book page layout

Page Count for eBooks and Print




Confusion among authors of digital and print books on several writer forums and discussion boards show that page count is a mystery to many authors.

Question at the KBoards:
“I’m a little confused about the Amazon page count for Kindle. I published my first book with a word count of 19,000 and it’s listed as being 71 pages.
A year later I published a second book with a word count of 25,000 and it’s listed as being 65 pages. I thought the formula Amazon used for page count was approx. 250 words a page, but this doesn’t seem to be the case…”

A Seasoned Author Explains:
“Once a print edition is made, the Kindle version description will display the count for the print version.  Until then, it’s an estimate on Amazon’s part.”

“What I’ve found over time, however, is that Amazon seems to be doing more than just counting the number of words; they’re also checking out page breaks. Amazon is probably taking the file content and runs it through a formatter to come up with an estimate that comes out close to a real-world print book.  Tellingly, my first book’s print edition has a page count almost identical to what Amazon estimated for the non-print edition, and they did that estimate before the print edition was ever uploaded to CreateSpace.”

“Based on my print layout matching the results so closely, Amazon’s estimates might use a template of 4.75″ x 7.5″ after margins, factor in page count, and either respect the original font sizes you picked or else use 11pt for the base and scale everything else appropriately.  In print my first book uses those exact dimensions (next book I’ll give the gutter a full inch; here it was 3/4) and has 11pt Cardo for the body font.”

“We have no firm idea what actual algorithm Amazon is using, except it’s obviously not merely dividing words by a fixed Word-Per-Page.”

Check the Page Count.
Author Lewis Carroll: “I published print first, then e-book.  Unfortunately, Amazon never carried the page count over to the e-book and continued to display an estimated page count for weeks.  But a quick e-mail solved that problem and within a couple of hours they updated it.”

Find a useful counting tool / page calculator at that shows you word count, pages, lines, characters, etc.
Paste the text of your book (after formatting or layout) into the field, click “calculate” and voila! you receive all the numbers.

Readers Are Wondering Too…
Questions like these are appearing: “How do I view real page numbers on my Kindle?” or “Why doesn’t my Kindle book have real page numbers?”
Answer: “The page number update is only for the kindle 3.  If there are page numbers odder for the book (the publisher has to do it), then you’d simply press the menu key while reading the book and you will see the numbers. The numbers are not viewable without pressing menu, they do not remain on screen.”
“On your Kindle, you will tend to have many more screens of text than there are pages in the book – make the type bigger or smaller, and you’ll have that many more or fewer screens – so it’s completely fluid.  Thus it’s not really what people tend to use for navigation – you use software bookmarks and the table of contents and the percentage of the book you’ve read.”


Book-Production in Easy Steps

Book Production

Are you exhausted after finishing your manuscript? 

You invested so much time and talent into your book – and you have a lot of book marketing ahead of you.
Now let the professionals finish your book production:
editing, book layout and cover design.
In the meantime get advanced reviews for the editorial review part of your Amazon page and the back jacket of your print book, prepare your book launch, and spruce up your social media networks.
A Word of Caution:
NEVER, EVER use the “service” of vanity presses, subsidy “publishers” or “self-publishing” companies.  There is no need to sign away your rights and to pay over-priced book production services.
To give you just one example: Using a vanity company, who has the ISBN for your book and who set up your Amazon presence, you are totally limited in your marketing efforts.  You can never control your book marketing, such as sales campaigns, book giveaways, create a professional author page, or change distribution channels.  Don’t forget: these are no real publishers (even if they call themselves publishers), they charge a fortune for their services and are shunned by most book stores or librarians. Vanity companies make their money with expensive book productions – and NOT with the sale of books.  Authors will neither safe time nor money, and will sell their soul to the devil.
Do Your Research!
Find out who edited, printed, formatted and distributes the titles and who did the layout among the bestsellers in your genre.
Ask your writer peers, your social media friends in forums and communities, or just type in your search words at your social media sites.  Most of these editors, formatters and layout-ers have a presence there.  It is easy to find lots of professional service providers to finish your book.

You Get What You Pay For…
Don’t shop for the cheapest, rather the best partners.  We provide here just an overview what’s involved in book production, read Joel Friedlander’s really helpful blog article: Why Self-Published Books look Self-Published

The Editing process:
Even though many authors are talented writers and often spectacular at grammar, they should never be the book editor of their own project. You might have logged long hours going through your manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, read, write, delete, re-write, re-read, delete…  Then, after carefully reviewing the spelling and grammar and fact-checking the document, you may have even handed the manuscript over to your your former English teacher and every member of your writing group, however none of this is equal to a professional edit.

