Monday, July 16, 2012

Author Nancy Jardine on Using Images to Sell Books

Today we give a warm welcome to Nancy Jardine, who comes all the way from Scotland to visit actuallyalethea and talk about the importance of visual material to help sell a novel.  Glad to have you here, Nancy!

What a lovely picture! What a lovely photograph
…of a location, or person, or article, though sometimes it’s not so easy to acquire those images.

Hello, Alethea. I’m delighted to be here today and very pleased you’ve invited me to your blog.

I’ve been spending quite some time, recently, researching image material to use to enhance my writing, and more specifically for marketing purposes. Before my debut novel was published in August 2011, I had absolutely no idea of the impact the use of suitable images might have on increasing the chances of selling more of my novels. I was always aware of how much a cover image was very important as I, personally, browsed around in bookstores before buying a novel, and was aware that a good image on a poster in the bookstore was a great selling point for some author. Yet, before the spring of 2011, I was extremely naïve about other book-selling venues- blogs, book trailer videos, and Pinterest Boards.

Over the course of the last year I’ve realised how much visual material can enhance blog items, when suitably used-an explanation for the amount of time I’m now spending on that very task.

Authors who write only contemporary work are more likely to have less of a problem when it comes to finding suitable material to illustrate aspects of their novels- locations in particular. I’ve not had any difficulty with finding suitable material for my three contemporary novels. In fact, during my researching stage before completing those novels, I amassed a nice bulging folder for each with possible photographic illustrations. Photographs coming from my own camera have no copyright restrictions, so they’re brilliant to use. With other images I’ve purchased the use of them from cheap sources of Royalty Free images, to ensure I can use them on my blog, or Pinterest, or book trailers without fear of retribution.

I’m delighted to have loads of suitable material for my contemporary novel, TAKE ME NOW, releasing very soon on the 3rd August, 2012 from The Wild Rose Press. I’ve got lots of photos of all the cities Aela flies her boss, Nairn, to-as in London, Paris, Barcelona, and Tallinn. I’ve lots of photos of the Scottish countryside they fly over-many more than I could use in my book trailer video. My Pinterest board is another thing entirely since I can keep adding to that whenever I want. Creating a new Pinterest board is a fabulous way to illustrate a novel, and great fun to do.

I’m very much looking forward to gaining a contract for my third contemporary novel which uses locations like Vienna, and Amsterdam and Heidelberg. They’re all stunning European cities, and I’ve a nice collection of images ready and waiting.

But what about my historical fiction? I’ve had a much greater problem with finding images for those two historical works. One is a time-travel novel for children set in the north east Scotland of AD 210, and I certainly don’t have any images sitting on my own camera for that! 

My other historical novel, THE BELTANE CHOICE, will be launched on the 31st August 2012, by Crooked{Cat}Publishing. This is set in Britain, in AD 71, on what is now border country between Scotland and England, where there is conflict going on between the Roman invaders and the local Celtic peoples.

Acquiring images to use for illustrating them has been a much greater challenge. I’ve scoured the Royalty Free sites, and I’m still scouring them. I’ve tried to paint my own images, but sadly I’m no artist… Paying for the services of a talented artist to make me custom made illustrations is beyond my pocket at present, so I have to be more creative in enhancing these works. My book trailer video for THE BELTANE CHOICE has required me to use different techniques- some new learning necessary for that.  

I’m wondering, Alethea, what kind resources your readers might use to enhance written projects- especially if the time you refer to is prior to the earliest photographs. I’d love you to drop me a note and share your ideas.

Thank you very much, Alethea, for inviting me here today to wax lyrical about my illustrating issues.

**happy waving here, and a big smiley face to everyone who has visited**

Nairn Malcolm’s looking for the impossible. He needs a highly skilled, enterprising aide who’ll be at his beck and call 24/7. No ordinary Jane Doe will do. He doesn’t expect the only candidate who drops in at his Scottish castle for an interview to be so competent…or so stunning.
Aela Cameron’s got exactly the right mix of talents to satisfy all Nairn Malcolm’s needs, and more. She loves the jobs he needs done, adores his castle, and finds his frenetic lifestyle energising. But she’s only looking for temporary: not to fall in love with the man.
Can Nairn convince Aela she’s tailor-made for him in every way…and not a passing fancy?  

