What’s the Recommended Length for a Novel’s Chapters?

Have you ever pick up a book with a super compelling title and a description that you were so captivated by that you couldn’t wait to sit down and start reading? But, once you dove in, did you find that the chapters were just too darn long?

If so, you are not alone. A lot of readers complain that they don’t like to engage with books that have chapters that are super long and drawn out. Why? – Because they want to be able to finish a chapter in a single sitting, and for most readers, a single sitting is about 10 to 15 minutes. If the chapters in a novel are too long, chances are that they are going to struggle with finishing a chapter in one sitting.

So, with that said, the question: “How long should the chapters in my novel be?” is begged.

The answer to that can be really tricky. However, here’s a look at what famed authors, publishers, and literary agents have to say on the topic…

What’s the Perfect Word Count for a Novel’s Chapters? 

On average, most authors, agents, and publishers recommend keeping the chapters of a novel to about 2,000 words. That seems to be the perfect number because the average reader can get through that amount in a single sitting. It’s not too much that it seems to be long and drawn out, it’s easily digestible, and enough drama can be built or questions can be answered in a 2,000 word chapter.

Now, that is not to say that a chapter can’t be longer. It certainly can be. In fact, there are plenty of acclaimed novels that feature chapters that are significantly longer – up to 6,000 words! But, the key here is that they are usually books that are written for older audiences or are genres that are expected to have long-winded chapters, such as science fiction or fantasy.

You can also have chapters that are fewer than 2,000 words. Just like there are plenty of famed books that have longer chapters, there are dozens that feature chapters that are shorter than 2,000 word. Some chapters may not even reach the 1,000 word mark! But, if you’re going to do that, you really have to make sure that the chapter is truly thrilling and captivating. Additionally, you should consider following up with a longer chapter. Doing so will help to keep the reader’s momentum going and make them want to dive right into a longer chapter that can answer more questions.

The Bottom Line

In short, there isn’t a specific rule that applies when determining the appropriate length for a chapter. While 2,000 words is recommended, you certainly don’t have to stick to it. You can have a very successful book with chapters that are shorter or longer than 2,000 words; however, just make sure that you are filling them appropriately. Remember: your goal is to entertain your audience and keep their attention. In other words, write what you think works best for your story.

Getting the Confidence to Start a Story

There are way more aspiring authors out there than there are published ones. In fact, the ratio of aspiring authors to authors that actually finish a story or novel (even if they never publish it) is probably around 30:1. One of the reasons why aspiring writers never start their stories is due to a lack of confidence. So buckle up, prepare a nice meal, and prepare yourself for becoming the writer of your dreams. In this article, we’ll go over some ways that you can get the confidence to start the story you have always wanted to tell, and hopefully, begin your career in writing fiction.

Read Lots and Lots of Books

One of the things that can give you the confidence to start a story is to read lots and lots of books. There are two ways in which this can give you confidence. First of all, you get confidence because you have read books or stories that you know you can do better at. This is a common coming-of-age point for any writer. When you realize that you can write a story better than someone who actually got published, it inspires great confidence to begin your own story. The second part is reading good stories that you want to emulate can give you motivation as well.

Take a Writing Class

Taking a writing class can jumpstart your confidence because you are surrounded by people who want to write just as badly as you do; in addition, one of the things that you will probably be required to do in any writing classes is write.

Join a Writer’s Group

Being part of a writer’s group will mean that you are listening to other people read their stories and it will make you want to come up with something of your own. In addition, you’ll get extra confidence when you read something you’ve written and everyone loves it. There is a writers group in almost every town and city in the United States; look on Meetup or other group sites and try to find something that you feel comfortable joining.

Set Small Writing Goals

If you are having trouble starting because a 50,000-word manuscript just seems like too much of an effort, then set small writing goals. If you can write a chapter, then you only have to worry about 1000 to 3000 words instead of an entire manuscript. In addition, set daily writing goals so that you only think about the words that you’re going to write for that day.

