New developments in web design and graphics formats have changed the way we see e-books, and it’s easier to create digital documents that are more like the real thing. Sites like the Flip Book Network are great to follow up on new trends, but you don’t necessarily have to be a programmer or designer to follow a few simple rules about e-book making.

Flippable Pages

One key trick to making your ebook look and feel like a “real” book is to have flippable pages. It’s a novel feature that will make your book a little different and more real than most on the market. Using HTML5 animation, you have an e-book that allows you to realistically flip pages, rather than just clicking “next” or scrolling.

Tools like those available at Yumpu can let you build a flipbook so you can take advantage of this technique even if you’re not a programmer.


Standard Typography

It’s easy to get a little nuts with all the various typefaces and fonts out there, but this is not the place to make your book stand out as being unique. If you want your book to look professional, choose a classic or standard font for the text. The ubiquitous Times New Roman is always a safe choice, but you can also go with one of these:

  • Garamond
  • Dante
  • Georgia
  • Palatina
  • Electra

You can get a bit more creative with the title page, or chapter heads, but otherwise, keep the text of the book in a mainstream font.


If you don’t have these fonts already available on your computer, they are easy to find and install from any number of free font websites.

Professional Format and Layout

To make your e-book look like a real book, you should try to follow the usual page layout that a print book has.

To make a book look “real”, you need to have a selection of front and/or back pages that are part of the standard print formatting (known as front matter or back matter). Title pages, acknowledgments, copyright information, publication details and other pieces should be included in the first few pages, just like with a real book. Just because you don’t have a commercial publishing house producing your e-book, doesn’t mean proper credit isn’t necessary.

Cover Art

Getting professional-looking cover art can be hard for the e-book producer since it takes another level of photography skills or artistic ability that many writers don’t have. To avoid amateurish design choices that can tarnish that first impression of your book, here is where you might want to hire someone.


Online freelance sites like Upwork are one place you can browse a large number of potential artists, check out their portfolios and find someone to produce a cover. If you don’t have any connections to designers, this can be an excellent resource to find illustrators.

Even if you are trying to keep your e-book budget tight, this is a very reasonable place where a little investment is worth it.

Following these four suggestions will make your latest e-book look slick, professional and will feel much more like a real print book.