In the quest for reader respect, self-published authors are always struggling to make our books as visually appealing as those of our traditionally published colleagues. Book cover artists can design a great cover that is formatted correctly for both digital and paper editions. One thing that I hadn’t considered was using artwork to spruce up book’s interior!
The idea came to me when I was reading a book that I can’t put my hands on. (How embarrassing.) So, I looked in another book, One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O’Neil. I’m obviously not a genius, because I straightened the image and it’s still sideways, but you can see the cute grape under the title.
Inside, at the beginning of each chapter, is another cute vine and grape leaf image. (Notice that I’m getting better, and the picture is only upside down.
Anywho, I wondered, why couldn’t I use images to spruce up my Pet Psychic books and my new novel, Civility Rules? Maybe paws for the pet psychic and a bow tie for the civility series? First, I needed artwork that I could use. I visited several sites.
Can Stock Photo
I finally decided on Dreamstime, which allows me to use the images I purchase at the Standard License level for up to 500,000 print copies of my book. Ebooks aren’t counted. WARNING: Be sure to read the fine print v-e-r-y carefully to make sure you are purchasing the size you want and that it is available for commercial use. Some images are only available for blogs and other non-commercial use. SECOND WARNING: Make sure you don’t purchase a vector image unless you have the appropriate (and expensive) photo software, such as Adobe Photoshop.
The pricing system can be confusing. Most sites sell their images by points, so you have to purchase points before you download the image. My two images cost 30 points, or $34.99.
I’m not a formatting expert, nor am I a technical wiz (see above photo disasters), but to test it out before I bought the images, I merely inserted clip art and found that it worked, as least in the ebook copy.
Here is the Kindle preview page.
Just this one little step helps with reader perception by giving my books the look of traditionally published novel.
Sometimes, it’s the little things.
8 thoughts on “Images Aren’t Only for the Outside of Your Novel!”
The little things indeed! Thanks for the tips on using images; I hadn't figured out how that works before I read your post. The image for CIVILITY RULES is perfect. GB Pool, another member of this blog, also uses images very effectively, as in her recent novel about giant rodents carving CAVERNS underneath Chicago.
I love when I see images like you've shown and described in books – now I know how the authors or publishers do it! Always learn something here…
Jackie Vick made some very good points, my fellow writers. We authors might as well give some “Value Added” (s stock/bond term) to our work. I believe in giving our readers something extra so they come back for even more. But do read the fine print. Some Clip Art programs are very picky about where you use their stuff.
A timely post on a topic we writers must always consider – how to distinguish our work in a crowded field. Thanks, Jackie.
I'm afraid to ask what image!
The images I am using are good for 500,000 print copies. That includes business cards, books, etc. They don't count ebooks in that number. You're right. Be very careful. If the image is very cheap, you probably aren't using the right license!
The one I first noticed was a mask in a costume shop mystery. Don't know why I never paid attention before.
I'm always impressed with your technical skills, Jackie – and these images are even cleverer! The bow-tie image is perfect for your 'Civility Rules.'
As Gayle says, it's always good to give readers a little something extra. Well done!