E-publishing has not only opened up new, convenient options for readers, it is one of the key developments fueling the rise of self-publishing authors in general. Without the need for a print run, and with a much lower price for entry, eBooks have helped loosen the iron grip of traditional publishers on the industry. Yet, they also present some new challenges for authors.
EBooks usually allow the reader to choose how they read your book, with options for text size, column width, space between text and other presentation factors – this means it can be harder to control the readability of your final product.
Also, a variety of file types are necessary to make your eBook as widely available as possible. Our book publishing services can help offer expertise and experience, as well as a thorough quality check, to make sure your eBook looks the way it should in as many formats as necessary to ensure readability for all readers.
eBook Common Mistakes
Looking at published eBooks, it might at first appear that creating an eBook from a final manuscript is a simple, foolproof process. But this is not the case. Expertise, experience, and knowledge are all crucial to creating the professional-looking eBooks that readers will expect. In a market flooded with amateur, self-published eBooks, there are a range of common mistakes that our eBook services will help you avoid.
Pay attention to formatting. One key choice is between a fixed or static layout, or the more widely used reflowable format. Fixed format is simply a digital version of a printed book, and is favored for books with heavier visual content and complex design choices. Fixed layout will make sure your intended layout is preserved exactly for the reader. Reflowable format, for books that mostly consist of text, allows readers to make choices about text presentation, and will automatically adjust based on factors like screen size.
Make sure your book is aesthetically appealing. Don’t assume that this is any less important for an eBook than a print book. In fact, with no tactile element to reading an eBook, it’s really all about the visuals in getting readers to buy, and stick with, your book. This is about both visual appeal, and simple readability. Common design mistakes often get in the way of readability and enjoyment.
Don’t forget page numbers. Readers rely on page numbers to track their progress, and it’s even more important if a reader wants to print the eBook.
eBook Formating Basics
Many eBooks use templates built into Microsoft Word, the result being that many self-published eBooks have nearly identical typeface, type size, text alignment, and line spacing. Instead, a professional eBook should offer distinctive, but easily readable, visuals, with a “family resemblance” across any other eBooks you publish in the future. The style will help you develop a trademark that readers will come to know and appreciate.
Don’t overuse color, as bright colors can detract from readability and solid color backgrounds can present problems for printing. Use a typeface that is optimal for extended reading – avoid decorative typefaces like Papyrus. Even typefaces such as Arial are better suited for headlines. Only an experienced expert can help make sure your eBook maintains a balance between sensible readability and a distinctive visual style.
Type size also needs to be just right – the default 12-point text is too large, and inexperienced self-publishers often make this mistake. At the same time, type that is too small requires readers to squint. Once again, it’s best to consult an expert.
Many authors publishing eBooks don’t take line and paragraph spacing seriously enough. The correct spacing depends on factors like typeface, type size, and line length. The default spacing in most software is usually not optimal for readability. To provide a few small examples, longer line length calls for more white space between lines (called leading.) Serif typefaces like Times New Roman require more leading than sans serif typefaces like Verdana.
Make sure layout is properly aligned and consistent throughout the eBook. Use quality images with decent resolution, but not high enough to exceed the size limit of 63 kilobytes per image. Find a balance between a boring a repetitive layout and a needlessly complex one, which can be difficult for readers to follow.
How To Avoid The Mistakes
Even if you choose to have our talented experts help you design your eBook, we will put it through our eBook quality checklist, which will help filter out common design and formatting mistakes. This final step will help make sure your manuscript translates successfully into eBook formats.
As with any self-publishing, the challenge with eBooks boils down to the question of how to stand out in an increasingly flooded market. Over a million eBooks are published each year. Yet, an incredibly large percentage of these eBooks include common, avoidable mistakes.
With experienced professionals on your side, you can avoid all of these pitfalls, ensuring that your eBook competes on the level of the few polished, professional quality eBooks instead of the multitude of mediocre ones.