January 16, 2017

Writing an E-book | Part Four

Make the e-book “user friendly”. It’s essential to keep your reader engaged. Spicing academic content up with short anecdotes, testimonials, stories, photos or tips will keep the reader turning the pages. Sidebars are helpful graphic devices that provide quick, accessible information, and they also break up word density and make a page appear more inviting.

Try to cast your writing in a casual, conversational tone rather than in the formality of a textbook. Your reader will respond more positively if he or she feels that you are having a conversation.

Don’t be discouraged if you get stuck. Good writing takes lots and lots of practice. You may want to make a personal commitment to write at least a page a day. Research the art of writing by reading relevant books and magazine, and jot down tips that jump out at you. Writing well is a lifetime learning process, and the more you do it, the better your writing will become.

Writing an e-book that will be read on a computer screen requires additional thought. Don’t forget to give your reader’s eyes a break. This can be accomplished by planning the white space, or “negative space.” If your copy is too dense, it will be hard on the reader’s vision. Bulleted and numbered lists can be very helpful and reader-friendly. This helps to make information easier to absorb, and will also give the reader a mental break from absorbing paragraphs one after the other.

Finally, decide on an easy-to-read design. Choose a font that’s easy to read, and stick to that single font family. Use at least one and a half line spacing, and text that is large enough to be read easily on the screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen at once. Finding the right combination will take some experimentation.

Of course, don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check. The validity of your content may be judged by something as minor as correct punctuation, so don’t detract from great content by using semicolons incorrectly, or stringing sentences together to create run-ons.

Last but not least, create an index and a bibliography. That’s it! You’ve written a book! Now all you have to do is publish your e-book online, and wait for download request from your website visitors.

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