Digital publishing is not an optional extra. Seeing things through a screen is something all writers need to understand.

Before we launch into ebooks and apps, it makes sense to start with the advent of the modern website, and the writing and editing techniques that developed for reading on screens.

People do read differently when they hold a print book in their hand, compared with screen reading styles. Reading onscreen isn’t linear. Visitors can land on any part of the website and leap off at any time. Like grasshoppers! When you’re online, it’s easy to leave one webpage or website. When you search for information within a site or across the web or you click on a link, and you’re away in an instant.

It’s common for audio and video to appear alongside text, augmenting the information or providing it in a different form. You can be distracted by graphics, videos, and pop-up ads. Readers – known as users online – are often able to comment or rate a product or site. Text messages, emails and other updates may appear on the screen, interrupting your concentration.

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