First, yes this post is geared to writers yet it says “Your Business’s” in the title (and you can debate me about whether I spelled “business’s” wrong but I found it commonly spelled this way). If you want to make a career in writing or simply sell books, then think of everything you publish as a business move. Have fun with writing or you’ll lose your creativity, but treat it like a company that you just became CEO of. Does a good CEO want their company to grow and sales to soar or run that company in the ground?
In the same way, whether you think writing is simply a hobby or not, you need to come across as a professional in everything you do, every online post and piece of writing you put out for others to read.
A great way to attract the attention of readers (or anyone) is through visual aids. Maybe you need that perfect picture for a blog post, a book cover you’re designing, for your Facebook post or add or maybe you need videos for the book trailer you plan to make. When I started writing I never considered the need for photos. Yet, think about all the promotional photos you see with character quotes or release dates for current, bestselling novels.
If you’re on social media you will use photos and videos sometime.
While there are so many choices, it’s difficult to find a good site with royalty free and cheap photos or videos. Royalty free means that you can use the photos without copyright infringement. This gets tricky if you plan to use a photo on the cover of something like a book where you can only sell a certain number of copies of that book before you have to pay more to use the photo.
The most common sites are iStockphoto.com or Shutterstock. These sites have a millions of photos, but their prices could empty a self-publishers pocket. Instead I recommend sites like these (and I’ve used all of these so I’m sure of their work and credibility):
Pexels- https://www.pexels.com/ They have over 3,500 photos all available for download for free and without restrictions. They are my main source for photos.
Canva- www.canva.com They allow you to build all sorts of designs with illustrations, photos and fun fonts. Everything is free or cost a $1, a price that won’t break your bank.
Unsplash- www.unsplash.com All photos are 100% free to use as you want. There aren’t restrictions or costs. You also don’t have to make an account before downloading.
Gratisography- http://www.gratisography.com They have a collection of eclectic photos great for eye catchers.
Videezy- www.videezy.com Unfortunately this is the only stock footage site that I’ve found that is free, easy to use and has a large selection that I care for. If I find more in the future I will add them to this post.
Hope these sites inspire your creativity!