January 21, 2018, 08:54:14 AM

Author Topic: How long should an ebook be?  (Read 2043 times)

r00tbeer

  • Mentor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: +7/-0
  • root with zeroes
    • View Profile
    • Cashdollar Automation
    • Email
How long should an ebook be?
« on: March 08, 2012, 04:50:44 PM »
How many pages do you think an ebook should have?

I am thinking about writing a book about home networking (computer networking).  I could write a full sized book on this topic 500 pages or more long.  However, that seems like a lot of work.

I am wondering what size and what price a book should be if I just want to get a feel for whether there is an audience for this type of book?

benfitts

  • Entrepreneur
  • Administrator
  • Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 209
  • Karma: +20/-0
  • Living the life of my dreams NOW, not later.
    • MSN Messenger - benjaminfitts@hotmail.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - BenjaminFitts
    • View Profile
    • Custom Greeting Cards
    • Email
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 05:42:20 PM »
How many pages do you think an ebook should have?

I am thinking about writing a book about home networking (computer networking).  I could write a full sized book on this topic 500 pages or more long.  However, that seems like a lot of work.

I am wondering what size and what price a book should be if I just want to get a feel for whether there is an audience for this type of book?

Is it for free or for sale?

Free ebooks are typically shorter than paid ones.

At the same time I personally wouldn't want to sit down and read a 500 page ebook. I'd buy a real book from amazon.

For me I'd say the sweet spot for paid ebooks is 50-100 pages.  I feel like I got my moneys worth and usually when I've sold ebooks like that haven't gotten a lot of refunds.  If it's too short I think you'll be likely to get more refunds.
Benjamin Fitts
877-BEN-FITTS
Membership Site Experts
Send Out Cards

r00tbeer

  • Mentor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: +7/-0
  • root with zeroes
    • View Profile
    • Cashdollar Automation
    • Email
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 10:47:10 PM »
I noticed on the Google adwords keyword tool that "home network how to" and related phrases had 1.8 million monthly searches and a competition of "low."  It seems to me that it is something a lot of people want to know how to do.  Another good one is "home server" with 1.2 million searches.

I was thinking of writing up a bunch of posts on computer networking, then cleaning them up somewhat and putting it into an ebook form with photos.  I'd have to sell it through an adwords campaign - because my site doesn't get enough visitors yet.

Possible titles would be something like "How to connect multiple computers to the internet", "Basics of Home Networking", or "Build a Home Server for Free."

There is a lot of info out there on this topic already, so I am not sure if it is a good idea or not.  It just seems like something that could possibly make some money.  I know a lot about this topic since it is part of what I do for my day job.

dtsaltas

  • Student
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 08:13:39 AM »
I don't think you should worry about the number of pages the ebook needs to be. Instead, pretend your buddy called you up and asked you to show him how to set up a home network. Now, pretend you can't visit him or call him - you have to provide him with the information in writing. What would you include? What's the most important background information about networking. What are the most important tasks he needs to know? And what equipment do you recommend and where should he buy it? When you have those basics covered to the point that you think the ebook would help your buddy set up his home network, then you have a long enough ebook.

Now, as an expert in the field, you probably find things like subnets and the associated masking interesting. You probably enjoyed learning the differences between ethernet and token ring at some point in your career. And you probably enjoy the history of how these technologies evolved. But if you're writing a book for a general audience who just wants to get a simple home network up and running, you don't want any of that depth in the book. You want it to be very practical and minimal. There's a place for the in-depth content. But that market is pretty saturated.

And the most important thing of all - start writing!

Good luck,
Dean

Mark Rose

  • Student
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 09:11:53 PM »
If you could write 500 pages on home networking, I imagine you're getting incredibly detailed, including configuring Samba, maybe LDAP, and CUPS on a NAS; configuring DNS, DHCP on a router; connecting to the office VPN; traffic shaping; a chapter on buffer bloat, where it lies, and how it severely impacts network performance; configuring TCP receive windows for high latency links in all major operating systems (Windows XP->8, Mac OS X, and at least one variant of Linux); zeroconf; Active Directory; how to pull CAT6 through walls without kinking it; how to analyse the 802.11 frequencies for interference; and those are just a few off the top of my head.

I'd sell three books. A short "For Dummies" version for Windows, another for Mac OS, and a third long, highly technical "O'Reilly" version for Real Nerds™.
Performance freak. Website scaling expert. PHP wizard.

r00tbeer

  • Mentor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: +7/-0
  • root with zeroes
    • View Profile
    • Cashdollar Automation
    • Email
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 06:40:18 PM »
I work as a Linux Engineer at my day job.  I could write about that stuff but after thinking about my question more I should instead just write whatever is successful on my blog.  I will just see what Google Analytics reveals to me that people are in need of and focus on that.

In other words - if I can't attract people to the topic on my blog, then it certainly doesn't do me any good to write a book about it, since no one will buy the book.  I will just use my blog to measure market demand.  There are probably a million sites about networking, so I probably can't compete in something so general.

The last month I have been trying to narrow down my posts to a very specific area, yet not so obscure that no one is searching for it...

JakeR

  • Mentor
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
  • Karma: +6/-0
    • View Profile
    • JakeFactor.com
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 11:30:54 PM »
Just to jump in here r00tbeer, I would have loved a free product (or maybe even a paid one) on how to set up a wireless router when I was looking.

Covering stuff like:

*WPA/WEP encryption
*Using dual band wireless to avoid interference from 2.4ghz phones
*Sharing other printers and computers.
*wireless signal issues.
*What happens when windows stops detecting your network.

Also as far as ebook lengths, look up http://chrisguillebeau.com/articles/  and his manefistos. He gives away 57+ pages at a time.  My free product is sitting right aroun 16-18 pages now, but its not quite complete yet.

One of Chris's books for sale is 57 pages + some audio.
Resources I use.
Bluehost Web Hosting. Reliable uptime, great interface and amazing customer service.
Standard Theme The wordpress them I use for most of my sites

save our skills

  • Mentor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Save Our Skills
    • Email
Re: How long should an ebook be?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 10:38:48 PM »
see my post on micro-transactions.. you can easily sell a 10 page book if it's good content.  99cents to $2

-Nick
Save Our Skills
It is up! The Survival Channel If you have a survival or prepper blog please PM me!