Set Aside Time to Write

If you set aside a time every day that you are going to write no matter what – even if it is only fifteen minutes – then you are going to get something down on paper. Even if you sit there and do nothing for the first time or two, eventually if you force yourself to sit down at the computer or with your pen and paper ploys to write, something is going to come through. This will likely keep you going long enough to get over the writer’s block.

Standard Book Sizes: Hardcover Books

There are three different standards in book publishing: the hardcover, the trade paperback and the mass-market paperback. These three types of books represent sort of the stage of life of books. In traditional publishing, a publisher will make a deal with a new author to publish their book and hardcover. These books are relatively expensive to purchase compared to other formats, and they are only expected to sell limited number of copies.

These are the books that get purchased by libraries all over the country as well as by bookstores to stock on the shelves. However, once the hardcover run is over, the publisher may choose to publish a paperback version of the book instead. These are less expensive to purchase because there are less expensive to publish. The first type of paperback that new books generally get published to is called a trade paperback. However, with some books that entire stage is skipped to go directly to mass-market. In other cases, the hardcover is skipped in the trade paperback is the main book the gets published.

Understanding hardcover books is important. There are some standard industry sizes for hardcover books that you should be aware of, and some other nuances with hardcover. Let’s start with understanding the trim size.

Understanding Trim Size

The trim size of a book is simply an industry term for the size of the book. When a book is published, the pages are mechanically trimmed so that they all fit perfectly. That’s why you have a completely flat surface without any bumps or ridges along the page edges of any of the books that you pull off of yourself. To make it easy to understand though, just consider the trim size of a book the physical dimensions of it.

Why Are Standard Sizes Important?

You might be wondering why standard sizes are important in any books out there. No matter if you’re talking about hardcover, trade paperback or mass-market, as well as the different genres out there, there are established standard sizes that almost every book is published in. These standard sizes are specifically designed to fit on the shelf at bookstores and libraries. Publishing a book in a standard size is important, because industry catalogs will not carry books that are not standard, and publishing in one of the sizes that the major publishers use legitimizes a book; even if you are self-publishing.

The Hardcovers of 5.5 x 8.5

There are two industry standards when it comes to hardcover books. Without getting into things like cloth covers and dust jackets, just understand the one of the industry sizes is 5.5 x 8.5.

The Hardcovers of 6 x 9

The other industry size for hardcovers is slightly larger at 6 x 9. These are the two sizes that almost all of the hardcover books are published in. There may be others that do not conform to these standard sizes, but they are pretty rare. If you go into a bookstore or get a hardcover off-the-shelf at your local library, these are the sizes that you will almost always find.

Source for this article: Reedsy

Rookie Mistakes To Steer Clear of If You’re Thinking of Publishing an Ebook

By liberating the masses from the constraints of traditional publishing, ebooks have opened the possibility of publishing a book up to countless authors, businesses, and organizations. If you’re thinking of writing an ebook now, you also benefit from the fact that you are no longer a pioneer. Ebooks are, in today’s world, both ubiquitous and trusted. They have the potential to help you achieve your goals regardless of who you are. 

Before you jump on the ebook bandwagon, however, you have some serious home truths to consider. Yes, you’ll find guides on how to write an ebook in under a month, or even in less than 24 hours, all over the web, as well as courses and articles raving that anyone can make money and build credibility by writing an ebook. The fact that anyone can publish an ebook doesn’t mean that anyone can do so successfully, or that there are no risks. To make sure that your ebook works for you rather than biting you in the back, make sure to steer clear of these rookie mistakes. 

1. Not editing your ebook

Nobody wants to read a jumbled and incoherent mess, and the fact that publishing an ebook is cheap and easy shouldn’t make you think that editing and proofreading are optional, either. You might actually be able to write a short and effective ebook in under a day, yes, but remember that editing is at least half the work. If you’re not sure you can self-edit (and hint, most people really can’t), hiring a freelance editor is highly likely to turn out to be a solid investment for those who were hoping to make money from their ebook.

2. Not having a solid grasp of your subject matter

Publishing an ebook can be a profitable endeavor, whether you are planning to monetize the ebook or to give it away for free as a marketing strategy. If, however, your sole goal is to rake in the dollars, it’s still crucial to make sure that you content is credible, authoritative, helpful, or entertaining. Ebooks become popular because they fill a need, and that means understanding what you are talking about. 

