Things to think about when designing an ebook

Ebooks and printed books are very different. With a printed book you might spend a lot of time on fonts, fancy background images and colours. With an ebook these designs can largely be thrown out of the window.

Things to remember when creating your ebook:

  • Ebooks have free flowing text, and like a webpage will re-adjust to different screen sizes. This means your ebook doesn’t have pages and the view will vary. Whilst on a mobile you may have 40 words showing on your screen, on a PC there might be 100 words showing.
  • Layouts are much simpler in an ebook edition. Usually you’ll have plain text with images above or below text. Trying to make an ebook too fancy can backfire and make it messy and difficult to read.
  • Ebook backgrounds are plain white and you can’t put images behind text – it just doesn’t work well in an ebook.
  • Readers may be reading your ebook on an e-reader device. It’s generally recognised that the best e-readers have e-ink displays which due to the technology are only available in black and white. (You can also get e-readers that come in colour but these are really specialist tablets). As a result you need to ensure that any colours you use in your ebook will still be easily visible when converted to black and white.
  • Don’t get obsessive over fonts and font sizes, as the font will likely change anyway. Depending on the device the reader opens the ebook with, there are usually only a limited number of fonts available, so it is better to stick to commonly recognised ebook typefaces such as Ariel and Georgia. If the font you choose is not one of them, the device will change the font to one of its standards. Readers also have ability to change the font and font size themselves to suit their reading needs.