Essential eBook Design Tips - The Shutterstock Blog

Getting people to buy your eBook takes some marketing savvy — especially if you’re a first-time or relatively unknown author. Good eBook design goes a long way towards drawing in potential readers.

At traditional bookstores, many customers make purchase decisions based on the book cover. eBooks are no different. The cover image and typography help readers identify the genre and tone of the story. A good design communicates credibility and bestows confidence in your work. Here are some things to consider when designing your eBook.

The front cover

When consumers browse for eBooks on an online retailer, they usually see the cover first. The best covers include a captivating image, a bold use of color, and a font that’s easy to read.

The cover image should reflect the content of the book in a way that builds interest for the reader. For instance, romance novels often feature a couple on the front cover. This helps readers identify the genre and build an emotional connection with the characters. A horror novel, dramatic memoir, thrilling detective story, or any other genre will have its own visual themes to play with. Leave them wanting more with an intriguing image that illustrates your story.

Typography is another important consideration in eBook design. First and foremost, choose a font that’s easy to read. You don’t want readers straining to read to title of your book. But this doesn’t mean you have to stick to basic fonts that are typically used for typesetting. There’s room to play when it comes to elements like typeface style, color, kerning, height, and more. Just like the cover image, there are fonts associated with genres. For example, thriller novels often feature a bold serif font, while romance novels feature a curly script font. Make sure the color and layout of the title and author name complement the cover image.

Learn how to amplify your eBook design with our typography tips

The back cover

When a person picks up a physical book, they often look at the back cover immediately after looking at the front. Not every online retailer is set up for this experience, but it’s still worth putting thought into your eBook’s back cover design. It generally contains a summary of the book and may also include blurbs from fellow writers (or critics) praising the book. Some authors also include an author photo and short bio here. The back cover is your last chance to sell your book to readers, so it should be designed thoughtfully to highlight the best qualities of your book.

The text

An eBook designer’s job doesn’t stop once the cover is finished. The inside of the book also needs to be laid out so that it is readable and well-designed. There are several different aspects that go into designing the inside of an ebook. It’s important to consider font and spacing to ensure that your book is readable and easy on the eyes. You also need to consider how to differentiate chapter headers and titles from regular text. If your book is going to include pictures inside, make sure they are the right size and resolution to be viewed on e-readers.

Learn all about typesetting and the perfect fonts for the job

Other pages

If your eBook contains any special page types such as a table of contents, index, or author bio, you want to put equal thought into how they’re designed. These pages may appear similar to other inside pages, and tweaking the font size or differentiating the layout can make them stand out slightly.

There are a number of free eBook design tools available, but you can only go so far without the right images. Shutterstock has thousands of images available that you can use in designing your ebook. Our professional photographs and art images are unique and eye-catching enough that they look like they were created just for your book. Get started browsing our catalog today.

Top image by Georgejmclittle