Best Ways to Engage Readers Inside Your Ebook

With the fast pace of today’s life, readers have become more impatient than ever. If nothing grabs the readers’ attention and engages them, emotionally and/or intellectually, they will immediately move on to the next interesting thing they find. In other words, if the first few pages do not get the readers hooked, they most probably won’t keep going with the rest.

Oftentimes, writers want to engage the reader through more than just their well-articulated words, and that is exactly why ebooks are considered a blessing. Some of the techniques mentioned here are exclusive to interactive ebooks and they help clarify the limitations of interactivity in regular ebooks. These techniques will surely keep the readers very engaged.

group huddled around tablet

Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA)

As a reader, it is very hard to fight the urge to yell at the characters inside the book to do or not do something. We want to save the characters we love and we always want to see what would happen if they did something different or took a different path–and that’s where CYOA books come in.

Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) is a kind of interactive book that allows the reader to be in control of the characters’ fate and the outcome of the story. They are every bit as interesting as they sound. The reader feels empowered and, more importantly, inspired and creative. This will not only make the reader feel intrigued but will also make them feel extremely engaged.

It could be extremely challenging to create such stories, but it’ll certainly create a truly unique one. If you’re up to creating your own CYOA novel, make sure to read this tutorial first by Karen Woodward. You might also find our blog post on creating dynamic character names in ebooks interesting.

structure example of CYOA story

Games or Trivia

Another technique that can be used to keep your readers engaged is to insert a short game or trivia inside your interactive ebook. A true reader always likes a good challenge; this could be in the content itself, like having a mystery or something that is very thought-provocative. It could also be through this element of interactivity.

Imagine reading a book and then finding a small mystery to solve in the middle, won’t you feel absorbed? The reader will not help but answer the short trivia or the question. With that, the reader has no other option than to be engaged and fully immersed in the reading experience. 

Using Kotobee Author, you can add some mini-apps to your ebook that will most definitely capture the readers’ attention. For example, you can use the Flash Cards mini-app for some witty riddles. You can also include a game of Sudoku, Word Search, or Crosswords in your ebook. Moreover, you can read more on how to enrich your interactive ebook with Kotobee mini-apps.

Using Relevant Imagery

Sometimes, the best way to imagine something is to actually see it. Although words can draw a picture, a picture is still worth a thousand words. Using a relevant image can be the spark that gets your reader back on track as you describe a scene. 

Luckily, ebooks easily allow you to do this and help you keep your audience more engaged than ever. With images, complicated scenes or topics become simpler. And while the use of static images can be useful, using interactive and dynamic images can be even more so. 

Some ebook creators, such as Kotobee Author, allow you to add carousel (rotating) images in a single frame. It also gives you the ability to animate and add effects to the images. You can also add the mini-app, Image Viewer, that allows you to display a gallery of images that can be opened, zoomed, and panned around.

If, however, the authoring tool you’re using doesn’t have this option, you can still add images using book widgets.

Kotobee Image Viewer

Using Sound Effects

Another gift ebooks have bestowed on writers is the ability to add sounds. Whether it is crickets in the background that describe silence in a humorous sense, the sound of swooshing leaves on a dark lonely night, or the nostalgia of an old song in a romantic scene, sound effects will always make the text a little extra special. This makes it quite impossible for the reader to become distracted by anything else.

Not only that! You can also allow the reader to choose their preferred soundscape using Kotobee mini-apps; it gives the reader a list of 10 different tracks to play while they are reading your ebook. This helps readers create a background ambiance to make reading the ebook more relaxing and enjoyable.

If you’re using a different authoring tool but would still like to include some soundscapes, you can use websites such as Sample Phonics and Freesound.org to download them, then add them to your ebook.

Using Animations

Similar to using imagery, animation can help transfer the reader to somewhere else by giving him the chance to see the characters in the book come to life or the pie chart of statistics divide itself. Animation can be as simple as a butterfly fluttering its wings or as complex as a dragon flying over castles and forests. Either way, a moving picture will help the reader become more engaged than ever. 

There are 4 simple animation techniques for ebooks that you can read about on our blog. Or if you’re using Kotobee Author, you can learn more about adding interactive animation to your ebook.

subtlety is strong

Conclusion

Engaging the reader might always be one of the main challenges for authors; but with tricks like these, ebooks have made reader engagement easier than ever. What ebooks provide is a reading experience rather than simply a story or plain text. One can easily say that technology, the two-edged weapon, has been very kind to authors on that one!

You might also like:

5 Hacks for Creating a More Engaging Ebook

How to Capture a Young Reader’s Mind: 5 Essential Tips

4 Simple Animation Techniques for Ebooks

How to create an interactive ebook: A step-by-step guide