An awesome way for bloggers to show their expertise and create a little bit of income is to publish and sell their own ebook. But many bloggers quit before they even begin, because they’re intimidated. How are they supposed to design an ebook with no experience?
Luckily, it’s not too difficult to design an ebook on your own. In fact, with a few small tweaks, you can even make it look like it was designed by a professional!
Simple is Better
First things first, simple is better. Don’t go overboard when you design an ebook, because it’s just going to distract the reader from your actual content. And after all, isn’t that the reason you’re creating the ebook in the first place?
Instead of using a ton of photos, use fewer, larger photos. Have one photo take up an entire page instead of layering images over each other in a collage.
Similarly, use shorter, more succinct headlines. When you’re designing your headlines, try to keep them to 1 or 2 lines of text. Part of this is how you design your typography, but it’s also impacted by your copy writing skills!
When in doubt, take something out.
Make Sure Everything Lines Up
One of my biggest pet peeves in design is when things don’t line up how they’re supposed to. Make sure your headlines, text boxes, and images all line up and have equal spacing as you design an ebook.
If you’re using InDesign, the Align tool will make this a lot easier for you. Not only can you line up your objects horizontally or vertically, but you can also distribute spacing between objects evenly. So, if you have a few different photos and you want them to have even spacing between them, simply select them all and click the Distribute Spacing Evenly button! Easy peesy.
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Limit Your Font Usage
Fonts are really fun, I get it. But when you design an ebook, try to stick with 2 or 3 fonts maximum. And when you’re picking out your fonts, try to use fonts in two different styles.
Instead of using a ton of different fonts for variety, play around with colors, font sizes, and font weights. For example, my blog uses the font Lato, which has 10 different styles! There are 5 different font weights, and they all come in regular and italic. This gives me plenty of variety, without even bringing in my second brand font.
Once you’ve picked out your fonts, pick one that you’ll use for body copy. You want all of your regular content to be written in the same font! Then use the other for headers and pull quotes. You can use the body copy font for headers as well, if you need a little more variety.
White Space is Your Friend
One of the best ways to elevate your ebook design is to really utilize white space. You don’t have to worry about page count because you’re not physically printing the book, so it’s okay if your ebook stretches to more pages than you originally expected.
Make your margins larger than the 0.5″ automatic setting in Microsoft Word. Having text too close to the edge or in too long of rows can really strain the eyes, so bring your text boxes in a little bit.
Next, make sure there’s plenty of space between your headlines and body copy. They shouldn’t overlap at all, even if your headline has a descender like the tail of a y.
And finally, give your objects and photos some room to breathe! In InDesign, utilize Text Wrap to create a border around an object where no text will appear. I recommend at least 1/6th of an inch, or about 12 pixels.
Creating an ebook doesn’t have to break the bank! It’s totally possible to design an ebook on your own, and to make it look like it was created by a professional!
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