Before You Publish…


Chris The Story Reading Ape posted a link the other day that got me thinking. It was about a blogger – a cautionary tale, really. She had been using images from the internet to illustrate her blog posts, but had been unaware that she didn’t have permission to use those images. When a photographer called her out for using one of his images without permission, she found herself liable for court costs and a usage fee, money she didn’t have to spend.

Quite a few years ago, I worked in advertising, and one of my roles was as media buyer for a large agency. That meant I had to find images for creative teams and then, if they wanted to use them in an ad, I had to negotiate a usage fee for the image based on who was using it, where it would be seen, for how long, at what size and a few other variables. (I also had to do the same thing for any models we used in photo shoots – a whole other set of conditions).

This was valuable experience to have when it came to setting up my own blog, and the reason that I use my own photography 99.9% of the time. It also came in handy when working with a designer to create my own book covers. The sword artwork on Oak and Mist is my own illustration, while the tree, strap detail and leaf icon are purchased images. My upcoming book, No Quarter, once again features the sword image, but the necklace is a stock image. I had to purchase not only the right to use the image, but an extended commercial license which allows me to use it on a book cover for up to 500,000 copies (and if I even get close to selling that many, I’ll be thrilled! :-))

Front Cover Image

If this sounds expensive, it’s not – I think I spent less than £25 on the necklace image and extended license, a lot less than any court case or fees I could run into if I’d used the image without getting the correct permission. There are a lot of online stock photography sites offering free images, credit bundles or subscriptions, which you can use to download images as required. I wrote a post about this previously, discussing the different type of images available for use, but my recommendation was to always, always read the fine print.

When I visit blogs and see images being used that are obviously stock images, I do wonder whether they have permission to be used. Of course, the blogger in question could have commissioned the artwork or photography themselves, bought the license to use them or even got them from a free site, but, as many of the images are not credited, I can’t be sure.

So I thought I’d write this post, just in case. I’m certainly no expert, so please don’t get shouty (though feel free to let me know if I’m barking up the wrong tree) 🙂 Nor is this legal advice – simply what I’ve learned through my own experience. However, when posting images on your blog, proceed with caution. If you haven’t taken the image yourself or have permission to use it, then don’t.






More Book News! No Quarter Cover Reveal

Front Cover Image

Another book post, this time to reveal the cover design for No Quarter, the next book in the Ambeth Chronicles!

Things couldn’t be better for Alma. She’s returned the lost Sword to Ambeth and is finally with Deryck, Prince of the Dark. But what’s really going on? Deryck is struggling with his father, who wants to control Alma, while Alma is struggling with her best friend Caleb, who doesn’t trust Deryck. Plus it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with her life in the human world.

Falling in love shouldn’t be this difficult. But things are about to get much worse…

Thanks once again to the design talent of Rich Jones at Turning Rebellion 🙂 I’m really pleased with the cover and think it captures the feel of book two really well.

Now I just need to finish the edit and publish (Within the next few weeks, all being well – I’ll keep you all posted)

And, in case you missed it, Book One, Oak and Mist, is currently available on Amazon here, or visit Goodreads and enter my giveaway for the chance to win one of five signed paperback copies.

And finally, I’m off to the Blogger’s Bash in London tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to a great day out meeting some of my fellow bloggers – hope to see you there 🙂