3. Not marketing your ebook properly

The fact that it is cheap, easy, and quick to publish an ebook also has a downside — it means that you miss out on some of the benefits you’d get from traditional publishing. After your ebook is out there, it’s up to you to take the steps that ensure that people actually know about its existence, so they can read it. Learning how to market your ebook is an integral part of its success. In most cases, setting up a clear landing page for your ebook, sharing your ebook on social media, and making links to it prominently visible in any marketing content you send out to your audience will also be key parts of your strategy. Creating buzz around your ebook with the help of high-profile influencers won’t harm you, either, and depending on your budget, you will want to invest in advertising, too.

4. Not understanding your ebook distribution options

In partnering with Amazon and giving them exclusive distribution rights through their KDP Select program, ebook authors will gain a range of promotional advantages, as well as significantly higher royalties. This does, on the other hand, mean that you will not be able to publish your book anywhere else. Although there is no universally right choice, it’s important to understand the pros and cons, so do your research before you take the plunge!

5. Not taking the time to have a professional cover designed

For better or worse, your ebook cover is going to be one of the very first things to grab your audience’s attention — typically before they even download your ebook. Software makes formatting your ebook a breeze even if you’re not technically inclined, and you won’t even have to fork out extra money for that, but unless you are a graphic designer by profession, you will want to outsource the cover design to get the best results.

Now that you’re more familiar with the needless mistakes that can stand in the way of your future ebook’s success, your ebook already has a fair and square chance of standing out from the crowd and becoming a real winner!

Pros & Cons: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

If you have been thinking about self-publishing, but you aren’t sure what the benefits actually are, then this is the perfect opportunity to weigh the pro and cons of each one. We’ll be looking at traditional publishing in details, including the advantages and disadvantages, and then face them off with the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing. So let’s talk about how to publish a book.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing simply means submitting your book to publishers via an agent or through the publisher’s submission process. Generally, publishers will sign a contract with you and pay you some sort of an advance. This will likely not be much for a first-time author, and how much you actually get will depend upon the size of the publisher and the genre that your book is in. Some publishers do not do advances at all. From there, the publisher will publish and distribute your book, typically six months to a year after you sign the contract, and then you will be sent royalties every quarter.

Pros of Traditional Publishing

  • You may get an advance up front before your book sells a single copy.
  • You will be automatically listed in industry catalogs and possibly available in bookstores.
  • Your publisher will be willing to give a higher advance next book if this one sells well.
  • You get the distinction of being a published author and respected within the industry.
  • You will have a much easier time getting an agent if you have a contract for a book deal.

Cons of Traditional Publishing

  • You have to sign rights to your book over to the publisher.
  • Your royalties are going to be somewhere between 10 percent and 15 percent most likely.
  • You do not have any creative control when it comes to book covers and blurbs,
  • You may have to change your book in many ways to meet the publisher’s guideline.


Self-publishing is simply the act of publishing the book yourself either by creating your own publishing company, using a paid vanity press or by using any of the free or nearly free platforms out there for self-publishing a book. The advantages and disadvantages that we will be covering refer mostly to the third option here.

Pros of Self-Publishing

  • You get a much higher royalty.
  • You own the rights to your book at all times.
  • You are able to pull the book from the shelves if you want, make corrections and republish is another edition.
  • You have creative control over everything to do with your book.

Cons of Self-Publishing

  • You will have a much harder time getting listed in the industry catalogs such as Ingram and Baker and Taylor.
  • You will not have the power of the major publishing company behind you.
  • You will have to pay for services like editing or book cover design yourself.
  • Any mistakes that are made, or any legal problems that arise over publication of your book will be yours to deal with alone.

Literature Without Complexes: The New Concept of A Web Serial

For many years fanfiction has been a topic of mockery outside the world but today there are many voices bent on defending the genre for either economic or artistic reasons. What is the current landscape of fan literature? How can money be made with characters protected by copyright? Is there a system that satisfies fan writers and original authors? Today, we explore the universe of fanfiction.

