With millions of websites, blogs and social posts competing for your readers’ attention, it’s important that you stand out. Studies show that pictures and video increase the likelihood that you will be noticed, causing readers to linger longer on your website or blog or read your posts more fully. Facebook posts containing a picture are shared 2.3 times more often than text alone. Finding high quality pictures are easy, but there’s a big catch: if you use someone else’s copyrighted work without their written permission, you could find yourself in court, as many an author can attest.

Looking through a lens

Image Credit: freeimages.com

According to Marketing Profs bloggers and social media users account for a whopping 49% of all stolen images, while commercial businesses account for 28% and individuals for 11%. For every image that is used illegally, it’s been estimated that the photographers or image agencies lose $446, so more are turning to litigation when they discover their images have been used without their permission.


Fortunately, there are millions of photographs that are available royalty free, which means you can use it on your website, in a blog or on social media without fearing reprisal. Here are just a few:

Working Girl

Image Credit: freeimages.com

Freeimages.com—this is my favorite website, and where most of the photographs are obtained for this website and associated articles. In addition to the free images, there are also images that can be purchased for use on book covers or elsewhere.


iStockPhoto—boasts that more than 10,000 users visit their site monthly for royalty free images.


Dreamstime—says they offer more royalty-free images than anywhere else on the web.


Adobe—offers millions of images as well as graphics, videos and templates. Subscribe for an even greater selection.


Canva—a great tool to use for developing business cards, posters and art to promote your books and your image.


Image Credit: freeimages.com

Freeplaymusic—offers royalty-free music that is perfect for book trailers, regardless of your genre.


Additional royalty-free images can be found at:




Every Stock Photo

Colors of Cuba

Image Credit: freeimages.com

Image Base


Free Commercial Photos


Free Digital Photos


Digital Collections


Creative Market


Image Credit: freeimages.com



Flickr Creative Commons


Always read the fine print on the website and for the specific work you are downloading. Some require you to credit the website or the image owner.


Image Credit: All images on this page were obtained from Freeimages.com.


Like these articles? Check out 52 Steps to Marketing Success, compiled expressly for authors and the unique challenges of finding the right target market and increasing book sales.