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Building Buzz with Your Book Photos

Would you like to know how to build buzz with your book photos, and help promote—and sell—more books?

The Power of Book Photos

author Micaela Karlsen with her book
This is the book photo that inspired today’s post. I first saw it on Facebook and continue to share it. Doesn’t Micaela Karlsen make a radiant and inspiring endorsement for her book, A Plant Based Life?

Images catch people’s attention; by using photos of you—and others—engaging with your book, you can easily engage others to support the cause, helping to promote your book:

  • Quality images, including photos, can keep people reading a blog post longer. That means that bloggers are often looking for great photos related to their topic (more about that opportunity, shortly)
  • Social media updates with images such as photos get much higher engagement than those without. In fact, 87% of Facebook shares included photos.

You can capitalize on the value and power of photos by taking lots of photos of you and your book and:

  • Post your book photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media.

    author book signing
    Cara Bradley at her first book signing for On The Verge (published by New World Library)
  • Include them in your blog posts.
  • Take some high quality and interesting photos of you and your book and post them on quality royalty free image sites like Pixabay, Unsplash, Gratisography, or PicJumbo, to name a few. Tag the images for keywords that people might search for, such as writing, reading, books, bookshelf, reader, teen reading, couple reading, child reading, business man reading.
author reading library
Here is Helen Deines, reading a passage from her book A Dance with Hummingbirds at my local library.

You can even get highly specific in tagging your book photos. I’m going to be teaching my book writing course in Thailand this fall and the company sponsoring me has been working on a brochure. Last week, I did an image search for “Southeast Asian businesswoman reading” and “Southeast Asian businessman reading” while looking for an appropriate image for one page of the brochure. There weren’t that many images. So, your book cover could come up on several searches if you get granular with your photo tagging.

Anyone using your image will automatically be promoting your book! Click To Tweet
book photo author in bookstore
Victoria Dunckley finds her book Reset Your Child’s Brain on the shelf of her local bookstore. I shared this image several times.

When I post an “out of the office” or “vacation” message on email, I like to use the opportunity to recommend a few great books—often ones by my clients. Dr. Victoria Dunckley made the top of the list when she sent me a great book photo of her finding Reset Your Child’s Brain in her local bookstore.

Helen Deines, author of A Dance with Hummingbirds also topped the list at one point with this lovely book photo that I have used in newsletters and blog posts.

Willie Nugent author photo
Willie Nugent, author of A World of Good, donating to the VAFA Animal Shelter in Iran pictured with Navaz Bustani in London

And Willie Nugent, author of A World of Good: 550 Madcap Schemes to Save the World, may set a record with the good his book is accomplishing—and his photos play a part. Willie donates 100% of sales to charities around the world. In this photo, he is presenting his book to UK  representative Navaz Bustani after donating £300 to the VAFA Animal Shelter in Iran.

Navaz was so inspired she bought ten books for her friends and also donated £50 towards the next charity (a total of £100 ). She is going to Iran in July, where she plans to take a photo at the shelter with volunteers holding the book.

So, the book itself inspires creative ways to raise funds for charities, proceeds from sales of the book go completely to charity, the activities are inspiring additional philanthropy AND the photos themselves promote charitable giving, in general, and the charities Willie supports, in particular—everything from dog shelters to libraries!

Willie’s around the world photos reminded me of Flat Stanley and I imagined a “Flat Stanley” type series of book photos (you know, the children’s book that has you take photos of Flat Stanley and send them around the world). In your case, you can take a photo everywhere you do a seminar, book talk, book signing or event—and encourage people throughout your book tour to be in photos with you—and share.

Below are a few more fun photos of recently published authors.

Have a fun photo of your book? Email me and I'll upload it as a comment! Click To Tweet

Not published yet? Design a cover and you can inspire yourself.

cara bradley taking photo with her book on break
Cara Bradley on break from recording the audio book for On the Verge, with new friend, 91-year-old Edward, who reports, “I live #ontheverge every day!”
book and author photo
Teri Scheinzeit demonstrates the flavor of her book Success without Stress as she kicks back with glass of merlot. Teri truly walks the talk. She spends one week of every month doing something fun and not related to work, such as attending folk music camps.
I used this photo of Kathy Lemay, author of The Generosity Plan in my Quick Start to Kick Start course materials.
I used this photo of Kathy Lemay, author of The Generosity Plan in my Quick Start to Kick Start course materials.

rethinking narcissism book

Dr. Craig Malkin’s daughters pose with his book Rethinking Narcissism in the New Releases section of the bookstore.

book photo calming your anxious child
Dr. kathleen Trainor sent in a photo of this avid reader of Calming Your Anxious Child. Looks like the method works well!
author with book
Mara Zimmerman practices what she preaches as she holds her book How to Meditate and Why.
The creativity cure authors
Here are co-authors Drs. Alton and Carrie Barron with their book, The Creativity Cure. I just received this photo and I am sure I’ll be using this happy, fun photo many times. The authors encourage readers to spend time outdoors, so the location is fitting.
book photo
Anne Burnett demonstrating that Step Ahead of Autism is the talk at the water cooler.
pat hoy book photo
Dr. Pat Hoy poses with her book, Arts Awareness, in front of a beach mural (in the middle of the Sonoran desert), demonstrating that you can create an arts oasis anywhere!
Author Linda Carvelli in a fun and share-friendly photo at her book signing.
Author Linda Carvelli in a fun and share-friendly photo at her Tiverton Library book signing for her memoir Perfectly Negative. Linda’s friend posted the pic on Facebook which boosted online book sales by readers who could not attend the signing!
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Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


    • Lisa Tener says

      Thanks, Cara. It’s always fun to see authors in action. And it’s so cool that New World Library is doing an audio book version. I don’t think publishers do that regularly, so there must be something about your book that really lends itself! Congrats!

  1. Willie Nugent says

    Thank you Lisa for including me in your post. Before I got in touch with you about writing my book all this was just a dream.

  2. Kristen Steele says

    Posting pictures on free image sites is an awesome idea. So many bloggers are looking for free images today. If they pick yours it’s free publicity for you and your book.

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