I love ebooks. I can download them instantly, they don't take up any space except on my hard drive, and often they are offered for a lower price than bound versions of the same book. However, one drawback to ebooks is that they can be harder to read than a book you can hold in your hand. As an ebook writer, you need to do everything you can to make your ebook “reader friendly" so that your readers actually read your ebook (and possibly click on those links which you so helpfully provided throughout). Here are seven ways to make your ebook reader friendly.
1) In an ebook that is read on a computer screen, you must give your readers’ eyes a break. You can do this by using white space. Readers’ eyes need to rest in the cool white oases you create on your pages. If the pages are too dense, your readers will quit reading as soon as their eyes begin to tire.
2) Use an easy-to-read design. Find a font that's easy on the eyes and stick to that font family. Using several different fonts will only tire your readers out before they've gotten past your introduction. Use at least one and a half line spacing and text large enough to be read easily on the computer screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen on the screen. You will have to experiment with this to find the right combination.
3) Write with a casual, conversational tone. Use the pronoun “you. " Reader's respond to the feeling that you are having a conversation with them. Keep your style lively by breaking up the length and structure of your sentences. Sentences that are all the same length and structure tend to be a good cure for insomnia.
4) Keep your writing engaging with anecdotes, testimonials, photos, graphs, advice, and tips that keep your readers turning the pages. Sidebars are useful for related, additional information, and they break up the density of the page.
5) Make use of lists, both bulleted and numbered. This makes your information easy to absorb and gives the reader a mental break from dissecting your paragraphs one after the other.
6) Don't forget to run a spell and grammar check. Writers are judged by things as seemingly minor as correct spelling and punctuation. Readers think to themselves, “If this guy doesn't even know that “a lot" is two words, how can I be sure that he knows what he's talking about in this book?" Don't ruin a great book by misspelling common words (accidentally, exercise, receive) mixing up homonyms (affect/effect, its/it's, principal, principle), or stringing sentences together with commas.
7) Create a table of contents, an index, and a bibliography. Readers may want to refer back to something that they remember reading without scrolling through the whole book. They also may be interested in finding out more about your subject by reading your source material. Your bibliography can be a source of additional revenue for you if you provide clickable links that include your affiliate ID.
Doing all this may seem like a lot of trouble, but you benefit just as much as the reader does. If your readers read and like your ebook, they will click on your links, won't return it for a refund, and will consider buying future ebooks from you. Doesn't that make taking the time and effort to make your ebook reader friendly worthwhile?
Michael Paladin writes about all the latest news, trends, and ideas for internet marketing at his blog Making Money Online .
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