For professional authors, fanfic is still a word related to amateurish works. Low quality literature – full of spelling mistakes – that twists an alien world to get a story that sometimes becomes grotesque. Stories based on other stories; vulgar and lacking in originality, a dispensable product that the most respectful treatment leads us directly to ignore.

The culptrit of this perception, which is now more than ever erroneous, is due to the passage of the genre from the underground it occupied during the sixties, seventies and eighties to the quasi-mass pop culture during the following two decades. For twenty years, literature by and for fans has been ridiculed on many fronts, which preferred to keep the funny anecdote rather than investigate to find out why fanfiction websites grew so quickly alien to all kinds of criticism. Twitter accounts, such as fanfics_txt are a rather funny compilation of the surrealism prevailing in some sections of the fandom that, however, is not representative of the majority of works produced in the genre, as many insist on believing. Obviously, that account handpicks the most ridiculous and entertaining tidbits for the shock factor. A lot of fanfiction is actually not like that and believing that those pieces and snippets are reflective of fanfiction as an entire genre would be a mistake. In fact, many writers have placed an emphasis on utilizing writing resources and tools to help their writing improve.

Due to that dissonance between what the fanfic really is and what the majority of the public expects, in the last few years a vindictive attitude has built up, not only from the fanfiction, but from the fan phenomenon in general. Intrinsically linked to Tumblr, this movement has also reached several notable cultural websites where articles defending the genre were followed by “closet exits” from many editors who admitted to having written or continuing to write stories for fans.

It didn’t take long for the market to assimilate this slight change in perception of fanwork and to devise ways to make it profitable. Many websites in which fanfic is the majority genre offer the option of getting visibility on the cover in exchange for a payment per work that can range between 50 cents to a dollar. This system, which borders on illegality – authors do not charge but the website does profit from the exploitation of characters protected by copyright – seems to be too problematic to become widespread. With so many fandoms out there even for smaller ones from Cop Out to Fleabag, it really is difficult to police. Since 2013, it is the Amazon Kindle Worlds platform that insists on legitimizing fanfiction with a system that aims to please everyone.

Kindle Worlds: money for everyone

It is more than possible that when entering the See All Worlds section of the home page, many people will not be able to find their favorite fandom. There are shortcomings and they are striking: from series such as Supernatural (2005-) to literary sagas such as Harry Potter (1997-2007), there are quite a few fictional universes that do not have their place in the platform devised by Amazon. The truth is that the top rights are much harder to obtain and difficult to negotiate. And is that, unlike what happens on other websites like Commaful, which can be considered lawless territories, there are some very clear limits that are constantly monitored.

From Amazon they make sure first of all to sign an agreement with the owners of the rights of exploitation of the work, either authors or publishers, who will receive in exchange a small percentage of the profits that the stories can cause. In addition to this, the beneficiaries of the copyright will also acquire the rights over the use of the fanfic in question, that is, if the scriptwriters of, say, The 100 (2014-), find an interesting arc among the stories created by the fans, they will have all the right to use it without giving any credit to the original fan author.

In exchange for this, the fanfiction writers will not only get promotion but will be able to legally monetize their work, putting it on sale for a price ranging from 0.99 to 3.99 dollars, of which they will receive royalties of 35% maximum, provided that the work respects the guidelines of the platform.

Not all fanfic subgenres are allowed on Kindle Worlds. Crossovers, that is, the mixture of characters from different universes, are strictly forbidden, as well as the incursion of elements outside the copyright that is being exploited. Extreme violence, erotic scenes and pornography are other elements on which Amazon has the right to expel you from the platform.

This rigidity is what makes Kindle Worlds, in spite of its evident desire for innovation, not gain popularity with the majority of fanfiction writers, who prefer a more amateur environment, which does not put any kind of obstacle to their imagination.

As Kindle Words continues to evolve, it could really become an innovative force in self-publishing, but until then, we will have to wait!

