What is an Interactive Ebook and How Do You Create One

What is an Interactive Ebook and How Do You Create One

Written by:
Chloe West

May 27, 2020
interactive ebook - header

An ebook is a great example of a digital product that you can use to make a profit or increase your email list. While these are typically created and downloaded as a PDF, you can take this a step further and create an online, interactive ebook.

An interactive ebook gives your audience a more engaging experience when reading through your material and learning more about your topic.

Learn more about what exactly an interactive ebook is and how you can create one by following along with us throughout this guide.


Why Should You Create Ebooks

Before we dive into our interactive ebook guide, let’s go over why ebooks are even a good idea to create and promote.

There are so many benefits that ebooks can provide your business. Here are just a few.

  • You become more of a thought leader in your industry.
  • Ebooks can help increase your email list and customer base.
  • You can use ebooks to create passive income for your business.
  • Readers can search your ebook content to find what they’re looking for.
  • Ebooks are super easy to create and publish.
  • Your audience can easily access your ebook.

These are just a few of the benefits for creating ebooks, so what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and learn more about what makes an ebook interactive and how you can add interactive elements to your next ebook.

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What is an Interactive Ebook?

For lack of a better description, an interactive ebook is an ebook that has various elements your audience can interact with.

Instead of a digital product filled with words and images, you can include even more, like videos, links, audio and other interactive elements.

This helps to set your ebook and informational content apart from all of the other ebooks and digital products on the market. If you’re looking for a unique selling point, the ability to interact with your content is a great one.


How to Create an Interactive Ebook

Ready to get started? Your first step will be creating an account with Visme and logging in. We have several ebook templates to help you get started, or you can easily start from scratch to design your own content.

The first step in creating an interactive ebook is to write your content. We recommend putting that together on paper or in a Google Doc before you start on your ebook design.

Once you have your topic and you’ve put together your ebook content, it’s time to get started on the design process.

While you’re putting together your content and ebook design, keep this list of 10 ways to make your ebook interactive in mind.

1. Create a Clickable Table of Contents

Make it easy to navigate through your ebook by creating an interactive table of contents. 

interactive ebook - create a clickable table of contents
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

In Visme, you can easily link ebook pages together, so let your readers click their way over to the sections they’re most interested in learning about.

Simply click the element you want to link (likely your text box with the name of the chapter in this case), click Actions, then click the Link option.

Choose Slide to link to another page in your document. Preview your ebook to make sure it works the way you want it to, and that you’ve linked the correct chapters to their corresponding titles in your table of contents.

Check out the clip below to see this in action.

interactive ebook - how to create a clickable table of contents in visme
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

2. Record Voiceover

Give your readers multiple options for consuming your content. While they could always read through your ebook, some people prefer to listen.

Visme gives you the option to record your own audio over your projects so that your interactive ebook readers can choose to have your content read to them.

Simply head over to the Media tab to add audio.

interactive ebook - record voiceover
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Note: Adding audio is supported for presentations, infographics and other formats, and is coming soon for documents. As a workaround, you can start with a blank, custom sized canvas for your ebook to gain access to this feature.

3. Create Quizzes

At the end of chapters or sections in your ebook, create a review quiz to help your reader make sure they comprehend and retain the information they’ve learned from your ebook.

Using Visme’s link feature, you can set up an interactive quiz where you list out your questions and have your readers click the questions to reveal the correct answers.

Again, all you need to do is link your quiz questions to the answers so they appear when you click on the question.

interactive ebook - create quizzes
Find the perfect template for your next ebook!Browse Now

You could also add “Click to Reveal” shapes on your quiz page and link those to the answers instead if you prefer this look.

4. Embed Videos

We’ve all heard the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But what about video?

Well, according to a study done a few years ago, a video is worth 1.8 million words. This is due to the rate of which video shoots, and how many words can fit into that time frame.

interactive ebook - video stats infographic
Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

So sometimes, when you need to cover a complex topic, using video to do so instead of trying to write it out is just a better solution.

Embedding videos into your ebook for your reader to stop and view can be a great way to put together a multi-media, interactive piece of content.

interactive ebook - embed videos
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

And in Visme, it’s incredibly easy to do. Just head over to the Apps tab and click on your video platform to embed a YouTube, Vimeo or other type of video. 

You can also choose to Embed Online Content in the Media tab and paste your video URL in the text box available there.

interactive ebook - how to embed video in visme

Paste in your URL, customize your options and voila! You’ve embedded a video that will help your reader further understand your topic.

