eBooks are all the rage and can be a GREAT tool for list building, connecting with your audience and sharing relevant content. Make sure you have the right format.
Most ebooks are never printed so designing your ebook for digital reading is key. Here are a few tips to guarantee a great reader experience.
1. Deep Margins and Line Length
Line length matters. Since most ebooks are read on digital devices, format your ebook like a website. In the design community, the line length that many design experts suggest is 45-85 characters including spaces and punctuation. Setting deep margins will help you accomplish this. While most ebooks are never printed, you will still format the page size to 8.5 x 11 for PDF conversion. Margins will vary based upon typeface and font size, so adjust accordingly.
Here’s a good read for designers about sizing for web design by Smashing.
2. Font Size and Typeface
Back in the day, when typewriters ruled, we were limited by typeface and size. When the world went digital, it opened up an unlimited array of font sizes and typefaces. Just because you have unlimited choices, doesn’t’ mean you should go crazy. A font size of 16-20 depending on typeface will be sufficient. Some experts believe you should focus on san serif fonts from digital and serif for print because the resolution online often makes the delicate serifs undetectable and can blur the text. DPI is between 100-300 and print is often 1000 dpi.
Here’s a short read on typeface from Scribe.com
3. Use Bullet Points or Numbered Lists
People don’t read, they scan. By chunking your content into definable points, you help the reader determine what they want to read. It also helps with page formatting and visual appeal.
4. Use Graphics and Images Consistently
If you are using photos, stick to photos. If you are using clip art, stick to clip art. For a cleaner design, try not to mix the medium. Design consistency is key for the reader experience. When producing ebooks, remember it must be visually appealing as well as well written.
5. Use The Footer
Finally, use the footer for your contact information. Include your name or business name and your URL at the very least. If by chance, your document gets forwarded in sections without your cover page or contact page, the reader will still know how to connect with you.
Good content is only good if it is read, so help your readers get the most out of your publication by formatting the ebook for the reader, not the designer.