Images in a Book

Getting your Book Published When you surf the web it's common to have random, illustrative images up to add a decorative feel to the content. How should you incorporate images into a book?

In our modern world of publishing it's incredibly easy to add images to a book. You buy the rights to an image from iStockPhoto or another similar site. You do Insert - Picture in Word. Voila! Your book now has an image!

It's important to be mindful when adding images to your paperback book or ebook.

First, an image takes up space. That makes your paperback book longer - and therefore more costly. The higher the price on your book, the less likely buyers are to buy it. On ebooks, the same applies - Amazon charges a distribution cost to ebooks which are too large in file size. So while the buyer doesn't pay more, the author gets less money in income from a large-sized ebook.

Next, ebooks cannot allow text wrapped around images. Images must be wholly in-line with the text. There must be text above the image, a clear break where the image is, and then text below the image. So there isn't the sense of "reading the words and seeing the image to illustrate it."

Also, many people now read ebooks on smartphones. Smartphones have tiny screens. An image of a detailed screenshot might be absolutely illegible on a smartphone, even if the person does choose to zoom in.

Still, there are cases where a screenshot is quite helpful. I of course use a few in this book. A cookbook often showcases the image of the recipe being made. A how-to carpentry book might need to illustrate proper placement of pieces. A photography book might need to illustrate the difference between in-focus and not-in-focus.

Keep in mind, also, that color images might not be seen in color. Many older readers are black-and-white only. If you decide to print your book with color innards, that can add ENORMOUS cost to the book - so much that people are no longer willing to buy it. So it's best to use images which are meaningful and clear in both black-and-white and in color.

To summarize? If an image is absolutely necessary then make sure it's a super-clear image that works well in black-and-white. Make sure it's in line with the text, not wrapped. But make sure the image is necessary before included it in your book.

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