Things to Avoid While Creating Interactive eBooks


7 minute read

do's and don'ts of ebook creation

Traditional pdf ebooks have often failed to excite interest among readers because they mostly induce boredom by virtue of being long, poorly designed, and require one to go through a tedious process before downloading. Interactive eBooks have surfaced as pleasant alternatives. Readers can be educated and entertained with the creative presentation of content. When you decide to create an interactive ebook, your execution approach has to be different than that of static pdf ebooks to allow storytelling content to fully optimize on contemporary technologies. To engage, inspire and thrill readers fully, you have to steer clear of certain things for incredible results.

Never Let Static Content Distribution Technique Overwhelm You

Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf) was developed to port files between various operating systems without compromising the quality of the display. Over time, pdf has extended support for plugins, hyperlinks, in-built forms etc. Pdf was introduced in 1993 when web technologies were in their infancy and flaws were inherent in digital print media. Now, interactive content must supersede pdfs although whitepapers, ebooks, and scanned documents are still circulated through pdf. Pdf follows printed book style with introduction, sections, and linearly flowing text followed by a summary. But this format does not complement web optimally. Web space is offering space for realizing the full potential of creativity. One of the dos and don’ts of ebook creation is to refrain from static content and add flavor to it with the dynamism of audio, video, multimedia, animations and quirky images that heighten storytelling.

Refrain from Using Too Many Words

The attention span of readers is short. Nobody is interested in going through volumes of words organized line by line. Your online prospects may simply turn to other interactive reading sources if they notice that your ebook is full of words only without any multimedia. Words are meant for physical, paperback books and not digital books. You can spin your story with the richness of interactive content like multimedia, animation, videos, images etc. to better engage the readers.

It is better to follow proven tips for ebook creation as discussed below for optimum results.

  • Confine the number of words to 800 or so, the length of one or two blogs
  • Decide the content’s length by factoring in the topic, targeted readers, and industry vertical
  • Be creative in addressing the challenge your readers face or catering to their interests
  • Present your content within a consistent theme with a distinctive visual appeal
  • Prepare an outline of important points to be covered
  • Present each point independently with supportive text and multimedia
  • Eliminate scope for cross-point interaction by readers
  • To highlight specific ideas, you may borrow multimedia from third-party sites
  • For maximum appeal, build your visuals from scratch
  • Write in short text clusters to offer designers the agility needed to insert multimedia

Work on Your EBook’s Multimedia Aspect Concurrently With text

If you were creating a pdf ebook, your task would be pretty simple. Just script your content and send it for cosmetic changes to the designer. After inserting random graphics, the aesthetic quotient of the book is finalized and sent for publishing. This is, however, not the case with interactive eBooks. Here, it is imperative to work simultaneously on multimedia and graphics along with text to ensure that they complement each other.

To achieve stellar results, you need to follow these steps.

  • Decide on the way you are going to narrate the story
  • Accordingly, discuss with the creative team for an optimum visual solution in sync with the topic
  • Share the outline of your story with the creative team in a summarized write-up
  • Categorize the outline under various sections to help creative team choose the best graphics
  • Give time to the team for selecting matching visuals and create a draft
  • Sit with your creative team to finalize visual and multimedia for all sections
  • Ensure that the story is being told in a compelling manner
  • After consensus is reached on content flow, send the ebook for publishing

Your approach may be slightly different based on your interaction with the creative team. The crux of the matter is that you cannot relegate visuals to the end of the book creation. It has to be taken care of simultaneously with content creation.

Add Fluidity To The Interactive Content For Ease Of Reading Desired Section

Pdf ebooks have a linear flow of text which required readers to complete one section before hopping on to the following section. The table of contents published at the start of the ebook served as a guide for readers who want to jump to a particular section without starting from the beginning. With interactive ebook formatting, such linear and drab presentation of information is a thing of the past. Readers can intuitively navigate through the content of the book at once and would never feel disconnected with the main theme as each standalone section is complete in all respects. Exploration of the interactive ebook is possible in any order which the reader may find convenient.

You need to keep in mind a few formatting related tips for best results.

  • Create a well-defined navigation map to help readers browse faster
  • Link the navigation plan with sections to facilitate easy movement back and forth
  • Offer visual cues to help readers reach their desired interest points easily
  • Make use of callouts and call to actions to attract attention to relevant areas
  • Use plus signs, collapsible content, and animation rich markers for easy movement
  • Each section must be completed in itself to keep readers from getting confused
  • Don’t reference the content in a sporadic or random manner

Have A Clearly Defined and Meaningful Call To Action

The interactive ebook must be engrossing enough to leave readers wanting for more. This desire to get more relevant insights among readers must be fulfilled with actionable and contextual call-to-action. Such a call would help readers take the next step in your favor which would benefit you and also leave readers filling more purposeful in their reading activities.

The marketing funnel that is usually taken as reference for promoting your services among prospects should serve as a guide for deciding appropriate call to action. If your content caters to the top of the funnel, you need to suggest pertinent content in your marketing canvas as the next destination for readers. Provided the content is related to the middle of the promotional funnel, the action call may inspire readers to learn more about your brand’s site or seek a demonstration of product service. Suppose, the content is targeted at the bottom of the funnel, then your readers must be directed to a case study showcasing your expertise in the niche and serving to establish your brand as an authority. This would help readers in making an informed and conscious purchasing decision.

You have to strategically place the action call based on the uniqueness of your content. The calls can be incorporated at the bottom or header section of the content or you can have dedicated sections to highlight the action call. Alternately, you may like to insert an animated pop-up call which gets activated once the reader has spent a pre-decided time reading the ebook. You may work with various calls unless you get to decide the one which elicits a maximum positive response from the prospects. These exercises would also help you in getting better analytical insights into the way readers are resonating with the concept covered in the ebook. Accordingly, you may update the style within the ebook to sustain interest.


By now, you may have become convinced about the competitive advantage interactive ebooks enjoy over static content. You can take the help of niche experts offering ebook conversion services to get interactive ebooks developed or get existing static matter remodeled in an interactive format. The rewards that you are going to reap would far outweigh the investment you may make on developing the interactive ebook.