothe side of coin to this. For example most of the bloggers, while developing lead magnets, compromize on the quality of ebook by crafting low-value generic crap. This is something you must watch out for.

    As far as your pages are delivering value - keep on inking them!

    Thanks
    Junaid
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    In this busy day and age, I personally believe that 200-300 pages is too long for most purposes. People don't have the attention span or desire to commit hours to non-stop reading.

    I would be much more apt to buy a whole series of 10 page reports than one long document, even if the content was comparable.

    There is something about digesting content in bite-sized pieces that appeals to me. One step at a time, at least online, is more enticing and maybe a better way to organize your content.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author trobo
    As others have mentioned - it's all about value, not length.

    I remember reading a while back, about a marketer who was selling a particular proven & tested technique in PDF "ebook" form for around $500.

    It was only 12 pages long if I remember correctly, and it was selling well at that price.

    Of course, this guy had a reputation as a specialist in the field and for delivering high quality info.

    The point is, if your product can solve a real urgent problem for your audience, then it is the solution to that problem that will justify a higher price. No need to sell them a lot of "fluff" they don't need.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Length is one of the least important factors in the success of an ebook...

    What DOES matter:

    1. Compelling topic with killer headline - honestly these two factors are two of the most important factors - of course the ebook or book must deliver, but in terms of catching attention and gaining enough interest to sell, these two factors are very important

    2. Focused on Results. Can't tell you how many ebooks we've seen that fail primarily because they want to inform or tell people things when the audience really wants a faster, better or less painful way to get a very specific RESULT. Because of this I recommend all ebooks in the non-fiction, information product space outline their ebook in terms of a course (a set of steps to reach a specific result)

    3. The cover and sales page or sales video - obviously these are critically important. You must catch the prospect where they are in their current headspace and deliver them to where they will be once they use the material in your ebook

    4. Testimonials - having people back up the fact that your ebook delivers and having them vouch for the specific steps will make a huge difference in the sales of your ebook

    5. Your sales funnel. Having the ability to "warm" your prospect up through prior content and a sales funnel will also make a massive difference in the sale of your ebook

    There are other factors such as scarcity/deadlines, contests, partner/affiliate offers and promotions that you can use as well that will directly impact the sale of your ebooks.

    Back to your question on length...what is important is that the buyer feels they have achieved a detailed enough set of steps, points or lessons that they can realize the benefit that led them to buy the book in the first place.

    I would try and keep your ebook over 30-pages (anything lighter and I would be tempted to call it a Report or a Guide) just to manage expectations and reduce refunds.

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    The top selling author in the world - James Patterson - introduced "BookShots" a couple weeks ago.

    These are short, action packed books that can be read in a couple hours. Patterson said they are for today's readers who don't have a lot of time but like a fast moving plot. I just bought two of them but haven't gotten to them yet.

    Currently reading Patterson's "Bullseye" and can't put it down...
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    • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      The top selling author in the world - James Patterson - introduced "BookShots" a couple weeks ago.

      These are short, action packed books that can be read in a couple hours. Patterson said they are for today's readers who don't have a lot of time but like a fast moving plot. I just bought two of them but haven't gotten to them yet.

      Currently reading Patterson's "Bullseye" and can't put it down...
      He's my favourite author, Kay, and I bought a few of his BookShots and they are just as brilliant as his full length ones. I try to read everything of his that I can. He's also a very "easy" read.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Originally Posted by hooty View Post

    I am just wondering whether people in general would buy a ebook if its "thick" like a few hundred pages long. Is it really necessary to publish ebooks this size in order to do well?

    OR

    It doesn't really matter?
    It's not the quantity of information but the quality of information. For instance if you would teach people/Teenagers how to cure their acne in 20 pages or so, then it's a good value-proposition.
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    • Profile picture of the author ferrychristian
      A true reader will never bother about the pages, because on who reads, reads with heart, and 200-300 pages are not a big deal.
      I have been reading an ebook, which has 200 pages, so its like quality, over quantity.
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

      how to cure their acne in 20 pages or so, then it's a good value-proposition.
      Wouldn't that depend on the price of the book? :-)

      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

        Wouldn't that depend on the price of the book? :-)
        True. Good point.
        )
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  • Profile picture of the author William Waltham
    Length isn't important in non-fiction, and only important in fiction if you're writing a full-sized novel. I've sold hundreds of dollars' worth of a handful of 25-page informational e-books on Amazon, usually for $1.99 each. All you need is good content, well-written, on a subject that interests people. They will find it, and buy it regardless of its length. In fact, some people looking for information want shorter books with quick, easy to read information.
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  • Profile picture of the author T S Chan
    People will buy if your ebook helps to solve their problems.

