Books are a comfort for many, yet the publishing side of literature is often seen as an intimidating world of contracts, offices, and deadlines. It seems that only the very best photographers can get the opportunity to successfully contribute their work and get published. Because of this, many book-loving photographers refuse to contribute their work to companies that work with publishers for fear of not understanding the system correctly.
In reality, book cover contributions are relatively straightforward. All you need to do is find the right company, experiment with various concepts, and work on your patience. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an expert, you can work with stock companies and find your image on a book cover one day.
Here are ways you can do that.
Choose a Stock Company You Like
Every agency has its own guidelines and terms, ones that may either disappoint you or catch your eye. Some companies will give you 10% of the profits, while others will offer 50%. Some companies only work with publishers and musicians, but others are open to all kinds of media. Don’t limit yourself to the first agency you find – look for the one that makes you feel completely comfortable and safe as an artist. You have every right to respect yourself and your work, after all.
Get to Know Trending Themes
There are universal themes – such as abandonment and love – that remain timeless in the literary world. Others are quite fleeting – these depend on current trends, events, and interests. Many stock companies provide a list of popular themes, so keep an eye out for those. If they aren’t available, check out what’s trending in literary communities like Goodreads. Focus on themes that really spark your interest – even if there’s one you’ve never experimented with before, try it out! You might discover a new type of work to add to your portfolio in the future.
Choose the Right Keywords
Once you’ve chosen your company and taken a few photos, focus on finding relevant keywords that complement your submissions. General terms like ‘girl’ and ‘portrait’ are something publishers will look for, so make sure to include those on your list. Be descriptive and straightforward – this will increase your chances of being discovered by the right individuals.
Even if you don’t get immediate results, keep submitting your work. Try using different keywords, experiment with a new theme, or just upload beautiful outtakes you don’t want to use anywhere else. Most importantly, acknowledge the importance of being patient during this process. Your work is worthy of being seen and admired. The world of literature is always busy, and there’s always room for one more contribution from someone like you.
It’s easy to get caught up in complicated instructions and ever-changing themes. Instead of worrying about business all the time, embrace the thrill of uploading submissions, taking photos of new and exciting things, and discovering new trends. The more you enjoy the pure simplicity of contribution, the closer you’ll get to getting fantastic and successful results.
I remember when I found out that a publishing company had purchased one of my photos. A couple of years had passed and I was starting to give up on the idea of being involved in the literary world. This opportunity refreshed my hope and encouraged me to keep going. Even if it takes you a while to get noticed, don’t give up. It will be worth it, it will lead to more success, and it will inspire you to be the best version of your artistic self.