When my first paperback books arrived in the mail I was beyond excited. At the time, Amazon didn’t have the author copy function so I paid full price for those babies. I got home after a long sweaty run at the gym and I saw the box. Of course, I wanted to open them right away. Let me tell you, my sweaty picture of holding my book for the first time will never be posted. Of the authors I have worked with, the ideal scenario never unfolds. You’ll never get that package when your hair and outfit are ideal. So you need to plan for several posed photos with your book. Here are the 5 book photos that every author needs:
Unboxing- you know what is in the box. Take the extra 30 minutes to shower (if you just worked out), change your outfit, do your hair, whatever you need to do so that you can look good as you open that box. You don’t get this moment back. Ask someone to take a photo or video of you opening the box. IngramSpark has a hashtag for #sparkunboxing for this. Now, no matter what you see when you open the box, be sure to smile and show your excitement. If there is an issue, you can address it after the video stops recording. This happened to me, my order was short 2 books and a few of the books that did arrive had boot prints on them. But my video looked good. I handled the issue off screen and got my make-good copies in a few days.
Formal posed holding the book – the next image you want is the formal image of you holding the book. Maybe in front of a bookshelf or in your yard in front of a beautiful tree or flowers. Make it match your overall brand.
Book signing – not every photo has to be of the book’s cover. You can highlight the title page with your signature. That is another exciting moment as an author when you are asked to autograph a book. People can relate to that feeling and excitement. Share that too!
Bookshelf – this is where you put your book on the shelf. Maybe it is next to some other titles of your own or maybe situated next to the comps for your book. Either way, it is showing the person who will see the photo a familiar scene and getting them to think of what it will look like when your book is on their shelf.
Stylized bookstagram style – here is where you need to do a little homework. You should already be following bookstagram accounts in your genre. You should be saving styles and poses that catch your eye to a mood board on Pinterest.
One of my latest clients works with Karianne Munstedt (http://kariannemunstedt.com/) to do a photoshoot with her book. She got back posed photos of her holding the book, reading the book, and a stand-in model doing the same. She also did great lifestyle photos of the book posed with notebooks and coffee, and one with a beautiful cup of tea. She gave me some great tips for all you DIY-ers out there. The first is, yes take a moment to make sure you like how you look before having a photo taken. It’s not about looks, it is about confidence. If you feel like a million bucks, you’re going to look like a million bucks. Choose natural expressions. Turn towards a good light source. If you still aren’t thrilled with the outcome or don’t have the time to stage elaborate shoots yourself, you can hire a professional. Karianne offers a very reasonably priced package for authors where she will pose the book based on your vision and strategy, give you excellent options that are professionally done, all for $500. Professional photos can get expensive, trust me, this is a steal! You can check out her work on her website. Even though she is located in Phoenix, you can send her a copy of your book and she can stage the entire shoot. Just so you know, I don’t get anything for promoting Karianne. I just think she does great work, offers a great service at a remarkable price point, and she is just a great person, the kind that you want to see succeed.
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