Does size matter?

This Big
This Big

Are you writing a 1,000 page tome, a 50 page booklet, or something in between? How long should your book be, and does it really matter?

A wonderful aspect of self publishing, indie publishing, or print on demand, is that we now have extraordinary choices. We’re not beholden to a mainstream publisher for the cover design, we don’t have to bite our lower lips and sulk because they’ve rejected our well thought out titles, and we aren’t constrained by word or page length. In fact, because the rule book is being gradually shredded, we can make a complete ill-informed bollocks of the whole thing and still make it work.

I came across a little beauty the other day. Its dimensions were about the same size as a standard photographic print (yes, I know, we don’t really have prints anymore), it contained 100 pages (half of which had the same thing printed on them), and some product images. So what’s the point? Well, this booklet is used as a sophisticated business card and brochure for an internet jewellery business. It’s full of affirmations, so you just wouldn’t chuck it out. I gave up wearing women’s jewellery a couple of years ago, and I still have it on my desk.

How long is a piece of string
How long is a piece of string

I wrote a book recently for a client who decided around three quarters of the way through that we’d said it all. She liked it as it was. For her it was absolutely perfect. ‘Cool,’ I said, tossing away my quill, ‘what works for you …’ What had happened was that some of the things she had wanted to say were no longer eating away at her. She’d come to terms with her demons. Writing therapy works and can also spare us from unnecessary words.

So where were we? How long is your piece of string? I’m buggered if I know, but you won’t find out unless you start writing. Get to it!

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