Why there are so few photos of books in my blog posts

Book blogs are often filled by photos of books, which makes sense, after all that is what we are writing about. However, when I started my book blog I realized that Swedish copyright law did not necessarily allow me to freely use book covers in reviews. Of course few publishers would complain about free publicity, but it still seemed easier not to use them. On the other hand, a book blog without illustrations would look rather boring. I therefore started to look through my own photos hunting for suitable illustrations for each blog post, with variable success. Sometimes I have been lucky enough to have some actually relevant photos, other times I have tried to capture a mood and, quite often, I have had to go with whatever I could find, occasionally something that only made sense to myself.

Anyway I thought it could be fun to show you some good and bad examples and explain some of my selections.

Relevant photos

Scandinavian authors are usually the easiest to illustrate as most of my photos are taken in Scandinavia. Most of the time I can at least find a photo with the right type of landscape, although not necessarily from the right region.

A pasture for Vilhelm Moberg and a forest for Dan Andersson, each showing the kind of landscapes they wrote about.

Setting the mood

A depressing train station was meant to illustrate the town after The Grey Men took over in Momo and a scary-looking hook was used to illustrate a blog post asking for crime fiction recommendations.

A striking flower was selected to illustrate The Great Gatsby, while a discussion on the publisher Slightly Foxed called for gentler flowers.

Well, I have to use something…

Surely any photo from Russia can illustrate any Russian novel and the flowers on the left did grow in Russia. Too bad none of my readers would know that… Illustrating Midnight’s children also proved difficult as I haven’t been anywhere near India, but at least I could sort of capture the colours of the flag.

Even though the result is not always great I do enjoy using my own photos and like the challenge in trying to find a suitable illustration from a somewhat narrow selection. So perhaps it is a good thing that I could not use book photos as I had originally planned.

14 thoughts on “Why there are so few photos of books in my blog posts

  1. How interesting! I always figure if it’s a photo of a book I own in situ i.e. on my hall table or book table, it should be ok. As you say, you’d think publishers would be happy with the publicity. But your pictures are very pretty! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Interesting post indeed. You can always tell us in a caption, about the rationale for the image.

    I admit I do love to photograph my books, and read book blogs with images. But I have many posts without images, and I still love a well written bookish post without them.

    I love your posts no matter what. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Perhaps I should use captions more, at least when I have a good but not obvious rationale. However for the more far-fetched choices I’m just hoping that if I don’t say anything you will all imagine a much more brilliant rationale than the actual one πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, hahaha. We should write it on the comments, and you can come “clean” with the real one. Or yours might be more brilliant. It could become a fun game.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great ideas, feel free to make guesses whenever you want to… πŸ™‚ Or perhaps I could start a regular feature where I post a few of the more recent photos together with the rationales and let you guess which photo that belongs to which rationale.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting! I did a bit of research on the fair use of copyrighted material like covers etc. in reviews and it seemed rather straightforward, at least in Anglo-Saxon world – I didn’t realize Sweden had different rules! But I do enjoy your photographs, so I’m actually selfishly glad it turned out this way for you πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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