The 10 Most Common E-Book Design Mistakes

October 2003
by Roger C. Parker

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As e-books become more and more popular, their design problems become more and more obvious. Design mistakes can be very costly. Often, they result in expensive returns. Also, they represent lost opportunities to establish a distinct and memorable brand that would pre-sell future offerings from the same author and/or publisher.

All too many e-books suffer from one, or more, of the following 10 design problems. Avoiding them will help you reduce returns and increase reader pleasure, leading to bigger future sales


Mistake #1. Long lines of type

Most e-books are hard to read because type extends from left to right in a single unbroken column across the width of the page. As a result, left and right margins are very narrow.

The combination of long lines of type and narrow margins makes for difficult reading. It’s all too easy for readers to get lost making the transition from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. Often, doubling (re-reading the same line) occurs, and a reader’s hands may obscure some of the text in a printout.

Besides being difficult to read, pages filled with long lines of text and limited margins fail to project a unique image.


[subhead] Mistake #2: Default line spacing

For easy reading, line spacing should be based on the typeface as well as the line length and type size. Readers depend on the white space between lines to create “rails” which guide their e…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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