The position of the original authors

Since its birth, fanfiction divided authors into three main groups: those who were enthusiastic and encouraged the creation of works around their universe, those who preferred not to position themselves and those who condemn all kinds of fanwork.

The first group includes historically outstanding writers such as C.S. Lewis, who many times in his letters encouraged young fans to fill the map of legends of Narnia with stories of his invention, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who publicly admitted to enjoy reading stories by Sherlock Holmes as ingenious as his own.

Among fancfition-friendly contemporaries are Stephen King, who confesses in his book While I’m Writing (2000) that novelizing his favorite shows as a child helped him grow as a writer; Patrick Rothfuss, who claims to understand fan writing as a therapy for waiting for a new book; or director and screenwriter Josh Whedon, who has repeatedly referred to fanfictions of Buffy Slayer (1997-2003) in his ComicCon presentations.

Of course, there are several authors who confess to writing or reading fanfiction. Among the readers of fan literature we find Andy Weir (El Marciano -2011-), Meg Cabot (Saga de El diario de la princesa -2000-2009-) or Stephenie Meyer (Saga Crepúsculo -2005.2008-), authors who also do not cut themselves in sharing some of these stories in their personal web.

Fanfic writers include Neil Gaiman (American Gods -2001-), who lets us see on his website some Cthulhu Myths of his own invention, Cassandra Clare (Shadow Hunters -2007-2014-), E. (American Gods -2001-).L James, whose work Fifty Shadows of Grey was born as a fanfiction inspired by Twilight called Master of the Universe, or S.E. Hinton, the pioneer of the young Adult who has confessed on Twitter that, at 68 years old, enjoys writing stories based on Supernatural, which has been his favorite series for many years.

Although they don’t directly oppose fandom stories and certainly won’t pursue them with threats of imminent demand, some writers like J.K. Rowling have confessed to feeling violent in the face of certain subgenres that, on many occasions, often have a markedly sexual component. Rapefic is, without a doubt, the most controversial genre since, as can be deduced from its name, it has a plot centred on the rape of a character. Under the label Lemon (more explicit) or Lime (more erotic) also share stories where sex is usually the main protagonist. Some controversy is also generated by the subgenres Slash (focused on the amorous relationship between two men) or Femslash (focused on lesbian relationships) because, although they do not have to have an explicit component, it is quite common to find several sexual scenes in their plot.

Apart from sex, the Dark fic label is also often questioned. Created to share “more mature” stories with an adult audience, and focused on the darkness of the characters, some texts within Dark fic tend to abuse controversial topics such as suicide, terminal illness or mental disorders.

Let’s talk about self-publishing

Self Publishing
Increasingly, vanity publishing is understood to be a behavior in place of a definition of particular companies or individuals, although there remain a handful of businesses that clearly qualify as vanity publishers. Out of the three primary steps writing, publishing, and marketing publishing is unquestionably the simplest and these businesses will provide you with no help with writing or marketing. Standard publishing appears super glamorous. It does not always allow that, no matter how insightful or worthy an author may be. Self publishing has never been simpler.

The Self Publishing Stories
Authors will need to select which format best suits their requirements. Your favourite authors may have spent years writing works which were rejected. You would like to become a published author and you would like to publish your own books.

Include a bio, photo, and link to your site or blog that will help you stick out among authors. Today, authors who need to go published have many choices. The author must proofread the last text and supply the funds necessary to publish the book, together with the camera-ready artwork. As a consequence, it was difficult for an unknown author to find a publishing contract under these conditions. A self-published author accounts for the technical elements of self-publishing, including formatting for printing and digital conversion. The thriving self-published author cannot be dismissed as a fluke.

The Characteristics of Self Publishing
Because of the boom in digital and print publishing, everyone can see her or his book in print! For this reason, you can correct the book’s supply to meet with the reader’s demand. Editing your book is perhaps the most tedious portion of the self-publishing procedure, but trust us, you will be glad you did it! If you’ve got a lengthier book, you’ll have to set the price even higher to earn money.

