Adding illustrations

Can I start by uploading a text-only version of an e-book (KDP, most likely) and later update the e-book to include the illustrations? This would let me get the story “out there” more quickly since the cover is almost done and I should only need one more revision pass on the text, but I wonder if that would be a strange thing to do.

Yes. One great thing about e-books is you can upload and publish new versions anytime. In your case, you might decide to make the two books discrete products, for example, the regular version and the illustrated version. I caution you to make each version you publish a quality product, putting your best foot forward with what you’ve got to offer. If the book is really lacking without the illustrations, I would wait until you’re ready to include them. If not, then you might consider the “two editions” approach. One other consideration is that you want to avoid disappointing the buyers of the non-illustrated version, once the illustrated version comes out. You might want to offer the second version free or at a steep discount. It’s all about building and taking care with your readers and your brand.

Where can I find artwork to use in my book?

What may seem like a difficult or even overwhelming question to some, finding artwork to use in your book has lots of possible answers.

  • First of all, look within, grasshopper. Do you own a camera? Your own photograph, maybe cropped, embellished, or amended in a photo editing application already on your computer, may be the solution. You may have untapped creativity where you least expected it! (And, you own all the rights!)
  • Have any good friends or relatives with drawing or photography chops who might be delighted to help you out, for a small fee? Think about it and talk with them. You may be surprised.
  • There are cover art resources available through KDP and CreateSpace.
  • Search “artwork for my book” in your favorite search engine.
  • Try the pay-per-image photo libraries such as Fotolia, Getty, and others. You create an account, buy some credits, search and select photos from their libraries, and download the image size you need. Make sure you understand the rights you are acquiring for each photo you license.

Can I embed videos into my book?

Yes. This is only a viable idea if you are producing a book intended for a tablet, smartphone, or computer screen, where the video can be viewed. To embed your video, use one of the Kindle Creator applications (Kindle Textbook Creator, etc.) or Adobe InDesign as your production platform. If you’re  Apple-exclusive, then use Ibooks Author, but you knew that already.

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