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14,299 Views 6 Replies Last post: Sep 2, 2015 7:20 AM by InkRiver RSS
Level 0 24 posts since
Dec 8, 2013
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Aug 15, 2015 11:01 AM

How do I make illustrations in my book?

Hello community, how are you all today?


I'm currently writing a book and I want illustrations in some pages. How do I go about it? Thanks in advance for your help:

Level 4 2,558 posts since
Jul 2, 2011
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1. Aug 15, 2015 12:34 PM in response to: hotnicey
Re: How do I make illustrations in my book?

Do you have the illustrations already, and are asking how you can insert them?



Or are you asking how you can make the illustrations themselves?

Level 4 2,558 posts since
Jul 2, 2011
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3. Aug 18, 2015 2:51 PM in response to: hotnicey
Re: How do I make illustrations in my book?

You can use digital photos that you have taken yourself, or others from the internet that you have confirmed that you can use (ie" be careful you don't use a copyrighted image.)


If you mean a diagram or artistic creation, you can use many types of software, such as Photoshop or Gimp.  Gimp is free. 


In any case, make sure your image is at least 300 dpi. 


Inserting the image will depend on what type of software you use to write.  If you tell us what you are using, we'll be able to offer specific hints.

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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4. Aug 19, 2015 9:56 AM in response to: hotnicey
Re: How do I make illustrations in my book?

Aside from making photographs and art yourself, you can get the rights to use any of millions of images available from stock photo sites. For example:

Generally, you can get non-exclusive rights to use art for $0 - $20. Some sites are designed for highend publications (e.g., and you can pay hundreds even thousands of dollars.


Also, there are art sites:

These sites have thousands and thousands of works in galleries. Some are free, some you have to contact the artist about.


The suggestion above about getting GIMP is great. GIMP is a full-feature graphics editing program.  Until you get into some of the truly high-end features, it is the equal of Photoshop.


Remember, in all likelihood you will have a black and white book.  One word in color, means the entire book is printed as if it were color, and the cost per book goes way up.


Aside from the 300 dpi (ppi) recommendation (more is not better, except for 1-bit, black and white, line art),

  • you need to be aware that some programs will downsize your art (300 dpi > 96 dpi), unless you disable downsizing.  Word, for example, call it "compression," but it ain't compression, ya gotta love Microsoft. 
  • Also, again in Word, using Words Save as PDF feature will downsize images to 200 dpi, and I have not found a work around for that: except to use a PDF conversion program (doPDF, primoPDF, cutePDF, PDF995, etc., all free).  These work as printers, and you need to specify the output/trim/paper size, or they default to 8.5 x 11, and if given an option, select those things that give the best (usually, biggest, files . . . embedding/downloading fonts, print quality, etc.).
  • Size your images to the size you need in the book, do not resize them inside Word, InDesign,etc.
  • Prepare your art for print: highlight detail want to burn out and shadow detail wants to plug up (so you want to work on these areas); set the white point and the black point using either Levels or Curves (preferred), etc.
  • You can submit color work in a black and white book, and have CS convert color to grayscale: but it is advisable to make the conversion yourself, so that you can adjust for problem.


The forum is robust, so ask questions as you go along.



Level 0 1 posts since
Dec 22, 2012
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6. Sep 2, 2015 7:20 AM in response to: hotnicey
Re: How do I make illustrations in my book?

I'm kinda late to this party, but it's a useful "evergreen" topic so I thought I would add a few more stock photo options for anyone who happens on this in the future:


Many of these sites also offer stock video as well. You can't use video in a book, of course, but you could incorporate it in marketing materials and promotional websites. You could make a video commercial for your book and post it on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.


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