‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, so the adage goes, and there’s no doubt about the power of a beautiful photograph for drawing attention to your books.
Hidden on the internet is a collection of astounding images, and they’re free to use. So I’ve collated the seven best free libraries and listed them for you below - the same ones that I personally use almost every day.
But first, let’s look at some of the best ways authors can use these free photos…
3 Ways To Use Photographs To Attract Attention To Your Books:
1. Vividly Illuminate Your Blog Posts
Dramatize the messages in your blog posts with images that grab the attention of ‘passers-by’ who wouldn’t normally stop to read them.
It’s the same reason I used an eye-catching photograph of a camera for this blog post. I wanted to underscore that it’s all about the power of the photograph.
Note: The ‘W’ symbol stands for WordPress – my #1 recommended blogging system.
2. Attract Attention On Twitter and Facebook
Photographs are an ‘accelerant’ – a spark that can help to ignite word-of-mouth recommendation for your work.
By adding a striking and relevant image to your Tweets or Facebook posts, you’ll increase the interest you generate. Your posts will be retweeted more often on Twitter, and shared more widely on Facebook.
3. Create A Book Cover That Sells
Truth is, I recommend having a professional designer create your book covers. See my blog post: ‘The Billboard That Can Make Or Break Your Book’s Success.’
But when cost is a factor, and you have to do it yourself, there’s no need to scratch around for an image.
By searching through this collection of sites with an idea in mind, you’ll come across the image you need.
The 7 Photo Libraries – A Free Image Resource For Authors
All seven libraries offer free, professionally Photoshop-enhanced photography, mixed in with more with everyday shots. Some require registration (free), but it’s more than worth it. Most of them also offer paid images, which can be tempting, since they reserve the highest quality images for paying customers, so be careful what you choose.
The first and largest free stock-photo site online. Easy to navigate with over 350,000 images, contributed by 30,000 photographers. This photograph is typical of the high impact imagery available at no cost:
Photograph by ‘doc’ Sias van Schalkwyk. Stock.xchng
Offers excellent quality images. Photographs professionally shot for the most part. Most of the photographs are also unique to Photl. This beautiful high-res photo of a fashion model with her extravagant hat is an example from the ‘hats’ category:
3. Microsoft Image Gallery
Microsoft have a superb online photographic resource – all free, and every photograph is of ultra-high quality. For example ‘Women Skiers’:
4. Kozzi Free Photo Library
UPDATE: As of March 2014 the Kozzi library is offering 7 day free access to over a million photographs. (See free offer lower right on their home page.)
One of the most popular stock photo libraries on the net. Photographs have been professionally shot for the most part, and dramatically enhanced in photoshop. This guitar image is one of Kozzi’s many free musical intrument photographs:
Photograph by Kozzi Inc.
5. MorgueFile Free Photos
Morguefile is a gorgeous photo library chock full of sumptuous images – all contributed by creatives, for use by creatives. The library offers a huge number of photographs all of high resolution. For best results, use several terms to search. A perfect example of the quality at Morgue Library is this Venetian Mask:
6. Free Range Stock
Virtually every image on this site is meticulously color sharpened by professional photographers. Not quite as large a collection as other sites, but easily made up for by the sheer quality of the images. The quality is immediately apparent in this color-adjusted cheese board setting:
Photograph by Geoffrey Whiteway. FreeRangeStock.com
7. RGB Free Stock Photos
RGB Free Stock has an extremely user-friendly interface. A huge number of dynamic photographs, most at a highly professional level. This ‘splash’ photograph displays the style and power of RGB’s imagery:
Photograph by Lusi (Sanja Gjenero) RGBStock.com
Remember… they’re all free to use. Most authors are not aware of the amazing shots waiting to go to work for them. So do bookmark this page, and next time you’re communicating on your blog or in social media use an image.
What about Google Images?
It’s important to avoid using images taken directly from a ‘Google Images’ search.
Most of them will have copyright attached, and belong to someone. The bottom line is if you see an image on Google you definitely want to use, then track down the owner and ask first. Even better, use a free image from one of the libraries listed here.
Reminder: Don’t forget to bookmark this page!
Remember also to ALWAYS check the user conditions of each of these libraries. Some have very narrow restrictions on use. Most are quite straight-forward.
Are you using photographs to illuminate your blog posts? Do you have any other favorite free photo libraries? Please do leave a comment below.
Article written by Jonathan Gunson
Author / CEO Bestseller Labs
Notice: This article is copyrighted material. Reproduction of brief snippets of this article with a link to this site are permitted, but it may not be reproduced in full anywhere without the written permission of Jonathan Gunson at BestsellerLabs.com