Or, Finding the Picture Worth 1,000 Words
I am, by nature, a procrastinator. It is not that I put things off until the last minute so much as that I put things off until they must be done. There is, if I may be so bold, a fine but marked distinction between the two.
Thus, with my first e-book due to be released on June 1, I have reached what I would term the point of necessity for dealing with certain practicalities, such as deciding what to do for the cover art. One of the review sites I read had a column dedicated to ebooks sometime in the past few months, and what I took away from it for purposes of my own marketing was that a plain cover is better than a bad cover, but a good cover is best of all.
My first thought was to discover whether public domain images can be used for ebooks. They can, and with no questions of legality if it is either a digital image of a 2-dimensional piece of art that you created (such as scanning an image from a book) or a digital image from a database specifically dedicated to putting works in the public domain into digital format for free use.
Public domain in paintings = painted before 1923.
The alternative to public domain would be some of the free use databases, some of which specifiy that their images can be used commercially at no cost to the user, or to subscribe to a site such as Shutterstock.
If I were writing contemporary stories, I would probably do the latter. Since I am writing historical romance, I think old paintings would suit it better.
The only problem is finding an image that evokes this story more than any other–and then finding a digital image I can use for ebook publishing, or finding it in a textbook to create my own digital copy. There is also the question of how much it needs to appear to be a romance genre piece versus historical fiction with a love plot or subplot. And then the Marketing 101 issue ofWill this catch someone’s eye enough to make them stop and look at my ebook?
It is enough to make a gal’s head spin. The good news is, I love art. The bad news is, I have the feeling I’m about to be getting a master’s level crash course in Western art from 1773-1923.
Luckily, my first two stories are parellel pieces so I will not be seeking markedly different images for the two of them. That means one search will suffice for both. And since I have rough drafts and/or outlines of my following six stories, I can keep my eyes peeled for appropriate images for them. Ah, multi-tasking, the only way I can accomplish anything these days….