A Step-by-Step Guide on Creating Digital Textbooks


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ebooks emerged in the early 1990s when reading devices such as the Kindle became popular. When this was found to be effective, publishers began transforming traditional textbooks into digital volumes and released etextbooks to the market.

As technology developed, educational institutions began to integrate tech with classroom lessons. Accessibility, portability, interactiveness, sustainability and cost-effectiveness made etextbooks the most used form of learning, and after Covid 19, it is the “new normal”.

The learners of this generation, who are born with technology, love it and find it one of the most engaging ways of learning. Today’s topic will guide you on how to make a digital book and its benefits in business.

Keep reading.

Digital Textbooks

What is an etextbook?

An etextbook , also known as a digital textbook, is a digital version of a traditional printed textbook that can be accessed and read on devices like computers, laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. It contains the same content as a printed textbook, including text, images, graphs, and charts, but in a digital format.

etextbooks often come with interactive features like videos, audio clips, animations, quizzes, links to external resources, highlighting and note-taking to enhance the learning experience.

To know more about digital textbooks, read A Handy Guidebook to Digital Textbooks.

Let us now see how to create digital textbooks.

How to make a digital textbook?

As etextbooks are the new normal, creating one is an absolute mandate in today’s date. The following steps will tell you how to create a digital textbook.

  • Step 1: Choose the appropriate layout template

    First things first, the layout. When books are prepared, the most important thing which is kept in mind is the standard (class) for which it is being prepared. Putting the right amount of textual and graphic content per the standard is a major deciding factor while selling etextbooks.

    You can choose the layout style based on the following categories:

    • Books prepared for Nursery to 5th standards have to be more graphic and less textual.
    • Books prepared for 6th to 9th standard should be equally spread with text and graphics.
    • While that for 10th to 12th standard should be more textual and less graphic.

    Depending upon the way the text and graphic is spread throughout the content, the two majorly used layouts - Fixed and Reflowable will have to be decided. Once the layout is ready, the textbook copy is ready for the cover image.

  • Step 2: Select a suitable cover design

    Although it's long known that we should never judge a book by its cover, in reality, we do judge a book by its cover! The cover is the first ever picture of the book we get to see before buying it.

    etextbooks are no different. A big percentage of book buyers buy a book based on the cover design. The content is undoubtedly important, but initial attention is always drawn by the book cover.

    Your etextbook cover should be such that it can give the readers an insight into the book even without reading it. If the cover is catchy-enough, you are sure to sell volumes of your digital textbook.

  • Step 3: Add content

    Now it's time to add the main content. As discussed in step 1, the content that is selected per the class standard, will be inserted now. Generally, the content is kept ready in the form of a PDF or .docx file.

    Many innovative ebook writing software also offers the facility to write content directly on them and import it. So after assembling the content, it is ready to merge with interactive multimedia content.

    Another way of adding the content can also be by scanning the material from printed textbooks. This serves as ready made content and makes the etextbook making process easier.

  • Step 4: Add interactive content for that extra edge

    As discussed earlier, etextbooks are preferred more than printed textbooks by the kids of this generation and the reason is their interactive graphic content. Printed textbooks have graphics too but still cannot compete with that of digital textbooks.

    etextbooks can contain animations, videos, learning games and high quality static pictures alongside textual content. Moving graphic content always attracts young learners and makes their academic journey easier.

    As digital textbooks overcome this limitation offered by the printed textbooks seamlessly and are hot-selling, publishers are now more inclined towards creating and selling etextbooks than the printed ones.

    Bonus read: Top Benefits of Using Interactive eBooks for eLearning

  • Step 5: Add the table of contents

    This is the ultimate stage before publication. An etextbook is exactly like a traditional printed textbook but on digital media. So do not forget to add the table of content to your digital textbook. However digitized we become, we will always look for the main headings/ topics in a book before reading it.

    You can make the content table “clickable” or keep it as it is. By clickable content, we mean that linking the particular topic name to the respective page from where the topic starts in the etextbook.

  • Step 6: Publish your etextbook

    There are certain steps that are to be followed while publishing your etextbook. They are:

    • Choosing the etextbook publishing platforms where you’ll launch your brand.
    • Choosing the correct file formats.
    • Choosing the price of the books.
    • Distribute it through eminent distributors.
    • Strategizing marketing for your publication.

How are etextbooks beneficial to publishers?

Publishers are getting more inclined to selling etextbooks in place of traditional printed textbooks as:

  • They are cost-saving

    Producing and distributing printed textbooks can be expensive. etextbooks eliminate printing, storage, and shipping costs, resulting in significant cost savings for publishers.

  • Offer greater reach

    etextbooks can be easily distributed worldwide through online platforms, reaching a broader audience compared to traditional printed textbooks. This accessibility allows publishers to enter new markets and potentially increase their sales.

  • Flexible and efficient

    Content in etextbooks can be updated and revised more efficiently than printed textbooks. Publishers can easily make corrections, add new information, or adapt the content to keep up with changing educational standards. This flexibility ensures that the content remains relevant and up to date.

  • Generate more sales

    etextbooks provide opportunities to incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, animations, interactive simulations, and links to external resources. Publishers can leverage these multimedia capabilities in their etextbooks to provide additional value to users and make more sales.

Why should you outsource your digital conversion needs to professionals?

Converting printed textbooks to digital copies is undoubtedly not a hard nut to crack. But, still why do the publishers outsource it or look for eminent digital publishing services company?

The reason is simple. This inquisitive and demanding generation always searches for new, innovative and engaging content, even if it is study material. This makes digital publication a challenging task for the publishers and keeps a constant pressure on them to differentiate their work from their competitors.

As of today's date, digital textbooks are not just limited to textual content. Graphics contribute to a major portion of the sales of etextbooks. This accounts for the main reason for outsourcing ePublication services to professional agencies. Professional hands know what exactly can sell your etextbooks.

They have the expertise to:

  • Handle content in diverse languages.
  • Deliver files in the desired file format.
  • Deliver the work within the given time-frame but without compromising on the quality.
  • IDPF compliant.
  • Deliver content fit for any reading device.


Delivering you the work per your demands and needs is of utmost importance if you are planning to make a big investment.

So if you are planning on digitizing your publication business, we are just a click away. Reach us anytime and get your custom quote!

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