What’s A Good Length for A Book?

Before I started to write my book, I asked my publisher what a good length for a book would be. They replied: 100-200 pages.

The final book came out to be 151 pages I think, all in. You start out by preparing your manuscript in Word, one and a half space in between lines, Times New Roman font, font size 12. I was also told that whatever you type out in word would be about 3/4 of your target number of pages.

How did I come up with the book? First, I started out with the main concept. Then, I put in the three major parts: STEW, WARD, and SHIP. Then I started listing down possible stories for each section. Then, I started to write.

I began writing in October 2007. I had a deadline to submit the first half of the manuscript by December 2007 and the second half by February 2008. It also happened that I got a day job and went back to full-time employment in October 2007 too. So, as I went to office during the day, I was writing and typing like crazy at night and on weekends.

As I started to write, I began noting down what chapter I was writing and how many pages for each chapter and how many pages total I had actually written. It was my way of monitoring how fast or how slowly I was progressing. I ended up actually writing and typing a total of 90 pages, so given the 75% rule, I thought my book would come out to 120 pages when done.

Why the difference between the number of pages you typed out and the actual book? Well, the publisher will be lay-outing the book and will play around with the font size and design.

By the time I submitted the first half of my manuscript in December 2007, I had already written 22 chapters and a total of 65 pages. The second half of my manuscript was already “more relaxed writing” since I only wrote 5 more chapters and a few more portions (like A Final Word, About the Writer, and the Preface), bringing the total number of pages to 90.

In writing a book, discipline and determination are key elements. You must stick to a regular writing schedule and you must be continuously conscious of your timetable. Desire is also very important. Writing a book is not easy. It entails a lot of activities and a lot of stress. If it is something that you do not really like to do or do not enjoy doing, then it may not be worth all the effort.

In my case though, although it was taxing and tiring, I enjoyed the process a lot and learned a lot too. It was something that I really enjoyed doing and something that I look forward to doing again. But first, I need a pretty long break to rest a bit. =)

One Response to “What’s A Good Length for A Book?”

  1. Sherra says:

    I’m also working on my first ever book and stumbled upon your blog mentioning the launch of your first book, timely! I was inspired by your posts on how you made your dream happened. I was actually looking for a copy of your book in the nearby national bookstore here in the south but they seemed to have none yet. ‘hope I’ll be able to pull this writing dream through just like you did, and actually become an author from being a writer.

    From Angel: Hi Sherra. Thanks for dropping by this site. Congratulations for working on your first book. What is it about? Glad to hear that reading my posts here have inspired you to work towards your dream. Too bad that the National BookStore in the South does not have the book yet. I know the book is available at National BookStore, Powerbooks, or Best Sellers at Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-la Plaza, and at Megamall. You can try these branches if you are in the area. Or maybe, the bigger branches in Makati. Good luck with your first book. Please keep me posted as to how you are doing. If you need any help or information, please send me e-mail. Watch this site regularly for bits and pieces about what I have learned about the book writing/publishing process. I hope you are able to eventually get a copy of my book. God bless!

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