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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother recently helped me finally set up a website for my books. It's still very much a work in progress and currently serves primarily as a landing page with purchase links, but it's also as a place for me to leave some limited bonus content in case any of my readers are interested. And because I don't like walls of text, I've been decorating the site with some drawings of the characters from my books.



Meanwhile, though who knows if it will ever get done, I'm also (sort of) working on a "companion book" to my series, which (hopefully) will include detailed character backgrounds, deleted scenes, a full timeline, some anecdotes from my research, a few very short side stories, and other miscellaneous stuff left over from my editing. If and when I actually publish this, I'd also like to include some of my drawings in it.

So here's my question: Would publishing my companion book with images that are already freely available on my website run afoul of Amazon's (and others') policy regarding "no freely available content"? Does all the artwork that goes into my companion book have to be never-before-seen and available-nowhere-else?

Edited to shrink image to accommodate those using mobile devices or older monitors. Thanks for understanding. --Betsy
 

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I can't answer your question about Amazon's policy, but I do have a word of caution about publishing your art work on your website. I put several of my illustrations on my site, and it wasn't long before they showed up on Google Images. Your art work can be easily stolen.

I suggest putting watermarks on the art work on your site. A determined thief can still steal the work and obscure the watermark, but it will deter thieves who don't want to go to the trouble.

 

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Better yet- think of it as free advertising and add your name/website somewhere on the image so interested people can go back to your website.

As for Amazon policy- I think they are referring to free information that is found online that people want to put in a book and charge for it. If you created the content, it's yours. You might want to email them and be specific.

I think it's more about words not images, but ask to be sure.

I'm curious about the floating kid. I might be tempted to go to your website and check it out, looking for info about the floating kid. When I was a preteen- a book about a floating kid would be right up my alley. Image is an almost sold. The blurb would nail it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Blue and Diana, thanks for the warning and tips.

I'm personally not too concerned about people downloading the images. Being the amateur artist that I am, I'd be more flattered than upset, and at the fairly low resolution that I'm uploading these images, I suspect they have no resell value anyway.

Still, it'd make sense to mark them with my website address in the hope that they'll serve as some free advertising. I have a lot of individual images, though, and marking each one could make the site look a bit silly. I'll see if I can do it in an unobtrusive way.

dianapersaud said:
I'm curious about the floating kid. I might be tempted to go to your website and check it out, looking for info about the floating kid. When I was a preteen- a book about a floating kid would be right up my alley. Image is an almost sold. The blurb would nail it.
I can see that my images are already having an advertising effect. :) He's just a side character, but my MC is also an occasionally-floating kid.
 
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You are misunderstanding Amazon's terminology.

When Amazon and others refer to "freely available content" what they are referring to is public domain work or work licensed under Creative Commons or PLR (private label rights). They are not talking about work to which you specifically own the copyright. Just because you post images on your website, doesn't mean they are "freely available." You haven't given up any copyright. I assume you have offered no license for people to reproduce your images without permission. Posting the images on your site is no different than posting a book excerpt.

The only way you could get in trouble with Amazon is if:

You publish the book through Select and
The images account for more than 10% of the content

In which case, you would be violating Amazon's exclusivity clause for Select.

 

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They don't want you to take your website or your blog posts, package those into a book, and then sell it, even if you own the rights. That's seen as unfair when the consumer, who has paid for your book, goes and visits your site and finds the book content for free.  I would be upset frankly. But if it's a few images, that doesn't seem like an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
You are misunderstanding Amazon's terminology.

When Amazon and others refer to "freely available content" what they are referring to is public domain work or work licensed under Creative Commons or PLR (private label rights). They are not talking about work to which you specifically own the copyright. Just because you post images on your website, doesn't mean they are "freely available." You haven't given up any copyright. I assume you have offered no license for people to reproduce your images without permission. Posting the images on your site is no different than posting a book excerpt.

The only way you could get in trouble with Amazon is if:

You publish the book through Select and
The images account for more than 10% of the content

In which case, you would be violating Amazon's exclusivity clause for Select.
Thanks for the clarification. It puts my mind at ease knowing I don't have to choose which images to keep offline.

555aaa said:
They don't want you to take your website or your blog posts, package those into a book, and then sell it, even if you own the rights. That's seen as unfair when the consumer, who has paid for your book, goes and visits your site and finds the book content for free. I would be upset frankly. But if it's a few images, that doesn't seem like an issue.
I'd be upset too. All of the text and the majority of the images that will likely go into the companion book will be exclusive content to that book. I have too many drawings to post them all on my website anyway. But there are a few images that I'd like to put in both the book and on my website, which was my cause for concern.

Thanks again!
 
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