Photographing your book, especially for sharing platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, are essential for good promotion. But oftentimes we post the same "look, it's my book!" photos and pretend like it's going to magically draw new readers. You need a photo that's going to command attention and spark interest. You need a photo that's going to stand out from all of the others. So I've put together 10 creative ways you can photograph your book (with inspirational help from some stellar authors and designers)!
But, before we get to all of that — first things first: what do you need to keep in mind when photographing your book?
1. Lighting. Lighting is EVERYTHING. Natural light sources are the BEST option. Make sure you take your photo nice and bright, but do adjust the brightness levels and temperature in an app, such as VSCO Cam, to make sure you're spot on.
2. Colors. Choose surrounding colors that compliment, and give your book all of the attention. If you background elements are competing for the spotlight, choose surrounding colors that are more neutral to be safe.
3. Scene. Your book has a theme, a tone, a voice. Make sure the scene you're creating for it matches it—and even, adds to it. Let the scene you set help communicate your theme.
4. Clarity. Can people tell what your book's about and/or see the title + author clearly in your photo? You're featuring your book, so make sure at first glance it's clear to your audience what it's all about. Further into your promotion, it doesn't need to be as clear—but still make sure it has recognizable features.
5. Brand. (Bet you didn't see this one coming!) Make sure your photo stays within your brand as a writer. No matter the topic of your book or which book you're featuring, you have a brand to keep consistent. So don't go too drastically against the tide for the sake of a photo. Stick to who you are as a writer.
Alright, now let's dive into the fun stuff. Ways to Creatively Photograph Your Book. Some of these ideas you'll probably nod your head at as it's kind of the go-to Instagram style standard for sharing your book. But hopefully some of these images will spark your creativity, and you'll start thinking outside the box to draw more attention to your stellar book. (Note: all of these amazing writers and designers have so graciously shared their talents and photos with me for this post! Please show a little love by visiting their Instagram accounts—just click on the photo!)
1. The classic single shot.
It can be argued that this is WAY overused. But, truth is, at the end of the day—they just work. You instantly see the book in its entirety, without any distractions. It stands out on a busy feed, and draws in those likes like few others.
Holding up a book on "white" space, doesn't mean it has to be white! Find a strong accent color, and go with it! Pretty, right?
2. CROP it.
Cropping different ways can result in a really interesting photo. Don't be shy, and crop way in on your book. Especially if you've already been photographing your book for some time, experiment with cutting your book title in half, or instead focus in on YOUR name vs. the book name.
2. Pile it on.
Everyone has a stack of books sitting somewhere. But lumping your novel in with four other books can be risky—especially if you don't have a stand-out cover. But there are some ways to pile it on and get creative to make your book stand out. Also, be aware of surrounding. Keep it bright and non-conflicting!
Show that stack! How do you make YOUR book stand out? Pair it with books that'll make the color of your cover stand out, crop it so that only YOUR full title shows, or even wiggle your book out a little further than all of the others.
No but seriously, how creative is this photo?
Make a pile with other objects (but make sure the colors compliment and that the objects don't distract from the book). If you're putting your book in the stack, keep the other book's pages facing out, and turn your book spine to the front.
3. The book collage.
This is different than piling, writers. This is carefully assembly your books together to form a coherent and interesting collage. But, apply those same "pile rules" to this. Make sure YOUR book is the one that stands out!
Props for also including applicable props.
Make it a side-by-side collage, and put YOUR book right in the middle.
4. Unconventional shapes.
Who says books need to be arranged in a neat little pile? Make different shapes with your books to cause someone to pause and try to figure out the meaning.
5. Make it a gift.
Everyone LOVES getting gifts. Showing your book arriving in a box or coupled with a note and ready to be sent to someone can generate excitement around your product. It says "this can be for you, too!"
6. Frame it up.
Book covers are works of art, and most just beg to be framed! Think of various objects that you can use around your book that help communicate theme and give off the right vibe.
7. Human interaction.
Whether it's sitting in a lap, being held, or being sat on—having that human touch in your photos makes it relational and adds interest (and clearly humor if you're sitting on it).
8. Book selfie!
I know, I know... a selfie. But really—look at your Instagram stats. Mine shows consistently that my most popular posts are those with my face in it. It might seem cliche, but people LOVE selfies. And they love seeing the face behind the book. So get creative and snap one of yourself!
Props to brave Jenny for boldly showing her lovely face. Her Instagram is really great, people.
That's right, I had to use a selfie of me with a book I didn't write. Step up your selfie game, authors!
8. Add motion.
This one takes lots of creativity, and PATIENCE (plus lots and lots of unusable images). Use the burst mode on your phone camera to catch your book in action. Note: No books were harmed in the making of these photos. Though a dog *may* have gotten hit with a book.
Flip through the pages. If you're talented enough, try catching the title page just before the cover closes.
Spin it! Try keep the center still so you can catch a word or two in semi-focus.
9. Show the ebook version
As great as your wonderful printed book is, change it up by showing it in all its ebook glory. It'll also let your potential readers know it's available in this format—which is super appealing.
10. Give us a peek inside.
Get past those gorgeous covers and give a taste of the text. Even if it isn't entirely legible, there's just something about the inside of a book that begs you to read it.
I hope these ideas spark your creativity, and you have fun changing it up a bit the next time you want to post your book on Instagram! Never feel like you're OVER promoting, and know that people LOVE seeing you and your amazing accomplishment. So eat it up and have fun with it!
Have other ideas? Do you LOVE posting pictures of books and want us to check out your Instagram feed? Just comment below!