Using book cover-images on your website

As an indexer one way to inject a bit of colour into your website is to include cover images from some of the books you have indexed. There are several ways to do this. The way not to do it is to ask the publisher for permission to use the images. Publishers may well be reluctant to grant permission as it does involve copyright issues and licenses over the artwork.

Instead, set yourself up as an Amazon Associate – go to the bottom of your local Amazon store page and, under “Make Money with Us”, click on “Become an Affiliate” or “Become an Associate”. You can then use one of the widgets to create an advert on your site for the book, which will show the image and will give you commission if someone buys it after finding it through your site. (Unlikely as that seems, it has happened to me!)

There are a variety of widgets available, ranging from the straightforward:

to the decidely flashy:

Alternatively you can list your books using LibraryThing which also provides widgets of your lists:

Both these techniques are free and neither involve you copying the image, stealing bandwidth, nor the possibility of breaching anyone’s copyright.


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About James Lamb

James Lamb has a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from London University, worked for over 20 years as a senior IT technician and team leader, much of that time for dealing rooms of international banks, and became a full-time, professional indexer in 2004.
This entry was posted in SIdelights (SI newsletter), web presence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Using book cover-images on your website

  1. Ruth Ellis says:

    I am intrigued by this idea, but I wonder what the impact will be for those who use an adblocker. I use one, and reading your blog just then, LibraryThing came up, but not the Amazon adverts. There was just a blank space – they only appeared once I switched my adblocker off. Of course I realised they were there from the text, but for any other users with an adblocker, they won’t appear, which might make your website look bare.
    As I’ve only been in business since December, my list of completed books is still quite short, so I’ve not yet put them on my website, but I do intend to do so before the end of the year. I will be giving this some more thought…

    • James Lamb says:

      That is very interesting. I use a script blocker, which initially blocks Librarything, but I guess anyone using these blockers is used to websites having blanks sometimes and having to bypass them temporarily. I use both, in different places on my own website, Librarything here booksindexed and Amazon here diyresources. Also, of course, not all books have interesting covers, so you probably want to choose which you want to display.

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