Are You Using Images in Your Books?

If you write a blog, you know images can make all the difference in engaging readers, attracting their attention and conveying the message. And if you read traditionally published books, fiction or non-fiction, you know that they don’t have many images in them.
022316-Image

This was to keep publishing costs as low as possible, both in ink and in number of pages used. With self-publishing books, both print and digital, the rules of including images are changing.

Why do you want to have images in your book?

Humans are visual creatures. We are attracted to images. They keep our interest and our focus. And in an eBook, they break up the monotony of page after page of print.

When you’re thinking of adding images into your eBook there are five factors you need to keep in mind:

1. Limit your image file size

Amazon.com charges authors a file delivery cost (70% commission structure only) that goes up based on the total file size of the eBook. Adding in images will increase the total file size and increase the file delivery cost for your Kindle book.

Your images should be clear and recognizable, but also optimized for minimum file size.

5 tips to using images in your #eBook to maximize your impact. #AmWriting Click To Tweet

2. Avoid gratuitous use of images

I’ve read eBooks with gratuitous use of images. They didn’t really add anything to the information the author was trying to get across. I think the author had the best intentions that he or she was engaging the reader but the images weren’t necessary to get the point across.

3. Make each and every image work for you

When I was writing my book, “Must-Know Trout Fishing Tricks, Tips, & Techniques” I was re-purposing some older articles from an eZine. All those articles had images. I realized that I could include the most descriptive and needed images into the eBook.

Some of the chapters in the eBook don’t have images at all. If the text could stand on its own, I didn’t include an image just for the sake of having an image. (See number 2) But I did add in pictures for concepts that are really hard to grasp without being able to see it.

4. Know from where you are getting your images

In the past week, I’ve met with two clients who are not only excellent writers, but also gifted photographers. These lucky folk have the ability to take near-professional photographs to use in their books to offset their information.

I’ve been able to use many of my own photos in my books. But sometimes, you won’t be able to create the perfect setup for the image you need. In that case, you’ll need to purchase your image.

When you purchase it, make sure you are using a reputable stock-photography vendor. And don’t ever use an image from Google Images. Just because you credit your source does not mean that you have permission to use the image!

Use images in your #eBook you took yourself or purchased from a stock photography website. Click To Tweet

5. Charts and graphs don’t work well

Current Kindle technology doesn’t lend itself well to including charts and graphs. They are usually very detailed images that a reader needs to be able to view full-size. If your material requires a chart to be fully understood, you need to break the chart into sections and make each section as large of an image as you can. This means the chart may take up several “pages” on the Kindle.

If your chart doesn’t work without being able to view the whole image at one time, a different publishing format may be your best bet.

Images can be used to your advantage in printed books as well (although they’re a slam dunk in eBooks!)

If you’re moving toward publication – I’d love to chat with you.

Kim Galloway
Find me!
Latest posts by Kim Galloway (see all)