Contact editors whose sites inspire confidence and ask about their work process, rates, time frames, and any other information you need to know.  Request a sample edit from the respondents you like.  Samples are often free, and around five 250-word pages.
The editing process is not meant to offend you or detract from all of the perfecting you have already done.  Rather, an edit is meant to increase the quality and success of your book, regardless of subject or genre.  There are several steps involved in editing and professional trade publishers often employ special editors for each of these steps:

  • Line editing
  • Content Editing
  • Copy Editing
  • Proof Reading

The Book Cover and Title.
The correct title can really help to ensure the success of your project.  Or not… A great cover will raise the attention of potential readers. And yes, books are judged by their covers.

  • It must be easy to understand and speak.
  • It should ideally be less than 32 characters (plus the subtitle).
  • You must be able to purchase the exact URL for the title.
  • Buy your Author name domain also.
  • The title should clearly demonstrate to readers what they will discover in this eBook.


For e-Books:

  • Keep the design clean.
  • Use a focal point to orient the user
  • Make sure people can read it without glasses.
  • Make the design match the content.

For Print:

  • Use the spine properly.
  • Include a photo of the author.
  • The largest font size is used on the information that is most important


Joel Friedlander has a great blog post series about book layout mistakes to avoid. You can learn almost everything about book design by following Joel Friedlander’s blogs and by reading his books, to be found at  Technical information can be obtained at Basic Book Design or answers to your basic book design questions.

Pre-Publishing Services:


Susan Uttendorfsky Adirondack Editing

Daniel Kenyon Editing


Samita Sarkar


Two BOOK COVER DESIGNERS, I can personally recommend:

Anitra Jay

Laura Wright LaRoche

David Cassidy


… another important step in creating an e-book that should be done by real professionals,
here are two proven e-book designers:

After going through the pre-production stages – the editorial and design part – your next step will be distribution of your new book, covered in the next blog post. However, while your book is at the pre-publishing service providers, don’t forget to actively market your upcoming book!
Prepare your author pages on Goodreads and Amazon, start Goodreads and LibraryThing Giveaways. Get as many pre-orders and reviews as possible, plan and invite all your potential readers to your book launch – virtual and in person. Lots of more tips can be found at 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free.


7 Book Layout Errors You Will Want to Avoid


Joel Friedlander wrote a great article “7 Formatting Errors That Make Your Book Look Unprofessional”, helping self-publishing authors to get to know the in- and outs of book layout. This is not the only useful post, a whole cornucopia of advice for authors who want to create print books can be found on, Joel’s website.  He asks: “Although our books may be self-published, we sure don’t want them to look sub-par, do we?”

Books Should Look Like from Traditional Publishers

Writers certainly try to launch their books without the long delays or the uncertainty if they get a traditional publisher contract. The best way to have a great book layout is through a professional.  However, some authors don’t want to use a book lay-outer, or don’t want to fork out the costs involved.  Another way to solve a lot of these print book formatting problems while also getting a well-designed, industry-standard book, is to use a book template.  Joel Friedlander created this fantastic solution. Find out more and see the available designs at:

More and more writers are taking advantage of the new tools of Print-on-Demand and create and publish their own books.  Authors becoming “do-it-yourself” book lay-outers need to avoid an amateurish look of their books.

Joel Friedlanders List of Errors to Avoid
“Some of the errors I see when reviewing self-published books are very easy to correct, if you only know how:”

  1. Putting page numbers on blank pages.
    Blank pages have no text or images on them, and that means they should be truly blank.
  2. Using running heads on chapter opening pages or blank pages.
    Just like page numbers, running heads (the type at the top of a page that shows the book title, author name, or chapter title) have no place on a blank page, just leave them off so the pages are truly blank.
  3. Using “rag-right” typesetting.
    This means that the left and right margins of your page are straight and all lines except the last line in a paragraph are all the same length. This is what your readers expect to see in your book, so make sure you give it to them.
  4. Double spacing between sentences.
    Only one space between sentences.
  5. Using both indented AND block style spaces between paragraphs.
    If you add spaces between your paragraphs, make sure you don’t also indent the first line.
  6. Putting the odd numbered pages on the left.
    When you open a book, it just makes sense that the first page is page number 1, and that has to be a right-hand page. This rule is absolute, and you should never, ever number your pages with even numbers on right-hand pages.
  7. Making super small margins to save pages.
    CreateSpace and other print-on-demand services charge based on number of pages. But that’s no reason to shortchange your readers by making your page margins too small just to save money. Small margins will make your book hard to hold and difficult to read, never a good result.

He adds: “Paying attention to these details of book formatting will help ensure that your books look and work the way they are supposed to. Your readers will thank you for that, and it’s your readers you should keep in mind throughout the publishing process.”

My advice:  Just visit a bookstore and browse through traditional book titles, or check out the first pages of Amazon print books and you will likely not find any of these seven errors listed by Joel Friedlander. Making it right from the beginning will save you an amazing amount of time and frustration, and your reputation as a self-publisher.

Understanding Fonts & Typography

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins


If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash


Tagged: book page layout, Cover & Book Design, design errors, font, pagination, Publishing, self-publishing, The Book Designer, typography

%d bloggers like this: