Some time ago, I had an aspiring author ask me the number of pages that will be enough for books. I have also seen people ask me the number of pages will be Ok for their book? Some people have also put their publishing goals on hold because they believe they need a certain number of pages before it becomes enough for them to publish. No doubt the number of pages of your book matters in your publishing consideration; however, many people place excessive emphasis on it; especially where it doesn’t matter. On Publishing Roadmap for this week, I want to talk about your book page number, where it matters and answer the question: How many pages is enough?
The first point I want to make is that your page number is what determines the volume of your book. Of course, what determines the page number of your manuscript include word count, page size, font type and size and formatting.
I have seen aspiring publisher ask me for a quote and when I ask for their page number, they quote a figure which, to the best of knowledge, is not backed by any calculation. Sometimes, they assume that the number of pages on their word document is the number of pages in the finished work. Other times, they assume since they want their book formatted on a5 size paper, their book page number double of the a4 page number on their word document.
In the last three years, I have formatted at least 15 books and my experience is that that method of page number calculation is often faulty. They are not just inaccurate; they actually don’t give close range the page number that will help the publisher or printer give a fair quote.
To make the best estimation of a book page number from a manuscript, you need to know the font type, size, margin and spacing sizes that will be used in the final book. That’s what can give you a fairly accurate estimation.
My goal in this post is not to tell you how to determine the page number for your next book. But I believe that what I just explained above should suffice as a little guide that can help you when you ate trying to get quotes from printers.
My point is that the number of pages for your book impact on the cost of production and sales. That’s very easy to understand. So, it says little or nothing about the quality of your book. Other things being equal, nobody buys a book for the number of pages in it, people do because of the value they hope they get from the book and their assurance of getting it.
Many times, when people ask me for the number of pages is good enough for their books, what they are often asking for is the number of pages that will be good enough for the book to be quality. But then, the number of pages for your book only tells us about the volume, not the quality.
What determines the quality of your book is the content. The formatting equally adds to the quality because it positively impacts the readability and ease of use by the target audience. When your book is poorly formatted, it makes reading tiring and boring.
On a good day, I will teach you how your book should be formatted for ease of reading on paper and digital devices. But you should actually pay attention to your book formatting because it matters. It helps your reader actually read your book to the end once they start.
If your book titles or subtitle says that your book shows how to find a good wife even if I am a busy banker that doesn’t have chance to socialize, just deliver on your promise, and we will be fine. What makes your book really quality is that when I get it, I get the information that I seek to get from your promise on your cover.
It’s when your book solves a problem for me that I will call it quality; not when you fill it with irrelevant texts just to make it voluminous. In fact, if you fill your book with fluffs just to increase the volume, you irritate your readers because you make them read junks instead of the truly useful contents that will help them solve their problem or enjoyed the story you are telling.
To answer the question directly, the number of pages that is enough is just enough for you to be able to make your point and sit down. Just assume that your book is a talk or a seminar and delivered to people who have an urgent need for a solution, and they don’t have time to waste. Write until you have done that; then put a full stop.
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