How to design a killer eBook

Design Killer E book blog

Self-publishing, and particularly e-publishing, has become extremely popular in recent years, with even established authors taking the plunge, bypassing the publishing companies and the months of waiting that goes with it instead, selling directly to the public. Tapping into people’s sense of enterprise and creativity, the ebook has become a winner for individual authors and companies alike. Yes, with the technology available to us today, a company can easily put together a book, such as a collection of tips and advice for target customers.

DIY or hire?
The first question to ask is whether you hire a professional to design the ebook or get hands-on and do it yourself?  It’s crucial for the ebook to be beautifully styled and designed to a high-standard.  The web is awash with ebooks of all varieties, so you will want yours to stand out. If you have a vision for the design, are confident and really want to get creative, with a bit of time and learning, you can handle the design.

Once you understand your target market, and with the best content to meet their needs, can brainstorm creative ideas, remembering to look into everything from the fonts to the colour scheme.

Choosing the best fonts
The best fonts to choose from are, of course, the classics –  Tahoma, Verdana,  Calibri,  Garamond and Times New Roman.

Many new versions of Kindle and other eReaders have given authors and publishers a far greater choice to make their eBooks look striking, so you can now have complete control over your design, without worrying too much about alterations once your book has been downloaded.

Writing in Indie Designz, Dafeenah, a designer, says – “If you want to get fancy and have special chapter headings or title page, I’d suggest using jpeg images. This will require you knowing a bit of HTML when you go to setup your table of contents otherwise you’ll have a blank table of contents. However using jpg images instead of embedding fonts will ensure every person is able to read the specialised font and there will be no formatting errors regardless of which eReader the person is using. When it comes to ebook fonts, I tell my clients not to stress over it too much.”

The all-important layout
After you’ve decided on the minutiae of your ebook, the tones, fonts, links etc, then it’s time to pay attention to your book’s layout, this can be a make or break situation for any publisher, as we all know, something visually stunning will always grab attention far more than a bog standard layout.

There are numerous software and apps you can use to design your book, from Adobe Photoshop to InDesign. Michael Hyatt, who wrote and published an ebook titled ‘Shave 10 Hours Off Your Workweek: 4 Proven Strategies for Creating More Margin for the Things That Matter Most’ spoke about designing his ebook on iWork Keynote: “I created a custom “slide size” of 792 pixels x 612 pixels” he says “This prints out nicely on 8½” x 11″ paper. I then decided on a nautical theme. I selected a photo from iStockPhoto for the cover. I selected another photo for the background on the pages. I then determined what typefaces I wanted to use. I selected Requiem Display, Myriad Pro, and Gotham. I then designed several page styles that I could alternate to keep the design visually interesting.”

Creating an amazing cover
Visual stimulation is essential today, but in your cover design, don’t go over-the-top, there is a fine line between fashioning a cover that stands out, and one that just looks hideous. Also, as a company producing an ebook, ideally the cover should echo your corporate branding, ensuring that the aesthetic melds seamlessly with your company website, for example. In this post from Humble Nations, written by a graphic designer no less, he covers the do’s and don’ts of ebook cover design for Kindle. On the use of colours he says: “If you use something bold have something that contrasts. Don’t use more than 3 colours.  Avoid primary colours you find on MS Paint (full blue, full red, full green). Mix your own colours yourself – shades of strong colours. Find out what colours work by testing, testing and testing again. Try different combinations next to each other to see what works. Google ‘Beautiful Colour Palettes‘ ‘Colours That Work Well Together‘ or something similar.”

Creating and publishing an ebook is an enormous adventure and great learning curve. It’s a mammoth task in the sense that, as we’ve said previously, you need to pay attention to all the fine details, but follow these tips and you will be able to create something stunning.

Check out our own PR e-book design
Fortune PR recently dabbled in the world of ebook, with the publication Getting to the Root of PR, which provides PR and social media ideas for your PR plan – you can download if by clicking the book image on the right of this page.


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