Whether you’re creating an ebook to offer as a freebie to grow your email list, as a paid product to earn passive income, or as bonus content to include in your programs and service packages, you want your ebook to look professional and compelling. That way, people will be excited to download it, and they’ll get the most out of the resource you worked hard to create.

    In this post, I’ll cover three elements to help you create an ebook (or pdf resource, like a worksheet or checklist) that’s polished and engaging.

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    Visual interest – to keep people engaged

    The first thing you should consider after you decide what valuable information to include in your ebook, is how the resource will engage people when they first download and open it.

    That is, how can you make it look compelling so your ebook doesn’t automatically get tossed into your people’s digital “junk drawers”?

    Add elements of visual interest that move beyond high-quality photos and simple graphics to grab people’s attention and encourage them to consume the content.

    Here are a few, slightly unexpected, ways you could add visual interest to your Ebook:

    • Big page numbers – emphasizing smaller details, like page numbers, creates contrast — which is a principle of good design
    • Callout boxes – you could add bonus tips or links to related resources in callout boxes on a few pages
    • Color variation – use color to guide people’s eyes to the most important information and to create visual breaks between different sections of content so your ebook content is easy to consume

    Pro tip: Only pick 1-2 ways to add visual interest so that your ebook doesn’t end up looking cluttered.

    Consistent colors – to make your ebook readable

    When it comes to choosing colors for your ebook, I have two key recommendations:

    1. Opt for darker text on lighter backgrounds.
    2. Pick a palette that makes sense for your brand.

    The dark on light color combo is, in general, easier for people to read. Plus, it’s a safer bet (especially if you’re new to design).

    If you have a color palette for your brand, feel free to stick with it for your ebook. But you certainly don’t have to. Just make sure the colors you pick align with your brand’s overall style. For example, if you mostly use whites and pastels on your website and social media, I wouldn’t recommend creating an Ebook with a neon color palette.  

    Pro tip: Use different colors for links, headers, etc. so that people know where to click and where to pay attention to certain information first. This allows them to consume the information in your Ebook most effectively.

    ‘About’ section & call to action – to connect with readers and give them a next step

    With resources like ebooks, it’s not uncommon for people to download and come back to it months later when they’re ready to consume the content. This one reason you should to include an ‘About’ section or a short bio — so that people remember where they got the ebook in the first place!

    You also want to give readers a way to connect further, and also to share, if they enjoy your content. The simplest and most effective way to encourage readers to connect and share your content is to include a link to your website, links to your social media, and social media ‘share’ buttons. You could also add a shareable quote Click-to-Tweet to give readers a really easy way to help spread the word about your Ebook.

    To maximize engagement, make sure these buttons and links are easy to find. They should be fairly large and located on either one of the first pages, or one of the last pages (or both!) of your Ebook.

    Pro tip: Add a call to action for people to learn more about your offers that relate to the Ebook content. This is a great way to give people the option to go deeper with the material or hire you if they want!

    If you’re ready to create your polished and engaging Ebook, be sure to check out the tutorial video below where I’ll walk you through the process of creating your Ebook from start to finish. I even show you how to make your site available for purchase on a site like Gumroad!

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