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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

eBooks - Size does matter

Smashwords have released some interesting data that seems to suggest the claims that eBook readers prefer shorter novels is just not true -  a nine-month chunk of sales data, aggregated across multiple Smashwords retailers was analyzed, to determine if there were potential data-driven metrics that might reveal the answer to this and other common questions regarding reader preferences. The data encompassed millions of dollars in book sales for a data set of slightly more than 50,000 books.


The answer? The data indicates a strong preference among customers for longer e-books.

The chart above  analyzes Smashword's 1,000 bestselling ebooks across all genres and categories, broken into ranges of top 10, top 25, top 50, etc.It paints a remarkably straight line that indicates as the word count decreases, sales decrease. Our top 10 bestselling titles averaged 121,000 words. It's a length that most print publishers would discourage because of the cost of printing, shipping and handling.
It's worth noting that print publishers typically won't publish extremely short works either, simply because they need a minimum number of printed pages to create a solid spine upon which they can print.With ebooks, however, there is no paper. An ebook publisher can create an ebook of 500 words (possibly a single poem) or an epic title of 500,000 words. Now that so many ebooks of all lengths are published, we finally have the data to start understanding what readers really prefer.

The second chart provides a more detailed perspective. In this chart above, and  focuses on specific bands of bestsellers, so the top 1-50, top 1,000-2,000, top 5,000-6,000, and top 20,000-21,000. By examining books within each band, we gain a better understanding of how readers are reacting within each range. The top 1-50 titles average 106,000 words, whereas the books ranked #20,000 through #21,000 -- a veritable no-man's land of poor sales and obscurity -- averaged under 50,000 words.


Find the all the data Here

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