5. Add Links

Want to provide sources or even more resources to your reader? Simply add links right inside your ebook content.

This is a great way to create an interactive bibliography, include clickable in-text citations, link back to your website and more.

interactive ebook - add links
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This time, when you select text or an object on your ebook page, you’ll click Actions then Link again, but you’ll keep it on the Web tab to add in your URL.

interactive ebook - how to add links in visme

You can also link to an email address to make it easy to contact you after reading your ebook, or to your social media platforms to promote them and increase followers.

6. Incorporate Animation

Want to really wow your reader? Add animated elements to your ebook! Visme’s design dashboard offers tons of animation options that you can consider in your designs:

  • Adding animations to elements as they appear
  • Animated illustrations
  • Animated characters
  • Animated gestures
  • Special effects
  • Animated icons

Here are all of the options as you see them in Visme’s dashboard:

interactive ebook - animated graphics available in visme

Note: Animation is another feature that is supported for presentations, infographics and other formats, and is coming soon for documents. As a workaround, you can start with a blank, custom sized canvas for your ebook to gain access to this feature.

7. Create Popups

Another great interactive feature you can add to your ebook by linking elements is popups. You can choose whether to have elements appear on click or when your reader hovers over an object.

Take a look at this feature in action below.

interactive ebooks - create popups
Find the perfect template for your next ebook!Browse Now

This is a great way to make reading your ebook even more engaging for your reader. 

Whether you want to make fun facts pop up or a few bullet points that you decorate with icons and graphics, have fun with your interactive ebook design.

8. Include Interactive Charts, Graphs and Maps

If you have any data, statistics or numbers to share in your ebook, consider visualizing them with interactive charts and graphs instead.

Visme’s graph engine automatically comes with dynamic, animated charts and graphs that users can interact with to view legends and other information.

In the example below, your readers can hover over each of the bars in the bar graph to see their exact amounts.

interactive ebook - include interactive charts
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

You can even include maps in your ebooks, whether it’s a world map or a specific country or region. Color code the maps based on your data (and your ebook color scheme), and users can hover over the included regions to see your information.

interactive ebook - include interactive maps

Plus, Visme charts and graphs automatically come with animation options based on the type of graph. You can turn these off or switch the animation type in the settings.

interactive ebook - how to create animated and interactive charts in visme
Find the perfect template for your next ebook!Browse Now

9. Embed External Content

Visme enterprise users have access to embed HTML codes into their Visme designs, which can help you to embed external content like signup forms from your email marketing service provider directly in your ebook.

However, all Visme users can still take advantage of lead generation by going to Share then Advanced Settings, and turning on Requires Registration in the Privacy tab.

interactive ebook - turn on lead generation in visme

This will then require users to submit their name and email address in a form before gaining access to your interactive ebook content.

You can gather these leads from the Form Results section of your Visme dashboard to add into your CRM and email list.

Other types of external content you can embed include SoundCloud files, Google Forms, SurveyMonkey surveys and more.

10. Add Call-to-Action Buttons

Another great way to make your ebook interactive and increase conversions is to add call-to-action buttons throughout your ebook.

If you mention any other relevant blog posts, digital products, online courses, products or services, or anything else, simply include a call-to-action button that says something like “Learn More” or “Buy Now.”

Creating enticing buttons like this is a great way to grab reader attention and increase clicks to your website.

This More Info section is a great example of how you can create your own CTAs.

interactive ebook - add calls to action
Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

How to Share Your Interactive Ebook

Because not every file format supports interactive ebook features like the ones we’ve covered in this guide, there are a few criteria you need to meet when sharing your ebook.

Visme allows you to publish your designs online, generating both an embed code and an online, shareable link that you can send to your audience.

You can embed your interactive ebook on your website, or generate a public (or password protected) link that you send to your audience via email or on social media.

interactive ebook - how to share your interactive ebook

You can even share your creations in the Visme Gallery so that other users can see what you’ve come up with.


Create Your Own Interactive Ebook

Ready to get started creating your next ebook? Take advantage of Visme’s platform to add your favorite interactive ebook features and wow your readers. Simply create, publish and share online with your audience.

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    About the Author

    Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

    2 responses to “What is an Interactive Ebook and How Do You Create One”

    1. Travis Francis says:

      For #1 – creating a Clickable Table of Contents, are we able to download these ebook designs as PDFs and still able to make these clickable navigation items work? If so, how do we do that?

      • Chloe West says:

        Most of our ebook templates come with a table of contents. All you need to do to make it clickable is select the text box, then click “Actions” in the menu and link it to another page in the editor.

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