Some argue that in the world of marketing, e-books are dead. Others say they are not. The fact is, however, if e-books are properly written, designed, and marketed, they can generate thousands upon thousands of contact submissions for your business.
Whether you’re just starting out with e-book creation as a marketing tool or rethinking the role of e-books in your existing content strategy, you are likely asking yourself an important question: What is the best e-book? Format for the e-books? my marketing library?
It is important to note that this question can be answered in two different ways:
- What is the best e-book format for content creation?
- What is the best e-book format for consuming content?
It covers best practices for both topics – and explains how you can use HubSpot’s ebook templates to help your marketing team achieve their lead generation goals.
Recommended Resource: 18 Free eBook Formatting and Creation Templates
Download free e-book templates
Do you need help formatting your e-books? Our collection of 18 free e-book templates will help you create and format your e-book content for an incredible reading experience in Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign and Google Slides, so that you can format your e-books the way your marketing needs -Team and your content best suits readers.
The 3 best e-book formats for content creation
1. Adobe InDesign
Adobe’s advanced design software gives content creators a variety of options for creating and formatting their e-books.
These advanced features come at a price, but seasoned marketing designers rely on Adobe InDesign for these features.
Click here to download 6 Adobe InDesign Ebook Templates.
Adobe is known for its many features. As a result, you can expect your e-books to look their best with InDesign, as you can create and incorporate original design elements right into your document.
For an inexperienced designer or for the marketer just needing to post a serviceable listing, the bells and whistles InDesign offers may not be necessary. InDesign’s user interface and ease of use are tricky and may require more effort than is required for your final result.
2. Google Slides
Google Slides is a simpler tool for creating an e-book than InDesign. The fact that documents are online allows you to collaborate with your team members in real time to achieve a fantastic result. Oh – and it’s free, which is helpful if you have a limited marketing budget.
Click here to download 6 Google Slides e-book templates.
Google Slides is a great tool for marketers who need to create a good e-book quickly – especially when you’re collaborating with and getting feedback from team members. The user interface of slides is arguably simpler than that of InDesign. This means you can move and edit creative elements faster if you are new to both tools.
Since Google Slides is primarily a presentation tool, not an ebook creation tool, you may be missing out on some of the necessary features that will help ensure your ebooks get the quality they need to get your leads’ attention .
Conversely, you may need to create design elements elsewhere, such as: B. in Adobe software or in Canva, and later import these creative elements into your slide deck. This can result in an inconsistent build experience when you need to track down design elements after they have been built.
3. Microsoft PowerPoint
PowerPoint is a slightly more advanced option than Google Slides – but not quite as advanced as Adobe software – and another platform for creating presentations that can be used to design an e-book.
PowerPoint has some features that Google Slides doesn’t, such as: B. Better effects for designing. PowerPoint is also offline software, meaning you can create your e-books without WiFi.
PowerPoint is paid software as opposed to a free tool available in G Suite. You are also in asynchronous communication with your team when you collaborate with them on changes and additions. While it offers better creative features than slides, it doesn’t come close to InDesign’s advanced features.
Click here to download 6 Microsoft PowerPoint Ebook Templates.
The 2 best e-book formats for consumption
1. Interactive PDF
The best e-book format for e-book consumption is an interactive PDF (Portable Document Format).
PDFs are the first choice for content marketing ebooks for many reasons – including the consistency of their design and readability on different devices.
At HubSpot, we use PDFs for our e-books because we can embed links to relevant pages and sources in them, upload them directly to our content library and file manager, and be confident that the design will appear as intended when our leads do Open e-book in Chrome, Safari, Preview, on your mobile phone or on a desktop.
The interactive nature also means that if we include an open text box in the book for readers to complete an activity (as in our content marketing workbook), readers can complete the activity in any application in which they consume the content.
EPUB, short for electronic publishing and saved with a .epub file extension, is another way to save your e-books.
EPUBs grew in popularity after they became a popular e-book format for e-readers. However, due to the accessibility for Apple MacOS and iOS products through Apple Books, the format is also a viable – if somewhat restrictive – option for content marketing e-books.
A unique feature of the .epub file format is its scrollability. To mimic reading an actual book, readers can view one page at a time and have to scroll or swipe horizontally, as opposed to scrolling vertically with PDFs. This makes your readers feel like they are reading a book rather than interacting with website content. However, it also means that readers may have to do more work to navigate the content and find the information they are looking for.
In addition, unlike PDFs, video and audio files can be embedded in the .epub format. This means your readers can use more interactive content without leaving the e-book.
If you’re tired of the PDF option and want to improve your content format, you can save your InDesign eBooks as a .epub file. Just be prepared that some readers won’t be able to read your content, which you probably can’t. I don’t want to be the case.
Formatting your e-books
There’s no such thing as a perfect e-book format, but that just means your team has more options.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend using Google Slides. Because it makes it easier to collaborate with your team, create your content for free, and see how your audience reacts to e-books before investing a lot of time and resources.
If you can scale and work with a designer, we recommend formatting your e-books in InDesign.
If you want to save your e-books, the best way to go is to stick to the interactive PDF format for better accessibility.
Either way, check out HubSpot’s 18 free e-book templates to create, format, and style InDesign, PowerPoint, and slide templates for free.