How to find copyright-free images for your posts

This great shot is from Pexels.com.

This great shot is from Unsplash.com.

A blog post that includes an image is far likely to be read than a post without one. But you need to make sure your image is copyright-free. It’s not okay to just take a photo from the Internet.

Here are some tips on getting great, copyright-free images.

  • There are some great, copyright-free stock photo sites. This Entrepreneur article lists 14 of them. For instance, Unsplash has gorgeous landscapes you can use for free. (Note, you must add a photo credit.) And my faves, Picjumbo, which includes photos of food and Pixabay are both searchable and don’t require attribution for most photos. Just be careful you don’t accidentally use a photo that costs money—for instance, Getty images. (Sometimes those images will come up in a search, even on a free site.)
  • Use Google. Put in your key words and click Images. Then click Tools and select “Useage rights.” Choose “Labeled for reuse.” You’ll only get images that are copyright free. (Of course, always click through and check the rights out thoroughly.)
  • Take one yourself. Cameras on phones take some pretty decent shots. Don’t be afraid to get a bit artsy. My photographer friend’s advice for taking a great shot with a phone is: “get low.”

What’s your favourite method of getting great, copyright-free images for your blog posts? Let us know in the comments, below.

Author blog tours: tips

An author blog tour is just like a real-life tour, except instead of visiting libraries and book clubs in person, the author stops in on various blogs, by writing posts. Here are a few tips:

  • Laptop computer with colored booksIt seems obvious, but find blogs that are relevant to your book. Think about all the topic areas in your book, as well as the book blogs you like.
  • Offer them something—like a book giveaway for their readers.
  • Ask them how they’d like you to structure the post. If they don’t have a suggestion, here are some ideas:
    -Proust questionnaire (not all of it—five questions will do)
    -Book recommendations in the genre. (For instance, I wrote a baseball novel, so I might recommend great kids’ baseball or sports books).
    -Answer five writing-related questions about something interesting that happened when you researched or wrote your book.
    -Pick one issue that’s important to you—and relevant to your book—and write a few paragraphs exploring it. (For a baseball book, you might talk about the proposed “intentional walk” rule.)
  • Don’t tell people “buy my book” in the post. That’s an ad, not a blog post. Just having an article (and credits/links) on the blog will take people back to your book and author website.
  • Think about the specific blog you’re writing for and who their readers are, and write with them in mind.
  • Give them a great image to go with your article. Don’t make the blogger search for one—or worse, let your article be posted without one.
  • Include a short, informative bio with links and, if possible, a photo of your book.
  • Social media the heck out of your post. That will help you and the blogger.

Do you have questions about author blog tours? Ask them here in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them!