3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Converting a PDF eBook to an eBook

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Converting a PDF eBook to an eBook

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Converting a PDF eBook to an eBook

As readers and audiences know from my talks I use two criteria to define an eBook:

1. Can you read it—without “pinching & panning”—on a mobile device?3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Converting a PDF eBook to an eBook

2. Is it possible to sell it on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com?

If the answer is yes to both, it is an eBook.

So what if you have a book in the PDF file format that you'd like to convert to an eBook? Perhaps a content marketing document used for lead generation or a customer resource guide.

Here are three questions to help you decide if it is worth the effort.

1. Does the PDF eBook design lend itself to an eBook format? i.e. how important is it to maintain design consistency?

2. Is the book long enough to warrant the effort?

3. Why do you want to convert it?

Let's take each one individually beginning with design.

What makes the eBook format so great for use on so many different screen sizes is what makes it less than desirable as a format for highly designed PDFs. In time it will be as easy to create an eBook as it is a PDF but we're not there yet. Ideally you want to use graphics judiciously and keep in mind that information flows with images depending on the size of the text your reader is using—something you as the publisher can't control.

Each content element should have a purpose. Screens can be quite small so viewing lots of detailed images could become tedious, just like with a PDF. Readers want information which means text is king when it comes to eReading.

What about length? I've done eBooks that are five pages in length all the way up to hundreds of pages with scores of images. However, many PDF eBooks are in the ten to 40 page range. My advice is that any size is fine if you don't plan to sell your eBook. But if you do plan to sell it make sure the textual content is valuable and worth your reader's investment (in terms of both money and attention). As always, put yourself in the shoes of your reader and ask yourself whether you'd be happy buying your information product.

What is your motivation for converting it? Any product you plan to sell is a reflection on your brand. So if you are charging you want to make sure it has sufficient value and conforms to best practices in terms of quality. It should we well edited, make use of linking–especi

The good news is that you won't raise expectations if you are providing a free version of an existing customer guide. In fact in this case you are doing your customers a favor by giving them something of value.

Questions? Send me a link to your PDF eBook and/or comment below and I'll give you my recommendation.

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