You’d be astonished how many men and women are prepared to help to make your book a success! The best method to receive a book published by a big publishing house is to acquire a literary agent who will represent your manuscript. You’re too near your book and too utilized to your book to spot all of the errorsand when you self-publish, you wish to minimize errors and kill the plan and layout so that it won’t seem like a not-so-epic effort at an expert publication. Publishing a book is only the start. Religious books are an ideal case in point. So imagine whenever your great book with terrific design hits the marketplace.

The Argument About Self Publishing
A subsidy publisher is comparable to a vanity publisher in that the author has to cover the printing and binding procedure for the book. Publishers and academics want to return to a mutually beneficial relationship, Weller explained. If traditional publishers wish to survive, Reidy states, they need to stay informed about the rapid changes occurring in the business. If a conventional publisher or agent should happen to approach you after your ebook has gone on sale, you’re totally free to sell rights with no obligation to the services that you’ve used.

You choose to check into publishing your book. Print books may also be given away on Amazon. It’s the exact last step prior to a book is published. Whether your book is published by a conventional publisher or you’re an indie author, Amazon lets you produce an author page similar to this one. The best way to promote your book is to produce a launch page where you could collect email addresses for people who may be interested in reading your book, andbuild your launch team. It’s also an excellent way to announce your newly published book to all of your buddies, family members, and colleagues.

If you’re writing a book since you need to sell that, then it’s ideal to go the standard way rather than self publishing. A book will be able to help you expand your organization in how no type of advertising can. If you’re thinking about writing your own book in this manner, If you ever choose to go down this road and would prefer some advice, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

You would like your book to be presentable and appear good. Which meant I had to ship almost 1,000 books at the same time. It costs more than the do-it-yourself strategy but frequently causes a better book.

If you’re self-publishing then it’s possible to publish your book at this time without any other work. If you would like your self-published book to stick out in an extremely competitive market, employing a competent editor is just one of the greatest investments that can be made. Your book will probably contain serious formatting errors. Next you will need to determine how you would like your book to look. 1 key consideration to offer your book is to produce an attention-grabbing page for your Amazon self-publishing listing. Niche books have a tendency to do best. Remember, even if you don’t do great with your first book, you’re already on your way to figuring out how to become a better writer.

Photoshop Tricks for First-Time Book Cover Designers

If you are a self-published author trying to create your own book cover design, you might have found out that it is not as easy as it looks. Luckily, many authors do eventually figure out how to use Photoshop successfully and create some really amazing book covers. There are some tricks that can help you get to that point faster if you know them. We’ll be looking at five things that you can do to create an amazing book cover for yourself.

Look at Book Covers for Inspiration

The first thing that you can do is look at other book covers for inspiration. While you should not there is no harm in taking inspiration from someone else’s book cover and then changing certain things to make your own. In fact, this is how many cover designers actually learn. If you can figure out what makes a good book cover, and then copy the design, then you can make your own design just as good.

Download Lots of Photos

You should also download lots of photos. If you are using stock photos, then downloading a lot of photos make sense. If you can figure out which photo works for the design that you are making, then you only have to buy that single photo. Luckily, most stock photos allow you to download the actual photo you are considering the watermarks on it and use it in your designed to see if it works. When you find the one that actually does work, you can buy it.

Install Layer Styles

You should definitely install Photoshop layer styles. Layers styles allow you to change the text into many different professional looking designs. There are lots of websites out there that have remade Photoshop layer styles already ready for you to install. All you have to do is look for them, download them and install them into your Photoshop library.

Visit 1001 Free Fonts

1001 Free fonts is a website you can go to to find the perfect font. You can download all of the fonts that are available, which by now is way more than 1001, or you can simply look for the font that you want and then download it for free. This is a terrific resource for book designers, and especially for those that are looking to save money on fonts. However, make sure that you are allowed to use the font in commercial projects.

Combine or Expand Stock Photos

Finally, if you cannot find the perfect design, then you may want to consider combining two different stock photos, or expanding the stock photo that you have. For example, if you find a photo that has the perfect background, but I have something else in their the you don’t want, then you can simply expand the photo using edit > transform > free transform and then dragging it out to get it to where you need it to be. This is a great way to use stock photos to make an original design.