How to Design an eBook for Small Businesses

Five Tips For Designing A Successful eBook

Copyright © by James Corless

Writing an ebook is only your first step on the journey to success. Once you’ve written it you have to design it and sell it. While there’s plenty of information on how to write ebooks and how to sell them, there’s very little about how to design them properly.

Yet the design of your book is crucial to its success.

It may be bursting with invaluable information, but if your book’s not easy on the eye and easy to access, then your readers will feel dissatisfied. They may have purchased this book from you but they may not buy another one.

Good design can make the difference between a best-seller and a bomb. Here are five tips to help you produce a better ebook:

1: Your ebook should be easy to read.

Poorly designed ebooks are often difficult to read and can cause eye-strain, headaches and fatigue – not the effects you want when trying to build a relationship with your readers.

Frequently, the culprit is the feature-laden word-processor that confuses authors with a bewildering range of options – fonts, colors, formatting, borders, rules, clip art and more. The results? The ‘Kitchen Sink’ school of ebook design.

The solution? K.I.S.S! Keep it simple, scribe!

– Use only one or two classic fonts in sizes that are easy to read.

– Use dark text on a light background.

– Allow plenty of ‘white space’ in page margins and between lines of text.

– Don’t try and shoe-horn it all in.

– Use graphics sparingly, if appropriate.

2: Your ebook should look like it’s worth a million bucks!

Don’t skimp on the production of your ebook – it should look as though it’s worth at least three times the price you’re asking.

Even if you’re giving it away, its presentation directly reflects your professionalism. With so many freebies already available, good presentation is the one quality that will make your ebook stand out from the crowd.

Unless you’re trained or gifted, don’t be tempted to do your own book cover. There are free ecover sites and free software but their output often looks cheap and unprofessional and can drive visitors away from your web site before they’ve even read your sales letter.

People don’t buy shoddy-looking products!

3: Your ebook should be easy to navigate.

– Your text should be organized into manageable chunks. People ‘scan’ the information and get bogged down in big blocks of text.

– Present your information in logical sub-divisions with chapters or sections, then paragraphs or sub-sections.

– Use titles and sub-headings to signpost the way.

– Provide contents pages and indexes.

– Offer clickable links to take them to the correct pages or web sites quickly.

4: Your ebook should be a properly constructed book.

An ebook should not just be a collection of pages. It should have the same structure as a hard-copy book, with a cover, title page, copyright page, contents page, an index, and page numbers that match those on the contents/index page.

5: Your ebook should be quick to download.

Most people still use 56k dial-up connections. A big file means a slow download and that can cause customer frustration!

Use images sparingly, keep them a reasonable size and optimize them. Trim the fat from your ebook before making it available for download. Zip the finished file to make it as small as possible.

Some of these measures mean extra work, but attention to detail is the mark of a professional presentation!

To recap the 5 tips for designing a successful ebook:

K.I.S.S! Make sure your book is easy to read with a simple layout, few fonts and plenty of white space. Don’t skimp on production, aim for a thoroughly professional presentation. Make your ebook easy to navigate. Make sure it’s a proper book with all the necessary part. Keep the final file size as small as possible for a quick download.

If you’re still baffled by the whole concept of ebook design, don’t know where to start, or just want to save yourself some time then hire a professional designer to do it for you. It’s money well spent because good design SELLS!

James Corless designs ebooks – anything to do with ebooks: covers, contents, ezine covers, CD covers, banners, sales buttons and web site graphics.

See his design portfolio at

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