Do You Know How Many Pages 5000 Words Is In An Ebook?

How Thick Is An Ebook

There is an old story that goes like this.

When an author submitted his new 35,000-word manuscript to his/her literary agent, the agent says, “um, looks good, but can you pad it out to 90,000 words?”

That was when the physical dimensions of a book were an important consideration.

Because the thicker the book, the more sales value potential it would carry when it sat on a shelf in a bookstore.

Does word count matter?

When I look at some of the books on my bookshelf, my collection of James Clavell novels are all very thick, either in hardback or paperback.

Yet in the middle of them is King Rat, which must have escaped Clavell’s literary agent’s attention.

It is a very short novel and a thin book.

Further on are my Douglas Adams books. Starting with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is incredibly short, and a very thin book.

But it is noticeable that all the subsequent books by Adams became thicker and thicker.

The Salmon of Doubt looks like a tome next to HHGTTG. Clearly, Adams’ agent must have told him to pad it out.

 

How many pages is 5000 words in an ebook?

Today, however, while the physical size of a book may still matter in a bookstore, ebooks have no dimensions.

It only takes a quick scan of a handful of ebooks, say in the Kindle Store, to notice that the number of pages that constitutes an ebook is almost as wide as the Pacific.

So, is it possible to define how many pages 5000 words is in an ebook?

Amazon used to estimate a page count in an ebook to be around 187 words. However, it seems as if the number might have increased to around 250.

But depending on the e-reading device and the font size setting, it varies significantly between a phone, a tablet, or a Kindle.

If a page is 500 words on an iPad, and 250 words on a Kindle, it might be only 120 words on a phone.

Here is what 187 words looks like in Microsoft Word.

187 words

Both pages are using Times New Roman 12 point font size. On the left, a page with single line spacing with 187 words fills only a quarter of the page.

The page double-spaced on the right fills less than half the page. To fill a page in Word, you would need around 500 words, 1.5 spaced or 750 words per page single-spaced.

 

How many pages?

Using Amazon’s number of words as a guide, 5,000 words would equal 26.73  ebook pages, and 6,000 words would be 32.08.

In two minutes, I found ebooks ranging from 10 to 950 pages. Would you pay good money for a 15-page ebook? An ebook with 15 pages amounts to only around 3000 words.

There were rumors in 2013 that Amazon had set a minimum word count of 2,500 words for a text-based ebook, which was reported by many blogs, including Galleycat.

It is still not clear if Amazon has a defined minimum word count for Kindle ebooks. The only mention is hidden deep in its Help pages.

“We do not allow content that disappoints our customers or creates a poor shopping experience, including but not limited to content that is too short.”

So what is too short? 300 words? 1000 words? 1500 words?

In any event, I struggle to accept that 2500 words can be called a book in any form.

Even a 5000 words essay, at a little over 20 pages, is only slightly longer than an online article or blog post.

 

Short is popular

What is noticeable, however, is that short read ebooks are very popular.

A check of some of the bestseller lists on Kindle reveals that ebooks at around 100 -150 pages are selling very well.

In past times, books of this length would have been classed as novellas.

But as an ebook has no dimensions, it hardly matters what you call it now. It’s an ebook.

I always let readers know upfront if one of my ebooks is a novella, and therefore a short read at around 30,000 to 35,000 words. But perhaps I’m showing my age and don’t need to bother anymore.

So how many pages is 1000 words? How many pages is 3000 words? Who cares about word counters, or how many words or pages are in it?

It’s just an ebook. So it doesn’t matter anymore.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

21 thoughts on “Do You Know How Many Pages 5000 Words Is In An Ebook?

  • Avatar for Fern
    February 1, 2021 at 1:44 pm
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    I found this article very helpful, thank you! I have written and published some short stories and priced them at $0.99 each. In Scrivener the default value for words per page (via project statistics) is 350 words per page, but I haven’t figured out how Amazon works out the number of pages. I can give some examples of word count and Kindle pages if this helps anyone.