    Is not about the number of pages.
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  • The busier someone is, the faster they want the answer to whatever their problem is. It's not about how "thick" the book is as it is how relevant to their challenge.
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    It's all about the content. I have bought eBooks that are 400 pages and some that are 30, it all comes down to what is inside. Also, if I am reading a novel I expect a certain length, if I am buying an eBook about Marketing I usually prefer it to be short and sweet + to the point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex July
    I don't believe in stuff like "your books must be at least 500 pages long", "your blog posts must be at least 5000 word long".
    I don't care about the size of the book, but what I care about is the value it provides.
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  • Profile picture of the author jay walters
    Make it as long as you need it to achieve what you want to achieve. That's vague, but there's not 1 answer fits all for this matter. Don't think of the content length, but rather communicating the value that your audience/reader needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesbartram
    Hi,

    It is absolutely not about the quantity of content- It is all about the quality of content however. If an ebook is only 5 pages long, but it contains genuine value, a unique presentation, and helpful content, then that will be more successful than one that 250 pages long, that hasn't got a clear focus, and isn't as helpful, or doesn't create as much value.

    Remember- if something is free, it can also mean that someone doesn't care for it as much, so having a 250 page ebook might also be a little bit excessive. Keep it short, keep it concise, with as much value and content as you can.

    Kind regards,

    James.
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  • Profile picture of the author vivekbeatbox
    Quality matters always. It must be highly informative with rich content and images. 5-10 pages ebook with a lot of quality information can satisfy the reader. Who wants to read a 100 page ebook?
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  • Profile picture of the author julian2203
    Having a good content, you can summarized in 100 pages; helps readers quickly grasp the gist. Quality is more important than quantity. Anyway, hope you write successful
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    • Profile picture of the author ferrychristian
      Hi jamesbartram, I like your views, definitely quality is what all matters and good content presentation. Reader always focus on content, rather than the length.
      I agree with you.

      Regards
      Ferry
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  • Profile picture of the author hooty
    But if you are looking at all the books available on Kindle with the same topic or same title ... one cost $2.99 with 25 pages .... then another $2.99 with 150 pages ....with same number of reviews.

    Which one is more inclined to be picked?
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  • Profile picture of the author angelazar7
    I'd agree with the folks saying it's more about quality than quantity.

    I'd say the shorter and more impactful you can make the ebook the better. Nowadays, folks just don't have time to read an ebook for hours, unless it's a story or novel, but I imagine that's now what you're after.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author SmartDecisions
    Just as the others have explained. It is quality over quanity everytime! It wouldn't matter if it were 10 pages, 50 pages or even 200 pages. If you over them great content your book will do very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author apollo gabriel
    For my opinion it is better to have a short but has juicy information, the content is a lot better for your e-book to pick up in the market
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  • Profile picture of the author vovanfree
    Length does not matter . Just focus on quality and interest. It's all about the content. If your content is good then your sales will become good.
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  • Profile picture of the author multimastery
    It's quality over quantity. But then again it's about your reputation as well. If you have a great reputation and following, then people probably wouldn't care if your ebook was 2 pages if they have come to know and trust that you hold the keys to getting them the results that they want. But if you're some unknown person just trying to sell them an ebook for the first time, then the page count may be more of a deciding factor for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Why take our word for it?

    Go to Amazon and start reading through the one star and two star reviews. How many people piss and moan about how the "book" was only a few pages long - barely a magazine article or short story.

    In non-fiction, the sweet spot seems to be ~50-70 pages for single topic ebooks. In fiction, a time to read of about 2-4 hours looks good. This is based on Amazon's page estimates, not actual pages.