Unadulterated vigor oozed from every last bit of him—overall a dangerous concoction. Something stirred way-down-low inside Aela again. He was a real honey, and the bee in her wanted to be very sticky.
Her mind whirred. The man bore a vague resemblance to the ruggedly handsome thirty-two year old Nairn Malcolm of the internet photograph, but would the blonde limpet in the recent celebrity snapshot want to curl herself around this forbidding wreck of a man? Aela thought not. She wondered, though, if his blank expression was caused by current circumstances, or if this was his normal demeanor, since he hadn’t been smiling in the photograph either.
With the high granite wall as his backdrop she could easily imagine this man lording over the castle, ruthlessly challenging any invaders to his domain. Taking any woman he wanted? Now there was a thought she was happy to entertain. A tiny smile broke free. Tamping down her crazed imagination she re-assessed him.
What had the guy been doing to get himself in such a state?
Who was he?

Bio-Nancy Jardine
Having taught 11-12 year olds for many years, Nancy Jardine finally gave up the chalk in the autumn of 2011. During the last few years she has redrafted a historical novel, written three contemporary novels- two of which are what she calls her history/mysteries. She’s also re-drafted the first of a time-travel series of novels for children aged 9-12years. A family saga is her main work in progress.

Nancy lives in the picturesque castle country of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband who now does all the cooking…the menu far more exciting and tasty than it used to be! Ancestry research-if you hadn’t already guessed-is one of her hobbies, as is participating in exciting events with her family which drag her away from the keyboard. Working in her large garden, she tends real flowers and now grows spectacular weeds which she’s becoming very fond of! She cherishes the couple of days a week when she child-minds her gorgeous granddaughter.

Nancy can be contacted at:

Available to buy now-Monogamy Twist
from The Wild Rose Press  
Barnes and Noble:
Link to YouTube Book Trailer for Monogamy Twist is: 

Coming Soon:
TAKE ME NOW will be available from The Wild Rose Press 3rd August 2012. Link to YouTube Book Trailer for Take Me Now is:

THE BELTANE CHOICE will be available in ebook formats from Crooked{Cat} Publishing 31st August 2012.

Thank you, Nancy, for such an informative guest post! 


Cindy said...

Wonderful post!! Really enjoyed the trailers. ♥


Cindy Nord
NO GREATER GLORY/Samhain Publishing
Always Romance. Nothing Less.

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi, Cindy! Thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed the trailers and the post.

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi, Alethea. It's great to be with you today!

Babette James said...

Hi, Nancy, enjoyed the videos! Congrats on your upcoming releases.

I enjoyed making my own contemporary romance video and I've been tinkering with a second. Selecting images is definitely time-consuming. If I was making a fantasy or historical video I'd focus on closeups of the characters to eliminate clothing issues and more iconic or interpretive images than strict visualization of the book's scenes.

Eunice Boeve said...

Interesting post. I imagine images do stick better that text. I enjoyed the trailer. Pretty neat!

Nancy Jardine said...

Aha! Good comments on the historical, Babette. I'm about to launch my 'The Beltane Choice' video, and I went for something sort in between what you're saying- though the illustrations were a challenge.

Nancy Jardine said...

Thanks, Eunice! Number three coming real soon... Check out my blog soon, maybe Wednesday, or Thursday?

Cora Blu said...

Great post. Embarking on making my first trailer over. After a number of reviews and seeing what readers highlighted I want to push that avenue, and my cover changed. Can't wait to dive back in.

Cora Blu

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi, Cora. Glad to see you. Hope all goes well with your plans!

Alethea Williams said...

Thanks to all for visiting and for the new comments on book trailers. I'm learning so much.