    1. Short story (SF) of 1,948 words in Scrivener / 1,926 in MS Word = 12 pages

    2. Short story (horror) of 1,653 words in Scrivener / 1,643 words in Word = 10 pages

    3. Short story (erotica) of 6,223 words in Scrivener / 5,966 words in Word = 19 pages

    I used a Word document and Kindle Create for these books. Some short erotica titles in the same genre as my book are priced much higher; I noted one was $3.00 for 19 pages and another was $3.28 for 39 pages. Although the royalty rate is much lower, it just didn’t feel right to charge more than $0.99 for such a short book. My current work in progress looks as if it will be over a hundred pages and will likely be priced a little higher, but I’ll keep my shorter pieces at the lowest possible price. I want readers to feel like they receive value for money and aren’t being ripped off.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Jack Eason
    July 27, 2020 at 8:49 am
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    These days does it actually matter. Asking how many pages is as absurd as “how long is a piece of string!”

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 27, 2020 at 9:46 am
      Permalink

      Yes, but there are some very short pieces of string in the Kindle Store today, Jack.

      Reply
      • Avatar for Becca Lynn Mathis
        September 13, 2020 at 7:42 am
        Permalink

        FWIW, I would still call it a novella if it meets the basic word count definition of one (roughly 30-40k words). This way, readers know what to expect and you become less likely to get reviews that say your novel is too short.

        It may be “out of date” with the e-reader market, but there are still MANY readers who like physical copies. And they DEFINITELY want the distinction.

        Reply
  • Avatar for Gavin
    July 24, 2020 at 6:57 pm
    Permalink

    Is a 5k word non fiction ebook (niche health related) too short? I I’m thinking of publishing it on Amazon but as already mentioned, there is no real guidance on this.

    I also have a 3k waiting in the wings too

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 24, 2020 at 7:05 pm
      Permalink

      If you want a blunt and honest answer, I write longer blog posts than that. You might consider combining your short articles together to get to a reasonable length.

      Reply
  • Avatar for foo foo writer
    June 21, 2020 at 11:28 am
    Permalink

    I write for fun. Many of my stories end up in the 7K to 10K range mostly because it’s a once concept story. They aren’t too complex and usually either horror or dirty romance. As I’m just getting started, I haven’t found whether people enjoy the shorter stories or not. I’ll be honest with you, I prefer shorter stories. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve glossed over novels by famous writers because there is just too much unrelated information. I sitll read their books because the stories are good, but I could do without the 200 pages of what I call fluff. But that’s just me. I think I’m just going to price everything at 99 cents no matter how long I make it (probably never over 30K.) Hopefully that will keep everyone happy and I will sell enough to keep me happy.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Prince Wills
    March 30, 2020 at 1:50 am
    Permalink

    How about calling the short stories “Airplane Books”. If, it hasn’t been mentioned, that is.
    How about, “Travel Pads”, sounds minimalist.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Jenny Redford
    January 31, 2020 at 3:38 pm
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    I have to question that Amazon words per page estimate. I wrote a 50K book and based on how many pages it is — at least according to Amazon — I have roughly 340 words per page. That’s WAY different than the 187 words per page that they estimate. Am I doing something wrong? Should I be editing or formatting my book in a different way to get a higher page count? This is especially an issue for me because I also have it listed in KU, which pays out per page.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      January 31, 2020 at 4:14 pm
      Permalink

      Amazon doesn’t explain the 187 number very well. But I could assume that it is based on an average font size on a Kindle screen. The smaller the font, the more words per page.

      Reply
      • Avatar for Hyginus Okwuchukwu(Ginuschuks) Okonkwo
        September 16, 2020 at 9:08 am
        Permalink

        Great and good insights I have found here as well as challenging questions and answers.
        .
        I have not made eBooks before. I am just on training. I just woke up with this question in my mind,”what should be an ideal words count and page of a standard eBook?”
        .
        #Ginuschuks

        Reply

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