According to a Pew survey, the number of Americans who have an electronic reading device, either a tablet or something like a Kindle or Nook, has grown to 43 percent. If you add the number of people who use their smartphone to read eBooks it becomes easy to see why they’re so popular with authors, marketers or anyone else who’s looking for an inexpensive way to deliver multiple pages of content to their audience.
Creating eBooks is rather simple as well, which also makes them an attractive option. All you need is software like a word processor,or desktop publishing suite and, of course, the ability to write a book.
If you’re reading to delve into eBook creation, however, these best practices will get you off to a strong start.
Choose the best format
Most electronic reading devices, like the Kindle or Nook, rely on specific formats for the delivery of eBooks. Nooks, along with many other reading devices, utilize the Epub open format, while Kindles make use of a proprietary file format that works only on their devices. Tablets and smartphones can use either format through the different apps made available.
One thing all of the devices mentioned have in common: the ability to display eBooks created as PDF files. Not only can you read a PDF document in any environment, there’s no need to convert the file before opening it. Using PDF software to write, edit and publish the book is all you need to do.
Choose a good page layout
Just like a print document, an eBook’s layout makes the content much easier to consume.
Start by determining the page size for your eBook. If you expect most people to read it on their computer monitor, you can format the document to a larger size but a good rule of thumb is to set your eBook for six inches by nine inches. This will help ensure that it fits most electronic readers and tablets, while preserving the document’s quality if scaled down to fit a smartphone screen.
At the same time you’re setting the page size, it’s a good idea to also make sure that you set the margins to an appropriate size for your book. While an eBook isn’t under the same constraints that a printed book is, given that eBooks don’t have binding and trim, giving your eBook layout an ample amount of white space in the margins makes it easier to read and helps keep text and images aligned.
Set the type
The typeface you select for your eBook is not without ramifications. Sometimes a font face that looks good on a printed page might not look as crisp or clear in an electronic format.
It’s also important to ensure that the people reading your eBook have access to the fonts you decide to use. If fonts need to be substituted because a reader doesn’t have the one you chose installed on their device, it could throw off the entire layout of your eBook.
This is where using PDF software to create your eBook comes in handy. This type of software allows you to embed the fonts you use into the document file so anyone reading the document will experience it in the way you intended.
The font size you select is equally as important. For printed books, font sizes range from nine points to 11 points. When creating an eBook, usability experts recommend using a size between 11 to 13 points to make the text more legible on the screen.
These tips can help you create a well-formed eBook and choosing an authoring tool like PDF software like can help make sure your eBook looks and reads its best. So opt for an application like Foxit’s PhantomPDF to free yourself to work on creating great content. After all, that part is up to you.