Let’s get this out of the way, all the content you create about your business MUST be compelling. Content is how you sell your business to all existing and potential customers, you must demonstrate value.
eBooks and whitepapers are one of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise, establishing trust and stimulate business growth. When considering eBook design or whitepaper publishing, it’s paramount that it’s characteristic of your brand, with the layout, colour scheme and font carefully considered.
Designing an eBook or whitepaper may sound somewhat daunting, but by following the simple steps below you can create a striking design that compels customers to dive right into your content.
People Judge a Book by its Cover
Images draw attention. Words sell. The quality of your eBook cover design can determine whether visitors click to download, or decline to investigate the great content you’ve laboured to put together.
When deciding upon a cover design, there are a few elements that you need to consider.
The cover MUST be professional. It should be modern and timeless. Don’t use stock images or clipart – this puts readers off. It smacks of a lack of effort, discouraging them from investigating your content.
The cover art MUST be a visual representation of the content within. It must demonstrate the purpose of the eBook. If your eBook content outlines how to design a website, choose a cover image that represents this.
The title MUST be clear and bold. Readers should immediately be able to identify what your eBook or whitepaper is about.
Your business logo MUST be present. This is one of the ways that customers recognise your business, which is especially important when you’re offering unique and valuable content. Take every opportunity to bolster your brand reputation – a well-placed logo is a great way of doing just that.
An Inspirational eBook Cover Design
Okay – bottom line, inspirational imagery is noticed. Bland imagery is forgotten. The right cover design compels customers to want to read the content of any eBook or whitepaper.
If you’re struggling for ideas, these examples show just how effective an eBook cover design can be:
Make the Layout as Clear as Possible
Figuring out how your customers will use you eBook is vital to organising the content you create. The three questions you’ll need to ask yourself are:
- Will my eBook be read online or printed?
- How detailed do I want my eBook to be?
- How do I structure the content?
Answering these three questions will allow you to structure your content – ensuring that all the main points are addressed, and that it doesn’t become overly dense or too light on content.
When writing an eBook or whitepaper that you intend to be exclusively or primarily used as an online resource, keep the content colour shade light and font size large. Saturating each page with an abundance of small, detailed content may result in the salient points becoming lost.
A good layout also allows for imagery to be easily incorporated, placing emphasis on, or drawing attention to a particularly pertinent point.
How detailed you intend your eBook or whitepaper to be will dictate whether to break the content into horizontal or vertical sections. A vertical template is best for detailed eBooks and whitepapers, whereas a horizontal template is advised for eBooks and whitepapers with many visual elements, such as data and charts.
Printed eBooks should always use a vertical template. The increased emphasis on detail means that, across each of the pages, images will be smaller and content more tightly-packed together. The eBook will read more like a standard book so any layout should reflect this.
Stick to standard fonts. Decorative fonts may have their place in design, but not in an eBook or whitepaper. The goal is to make the content as readable as possible. Your font should also indicate a change in section headers. This allows readers to take a short break and digest what they’ve just read.
Layout Templates and Fonts
Pre-built eBook or whitepaper templates can be a godsend if you’re short of time – providing the template doesn’t look inapposite when compared to your overall brand. There is a wealth of online resources with pre-built eBook templates. The more notable of which are highlighted below:
Given the sheer number of fonts available, selecting the right one for your eBook can be a mite difficult. What is important is that your font perfectly complements your eBook or whitepaper design. Guidance on how to select the font that does just this can be found at this font pairing resource list.
Your Colour Palette
Using the right colour combinations can be a feast for the eyes. Not only that, but an enticing colour palette can highlight parts of any eBook or whitepaper that detail your USPs and value, whilst creating a uniformed overall design.
Effective designs utilise just 3-4 colours. Additional colours can make any design feel too busy and distorted. The colour palette for your eBook or whitepaper should be the same as your brand colours. This creates cohesion across all brand materials, enhancing both your branding the general readability of all your documents.
Any good colour palette must abide by a few simple rules. These are as follows:
- The colour of your copy should be in stark contrast to your background colour therefore making the copy as easy to read as possible.
- Your body copy should be readable from a distance. Dark copy with a white background is most effective.
- Signify the start of a new section with distinct header colours.
- Highlight links by underlining them.
Colours should also be used to draw attention to specific areas of your eBook or whitepaper. Clearly marking call-to-actions and quotes, not to mention separating sections of your eBook with one of your 3 or 4 colours, will catch reader’s eyes, without overpowering the document with colour.
Deciding on Your Colour Palette
The right colour combinations will pack a truly visual punch. But unless you’re an artworker, you’re likely to have a few questions when deciding which colours best complement one another.
The tools below will give you a great insight into how to create a colour scheme that’s visually appealing to everyone.
Choose Images Appropriate for Your Content
Every image on your eBook or whitepaper must have a purpose, and above all else, should be relevant in the context of your document.
Now, finding imagery for especially technical or niche sectors can be challenging, but it’s also really satisfying when you find those images that offer that something extra to your eBook or whitepaper!
If your eBook or whitepaper is particularly dense with descriptions of software or how an internal combustion engine works, for example, a well-placed relevant image will support the copy, and can even distil complex and extensive information into a smaller, more effective and manageable passages.
Good images break up sections of copy nicely, allowing readers to take a break whilst keeping their concentration and absorbing the value of your eBook or whitepaper.
Always avoid stock images. Almost all are very generic, adding little or no value to the content. Choose professional images with the highest resolution.
Where to Source Images
Google Images may be the most comprehensive image search on the web, but the search results are very broad. The results may not have any images that add value to your eBook or whitepaper.
However, this list of 10 websites that provide free stock photos is the ideal resource. Not held by copyright law, these images cover are suitable for a broad range of businesses.
So, there you have it. Creating a striking eBook or whitepaper may not be as easy as first thought. But when the design is planned and executed well, the result is a fantastic way to showcase your expertise whilst enhancing your value to potential and existing customers – and above all else creating content that bolsters your reputation.
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