Best Ways to Engage Readers Inside Your Ebook

Getting readers engaged has always been a challenge for authors and writers. Today, more than ever, there is plenty of competition between written materials whether ebooks, magazines, or even blogs amongst themselves as well. Now add visuals such as movies, series and TV shows.

With the fast pace of today’s life, readers have become more impatient than ever. If nothing grabs the reader’s attention and engages them, emotionally or intelligently, they will move on to the next interesting thing they find in no time. The average reader no longer has the patience to go on reading something that does not challenge them or make them think. They always want the book that keeps them engrossed into the reading process.

group huddled around tablet

In other words, if the first few pages do not get the readers hooked, they (most probably) won’t keep going with the rest.

Luckily, that does not have to always be the scenario. There are, indeed, a few tips and tricks that could help the reader stay engaged and active hence, never give up on what they’re reading.

Writers consider themselves lucky to be alive in the age of ebooks and the internet generally. Ebooks have solved many of the problems with interactivity and engagement that the good old paperback book could not unravel. Most times, the writer wants to engage the reader through more than just his 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 include a few elements readers find of high interest.

Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA)

CYOA books are every bit as interesting as they sound. As a reader, it is very hard to fight the urge to literally yell at the characters inside the book to do or not do something. Whether it’s the cop running inside the house where the murderer is holding a knife, the ex-girlfriend running back to her abusive partner, or the dragon bearing down on an army of iron-clad warriors, it does not make a difference. 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.

examples of CYOA stories

This technique allows the reader to decide the fate for the protagonist in a way. The reader feels empowered and more importantly, inspired and creative. This will not only make the reader feel that they are intrigued but will also make them feel extremely engaged.

structure example of CYOA story

It could be extremely challenging to create such stories, but it’ll certainly create a truly unique story. If you’re up to creating your own CYOA novel, make sure to read this tutorial first by Karen Woodward.

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 a mystery or something that is very thought-provocative. However, 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.

Crosswords widget – BookWidgets

By that, the reader has no other option than being engaged and fully immersed in the reading experience. It is extremely challenging and captivating and is a guaranteed method to keep your readers engaged to the maximum. For ebooks, that are not interactive, there are other methods that can be used that are also guaranteed to keep the readers engaged and highly motivated to continue reading.

Related: Learn how to use book widgets in your ebook

Using Relevant Imagery

Sometimes, the best way to imagine something is to actually see it. Although words can, sometimes, draw a picture better than words ever will, using a relevant image may be the spark that gets your reader back on track as you describe a scene. Ebooks easily allow you to do that and help you keep your audience more engaged than ever.

With images, complicated scenes or topics become simpler. Visuals always have a way of making the reader absorbed and although books mainly remain on text, sometimes, a small image is all the book needs to keep the reader interested.

Hotspot images – BookWidgets

While the use of static images can be useful, using interactive and dynamic images can be even more so. Some ebook creating software, such as our own Kotobee Author, allow you to add carousel (rotating) images in a single frame. If you use an authoring tool that doesn’t have that option, it can also be added as a book widget. Widget creators such as Book Widgets even offer carousel images that have “hot spots” on them. Users can click and interact with each hotspot.

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, the sound will always give the text a little something extra. This makes it unnatural for the reader to become distracted by anything else.

Sound effects can teleport the reader to a different place and time. A simple soundscape can enhance the reader’s experience drastically and take it to a whole other level. The level of reader engagement is guaranteed to remain as solid and strong as can be.

If you’re looking to download free soundscapes, you can go to websites such as Sample Phonics and

Using Animations

In this digital age we live in, almost everything can move. Similar to using imagery, animation can help transform 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.

subtlety is strong

Either way, a moving picture will help the reader become more engaged than ever. It will allow him to see what the writer exactly had in mind when writing this piece or explaining that part. It will awaken the mind if it ever decides to drift away during reading.


Some readers are generous enough to keep going and give the book its time anyway but unfortunately, that is not always the case. For an author, this could mean an absolute nightmare; it means that their work was not given the chance it deserves.

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 text. For that specific reason, ebooks have a huge capability to keep readers active and engaged. 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