So you’ve got a book you’re ready for the internet to see, but you’re worried about what the average size of a Kindle e-book might be and how your masterpiece might compare.
First off, congratulations on finishing a book! That’s no small feat. Next, here are a few cold, hard numbers. The average Kindle book size measured in page length is about three hundred pages, and the average Kindle e-book file size is 2.6 megabytes (MB). The average page size is 2 kilobytes (KB). But another question you should be asking is if the average Kindle book size is something you should worry about.
In practical terms, it’s not something you’ll have to worry that much about. Depending on what model Kindle your readers have, they have either 2 or 4 GB of storage. Even with just 2 GB, a Kindle can hold up to 1,100 books. That’s a lot of space for your book, even if your book exceeds the average Kindle e-book file size or if your customer’s Kindle library is rather extensive. Even if your book has lots of images like illustrations or tables or photographs, it is very unlikely that it will prove problematic in terms of storage or downloading speed.
Still, there is a maximum you should avoid. In the guidelines set out on Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon advises against file sizes greater than 650 MB (which, keep in mind, is 47 MB long than the average Kindle e-book!). Such a massive file could interfere with the KDP conversion process. In that case, you might want to consider pulling a Lord of the Rings and turn your own epic tome into a series.
For maximums, Amazon only cares about file size, not word count or number of pages. Similarly, Amazon does not set hard limits on the minimum length of a self-published Kindle e-book. So you shouldn’t really fret if your work falls short of the average size of a Kindle book, as long as its length is within reason for your genre and audience. You can even publish a very short story as its own e-book as long as it’s not shorter than 2,500 words, Amazon’s unofficial minimum. Tom Corson-Knowles from TCK Publishing goes further. He recommends a minimum of ten thousand words for nonfiction, thirty thousand for short-story collections, and fifty thousand for novels.
Although the average size of a Kindle e-book is a useful bit of information to file away for any aspiring or experienced e-book writer, it is really just that—an average. After all, if you peruse the shelves of any school or public library, you’ll see that books come in all different sizes, just like they come in different genres. If your book is about the history of prayer in Sunni Islam or the lives of the emperors of China’s Han dynasty, then you will probably find yourself topping the average size of a Kindle book. On the other hand, you might have a horror novella or detective story that works perfectly well despite being well under a hundred pages.
After all, it’s really about the length you as a writer think your creation should be—and about what your target readers expect. If you think about it that way, you completely get to set your own average!