Amazon Announces Word Limit for Kindle Books

lots-of-words-playing scrabble-graphicAmazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is no longer approving Kindle books under 2,500 words, and reports say they will soon be removing all Kindle books under that length. Amazon states, “Content that is less than 2,500 words is often a disappointment to our customers and does not provide an enjoyable reading experience.”

Quite honestly, I have to say it’s about time. Books of that short length shouldn’t be for sale, even for 99 cents (IMHO). In fact, next week’s article on this blog will be over 2,600 words, and that’s free content. If you’re writing non-fiction Kindle books, you should always keep it above 2,500 words. To try and sell anything shorter than that is ridiculous.

The most affected eBooks will be poetry and short stories. While short stories can have several grouped into one volume, which I highly recommend, poetry may sometimes be difficult to publish a book over 2,500 words. There is no word on the street as to how this new rule will affect children’s picture books, however I personally predict they will be exempt due to the genre and age group of the target audience… And the fact that most children’s picture books are a fixed eBook layout style of programming, which is essentially nothing but pictures throughout the entire book.

It will be interesting to follow how Amazon keeps tightening the rules for Kindle books, and overall listening to the desires of Kindle book readers.

Here’s a screen shot of a letter Amazon sent to an author:

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 5.37.35 PM

What do you think? Is this a good move Amazon is making? Or is it nothing more than a nuisance to aspiring authors?

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  • Lori L. Clark
    May 10, 2013

    So they’ll add 1 word and republish. 🙁

  • Dan Soliday
    May 9, 2013

    Cutting down on the spammers, scam artists, and infomercials is a good thing. That stuff tarnishes the whole medium, but…

    What about cartoons, art books, and especially video?
    Some things are best illustrated with a 30 minute (or less) video, and some attached illustrations or graphics. Any thoughts?

  • Beth Parker
    May 9, 2013

    I hope they do exempt children’s picture books. My kids love having me read them stories from my Kindle, but there is no way they would sit through 2,500 words!

  • Diane Ziomek
    May 9, 2013

    I know I am disappointed when I get a book that is less than 20 pages, especially when I know there is plenty of content that could be added to it to make it better. I do have one short “report” on Kindle, but I am sure it is over 2500 words. I recently revised it to include some patterns and additional information in hopes to generate more sales.

    If people are paying for a book, it should not only be more than 2500 words, but those words should also have some value to them. My books are all well over 10,000 words (novel is over 50,000), and as I said, even the report is over 2500. Plus, the report reveals just what it is in the title so there should be no confusion for the buyer.

  • Christina Lemmey
    April 26, 2013

    I’m surprised they’re just now coming up with this word count standard. I’m not an author (yet!) but it makes sense…Amazon needs to provide good quality books or there won’t be a marketplace much longer…seems like it can only benefit true authors

  • Ken Wickenden
    April 26, 2013

    I wonder if it follows the old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words. Both instructional non-fiction books and children’s books would be lucky to crack 2500 words, but may have value beyond their word count. In trying to determine book QUALITY by WORD COUNT, you will get what you measure. One is reminded of the quote “I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” (Letter 16, 1657)”― Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters”.

    • Sharon
      May 9, 2013 Ken Wickenden

      Sorry Ken, I don’t agree. I need story to go with pictures. Furthermore, I don’t want to clutter up my Kindle folder with countless tiny short books on any topic. No tablet Kindle apps, not even for the Fire, allow readers to create Collections, and when you don’t recall the precise title or author, finding what you’re looking for soon becomes a nightmare. I want all those little booklets in one volume, not a dozen. IMO, if you pad the contents to make it longer without adding more value, you are shooting yourself in the foot!

  • Phil Simon
    April 26, 2013

    I’d have to agree. 2,500 words isn’t bookworthy–and is very susceptible to spam.

    • Kristen Eckstein
      April 26, 2013 Phil Simon

      Agree. Especially if it contains any advertisement at all.

      • Deborah Camp Gallardo
        May 9, 2013 Kristen Eckstein

        2,500 words is not even chapter-length! Just write a *&^%$ book and stop trying to scam the system. Yeesh!