Are Chapters Important?

Are Chapters important?

By definition they’re a main division of a book, and are often identified by a number or heading. But, what about how many you have, and how long they are. Could that be important?

Phoenix Amazon Logo

As a retired accountant I’m always playing with numbers trying to make sense of them. This month I looked at my KENP numbers, and now I’m wondering whether Chapters are more important than I thought.

If you need a reminder of how things work, or want to learn, check out the following page in KDP: –

The size of the KDP Select Global Fund is reviewed each month, and with sums around $45 million in 2023 it’s attractive for authors to enroll their Kindle eBooks in KDP Select. I decided to abandon publishing Wide in September 2018, and went All-In with KDP Select. By opening the door for readers to borrow ALL my books through Kindle Unlimited, Amazon rewards me by including KENPC figures from books Downloaded in my Free Promotions.

Freeman Files Amazon Logo

I’ve analyzed my Borrows and Downloads, and only a small percentage were paid for through KU. The vast majority of the 19.75 million KENP for my two series came from 12 BookBub Featured Deals.

Overall: 19.75m KENP from 474.5k Downloads & Sales.  Ave KENPs Read = 41.5

The split between Thrillers and Murder Mysteries interested me : –

Phoenix:  4.75m KENP; 220k Downloads & Sales.  Ave KENPs Read = 21.5

Freeman Files: 15m KENP; 254.5k Downloads & Sales.  Ave KENPs Read = 59

Why the big difference? My first thought was readers enjoyed the second series far more than the first, and my superfans (although small in number) read every new title from cover to cover as soon as it was published. That may be true, but I soon realised the answer lay in how I have structured my books since halfway through the Phoenix Series.

Many authors wouldn’t impose such a strait-jacketed system, but I adopted a basic 12-Chapter structure, aiming for 4500 to 5500 words in each. Some books needed an extra Chapter (or an Epilogue) to get the job done, and once I’d added Front and Back Matter, I had 65000 words minimum to edit and polish before publishing.

I had included 24 Chapters in Phoenix #1, The Olympus Project (some with only 1000-1500 words, especially at the front end) and had slimmed to 14 Chapters by book #12, Larcombe Manor. Therefore, the books which accounted for the majority of my Downloads were littered with far shorter Chapters than anything readers found in the Freeman Files.

Readers are creatures of habit. They read to the end of a Chapter on a Kindle, just as with a Paperback. So, what would have happened if I had squeezed the Phoenix Series titles into my 12-Chapter structure? If readers followed the same reading pattern shown by the Freeman Files that 4.75m figure could have risen significantly.

Have I stumbled across a way to increase the KENP Royalty I receive? Or has a retired accountant played with the numbers and made no genuine sense from them whatsoever? It wouldn’t be the first time!

I’d love to hear what you think – get in touch at

(Will I be re-structuring the first six books from the Phoenix Series to test my theory? You bet.) 





New Phoenix Club Members Bring Happy Days

When I finished the final book in The Freeman Files Series in April, I’d been working non-stop for four years, and I was shattered. I intended just taking the summer off from writing and returning with a short new series before the end of the year. I felt I deserved a few happy days with my feet up.

I’ve spent much of my free time over the past six months trying to get better at advertising with BookBub, Amazon, and Meta. As time has passed, I became more disillusioned. It was essential my backlist was energised to fill the gap left by me not producing a new title every eight to ten weeks.

I shall be eternally grateful to BookBub for giving me a Featured Deal at the first time of asking in Feb 2019. Any success I’ve had has been because of the opportunity to benefit from a further eleven deals with them in the last four years. However, a substantial readthrough on the Phoenix and Freeman Series is elusive. (8-10% is a benchmark for the successful writer, and I’m well short) 

I don’t have the resources to afford a media management company to unlock the potential of my backlist, and I can’t raise any enthusiasm for writing another series. I’ve got a one-off crime novel in the pipeline, featuring DCI Grace Packenham, but when she will appear on Amazon, I don’t know.

Phoenix Amazon LogoFreeman Files Amazon Logo

I’m enjoying new experiences with Silver Dagger Book Tours and Subscriber Surge Giveaways with BargainBooksy.  

The Olympus Project will be featured from Nov 4th on a week’s tour around a host of blog sites; Fatal Decision started its SSG on Nov 1st and that runs until Dec 31st.  The Olympus Project is halfway through its own SSG, and over 100 new names have been added to my mailing list so far.

Thriller eBook and Kindle Giveaway – October 1st, 2023

Mystery eBook Giveaway – November 1st, 2023

HAPPY DAYS.  There are always positives if you dig deep enough.

My promotions in October went WAY better than expected, and there are SEVEN more dates in the schedule when my books will be FREE or discounted between now and Dec 31st. New readers may emerge, and existing readers could decide to get further into one of my series. There’s always tomorrow.

As for 2024, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be seeking Featured Deals, and looking to increase readthrough on my 50 book backlist. It’s odds-on I’ll add to that number eventually. If you want to hear when that is, just sign up for the Newsletter in the sidebar, or watch this space.

I’ll be back in December

Best wishes

Ted Tayler