    Keep in mind, the proliferation of reading devices, with multiple screen sizes and reader-determined font sizes, has made the concept of "pages" pretty much irrelevant.

    The general principle of "quality over quantity" does still hold true. Padding for the sake of 'thud' is gone. If I buy a book on barbecue, I don't need a complete history of the technique all the way back to the first caveman who dropped his dinner in the fire. On the other hand, giving me a two-page summary and calling it a "book" will not earn you high reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Sacks
    Not for information products. I have sold countless E-books 20 pages and under.


    The tactic has to be completely laid out step by step and explained thoroughly. As long as you can do that, the page count does not matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author surfer30
    Its all about Value you offer to the market. There are ebook that has 1000 word and offer massive value and there are ebooks with 100 page are worth nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmgwriting
    Prioritise quality content over quantity content. If you create content just to make up the page numbers then you are doing your audience and disjustice.

    Personally, I like to read eBooks as quick as possible, so I can put the knowledge to use. I hate all the waffle and non-essential content that writers often include.

    Sure you can build up a story around your facts, knowledge that you provide and whatnot. But try to ensure that the majority of your content is quality AND relative.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Ultimately, it depends on your niche.

    Some niches are notorious for requiring relatively few pages (for example: kids' story books)

    The big danger here is equating LENGTH for VALUE.

    Focus on packing as much value into your book and LENGTH wouldn't be as big of an issue.

    I know that a lot of people are worried about short 'spamphlettes' Amazon is discouraging but they shouldn't fixate on LENGTH.

    Focus on quality and VALUE for money.
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  • Profile picture of the author fastlanesamurai
    If it takes you 250 pages to convey your message, by all means do so.

    I'll respect you for that.

    But, if you're going to use 250 pages for something that could be done in 50 pages -- You're just going to lose another customer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony J Namata
    Not in a million years! Content is what matters and gives value to your readers. I guess another way of putting it it... "less is more!" Depending on your niche and what you're writing about.
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  • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
    It is about value... not the number of pages....

    To be clear.... I mean value as cash in pocket... Not "entertainment value" that many IMer's call "value."

    I remember one of the "big guns" saying he paid $5,000 for a one page PDF....

    He thought he got the "bargain" of a lifetime....

    Why?

    The information in that one page PDF made him $100,000 the following year.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by RichBeck View Post

      It is about value... not the number of pages....

      To be clear.... I mean value as cash in pocket... Not "entertainment value" that many IMer's call "value."

      I remember one of the "big guns" saying he paid $5,000 for a one page PDF....

      He thought he got the "bargain" of a lifetime....

      Why?

      The information in that one page PDF made him $100,000 the following year.
      If I had a one page PDF worth paying $5k for, I wouldn't be asking if it's long enough in a marketing forum.

      Us mere mortals still have to take market expectations into account. And while the expectations of length have gotten considerably shorter in recent years, calling a single page document an "ebook" won't cut it with the average consumer.
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  • Most of the reader wants the main content will present in a proper way. So one should not write big & big ebook, such as 200 to 300 page. In this case by reading this 300 pages the reader will bore. So the content need to be in short but the write must clarify about the subject. Thanks for your advance.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      One of my recent ones is 14 pages and it is just flat out filled with stuff you will not find anywhere else.

      I can tell you one thing I won't be charging $7 for it


      - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author amaziff
    It heavily depends also on the topic but most of time personally I prefer shorter ebooks because I can read them more quickly. I want to learn something new and not waste lot of time reading through same things all over again.
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    • Profile picture of the author pawandave
      Banned
      It depends on topic, for IM around 30 to 50 page is good, what most of ebook is. It is always better to be point, unnecessarily stretching topic is not good idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author pennyroll
    I was just reading through an ebook I wrote years ago, it was only 10 or 11 pages but I was able to deliver the information within that number of pages completely. I use to sell it on ebay and I got a lot of good feedback from it. I think it's about the quality of information not length of book that really matters.
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  • Profile picture of the author maxsi
    300 pages? => NO!
    I suggest you 30 - 40 pages are good ( I make big $$$$$ with 10 pages ebooks)
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Ebook should be a MEDIA in your traffic generation strategy.

    So provide a banner for the opt in page every few pages.

    The size is not so relevant: just put some effort in order to difference it from a giveaway report.

    BUT

    if your questions are these, it's probably better you outsource it: lots of good writers in upwork will provide the best solution in any niche.

    Just focus on the STRATEGY: there's no a holy grail or a factor which will turn you in a millionaire overnight or boost your conversiol solely.

    You have to set lots of "weapons" merged together and in synch with each other: opt in pages, youtube channels, kindle ebook, giveaways, podcasts...

    try
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  • Profile picture of the author kazimuhith
    Not at all. It is the content that matters. An ebook can be 20 pages only , but be of great value if done properly.
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  • Most of the time Quality is main. Number of page does not matter. Most of the reader wants to get the main content. not history. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Deliver on what you promise. If you say you're going to teach them step by step how to build a chicken coop -- then do so. Use as many pages as it takes.

    Don't add extra fluff to pad the page count. Readers would rather you get to the point. Be clear and concise.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Cesar Sampaio
    You can certainly sell an e-book like that if the subject demands it like hardcore programming or 3D modelling but for most marketers' needs that's an excess of pages.

    Cut the fluff and keep the essentials. Make that 200 pages book a 100 pages one.

    But on the other hand don't make it too thin as well. It can end up too dry.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hemantkumar
    Nope I don't think so....
    Pages doesn't even matter that much, the thing which matters the most is that quality content you provide in your eBook.
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  • Profile picture of the author madstan
    I can appreciate a 2 to 100000000000 page ebook as long as it contains information that is relevant to the goals I am trying accomplish and gets straight to the point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

        "100000000000 page ebook" getting straight to the point?

        Steve
        Sure. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the US Tax Code.
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  • Profile picture of the author samuelbreezey
    So in reality it all depends on QUALITY!!!

    You could have a book which is 200 odd pages vs that which is 50 pages. The longer book simply waffles on where as the shorter one is more to the point. I know which one I would prefer reading and recommend to others.

    So the saying goes - Quality over quantity

    Hope this helps buddy
    Samuel
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    best ebook i read was 97 dollars. Mike filesales butterfly marketing.

    ITs was 100 pages, but oh boy it was awesome.

    I have also read a 15 page ebook, that was $200, but it basiically doubled my income in 6 months. So I would have paid more for it. Its crazy how that works, but it does.

    Its not the pages, its the content and high quality on the pages, that someone can read and have the power to change their life.
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  • Profile picture of the author ContentPro22
    I have 1,500-word eBooks on Amazon that sell for $3 each. I sell a few dozen per month each. Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author xixna
    It doesn't matter how many pages your eBook has. It's all about the content it offers. I've sold so many eBooks with 20-30 pages and never had an issue with customers. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammod Ali
    People will buy an ebook to learn and to solve their problems. So thenumber of pages is not the main fact.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheOverseer
    Just like an actual book. The contents or topic of it should cater your target market. The number of pages doesn't really matter as long as the contents are interesting #justmy2cents
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  • Profile picture of the author J50
    If you can tell me how to get free Adwords traffic forever, I will buy that information off you right now for $10,000. I personally couldn't care less how long the PDF is, if the information is good, we are good. Does that answer your question?
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Yes, people absolutely refuse to buy ebooks of 199 pages.

    As long as you're posting ridiculous (unanswerable) questions, I thought...
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    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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  • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
    Originally Posted by hooty View Post

    I am just wondering whether people in general would buy a ebook if its "thick" like a few hundred pages long. Is it really necessary to publish ebooks this size in order to do well?

    OR

    It doesn't really matter?

    Anyone with good sales experience and success with very short ebooks (20-50pages)?
    Your ebook--or any other book, for that matter--should be long enough to effectively tell your story and get your message across to your readers. Quality always is more important than quantity. Don't worry about the number of pages. Worry about the quality of content within those pages.
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    Book Publishing Shortcuts for Online Marketers: the EXACT strategies today's top independent authors are using to sell thousands of books online every year.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnny west
    Banned
    The size of the book really doesn't matter. It all depends on the content so it really depends on your subject matter and your ability to keep your reader engaged. I am an avid reader and find myself reading Kindle books that range from just a few pages to as many as one thousand.
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