Designing an e-book for your business is an important investment; it engages customers and helps grow your influence online. Furthermore, it’s incredibly cost-effective compared to creating and distributing print materials. However, despite an e-book’s effectiveness, it can be brought down simply with one or more elements of bad design. Here are a few common mistakes that designers make when developing e-books; look out for them and let your designers know to avoid them.
At first glance, an e-book format offers the opportunity to use so many colors and images that aren’t available in print format due to cost issues, or simply because they don’t look the same. However, it is important not to overdo the color usage, as this will only distract readers and create a jarring image that ruins the overall e-book experience.
2. Cover design
A cover is the first, and in many cases, the only thing that a potential e-book reader will see; browsing through numerous titles, the cover is supposed to capture a reader’s attention and motivate him or her to download the full title. If a cover looks like every other cover out there, the user will move on. That’s why it’s crucial to design a cover that is unique and easily recognizable; it has to be one that a reader will remember and immediately associate with that particular e-book. The most common designer’s mistake is designing a generic cover; this significantly decreases the e-book’s success.
Although it might be tempting to use what might seem to be a “fun” or interesting font, it is ultimately more important to use a simpler one that draws readers in and makes the e-book easier to read. As a general rule of thumb, sans serif fonts work best for reading on electronic devices, which e-books are intended for; a font size, furthermore, should be neither too large nor too small, with size 10-11 being the most recommended.
Basic formatting, such as spacing and text justification are critical to the design of an e-book. A typical mistake may include overusing centered text; while it may be helpful to draw attention to a header, it ultimately is harder to read and creates a less professional format. Spacing mistakes include leaving too much or too little space in between letters, sentences, or paragraphs, leading to confusion and poor aesthetic appeal.
Common readability issues include long blocks of text, uninterrupted by images, graphics, or page breaks; a reader will get lost and be unable to continue reading if an e-book is designed this way. Failing to include elements that help the reader organize the information, such as page numbers and headers, can also impede readability.