Photo Submission Guidelines

Can I submit photos for the site?

We always welcome photo submissions of collectible books, and we have put together these guidelines to help you take photos that will compliment the site.

Amount of photos you should send:

We are looking for at least seven photos of a book to help fully identify it. We prefer photos that show the book the way a collectors might see it if he or she picked it up off the shelf. Ideally here are the photos we would like:
- The front of the book with dust jacket. See Sample
- The back of the book with dust jacket. See Sample
- The book opened to the front flap of the dust jacket. See Sample
- The book opened to the back flap of the dust jacket. See Sample
- The book without the dust jacket. See Sample
- The copyright page. See Sample
- The title page. See Sample

Additionally, you can certainly send us other photos if you feel they are important toward first edition identification. Examples of this might be the spine of the book or the dust jacket if they are unique in the first edition, a photo of a first edition point typo, or perhaps a signature page where the book is signed and numbered. Some people submit a photo of the top of the book if it has top stain.

These books have very good examples of what we are looking for:
Collected Stories of William Faulkner (Example of edition point on spine)
Of Mice And Men (Good photo of typo)
Snow Crash (Good book clubcomparison examples)
The Bonfire of the Vanities (Franklin Library photos)
Interpreter of Maladies (Paperback photos)

Photo Dimensions:

This photo illustrates the 4 by 3 aspect ratio
All photos on the site are presented in a 4 by 3 horizontal aspect ratio, which we size to 560 by 420 pixels. 4 by 3 is a traditional landscape photo, meaning that the photo is only 75% as high as it is wide. All photos submitted to us should be sized to this aspect ratio. Examples of the 4 by 3 ratio are 1600 pixels by 1200 pixels, 1120 pixels by 840 pixels, and our standard 560 pixels by 420 pixels. Many cameras default to this ratio, so there is no need for you to crop (in fact we prefer that you do not crop). However some cameras have a 5 by 3 aspect ratio; and if yours does, that's okay. We can crop to 4 by 3 as long as you zoom out a little to leave some extra background on the sides when shooting your pictures.

Photo Size:

Photos do not need to be any larger than 1600 pixels wide by 1200 pixels high, and they must be at least 560 wide pixels by 420 pixels high. The idea size for us to work with is 1000 pixels wide by 750 pixels high. That way, we have a little bit of room to crop.

Photo Format:

JPEG format is preferred.

Digital Manipulation:

Please do not crop, color correct, clean, or manipulate in any way the photos you submit. This is extremely important.

Style Requirements:

Please do not use a flash when shooting a photo. Flash photos tend to look washed out, and leave bright spots on the photo. Instead, take the book to a bright, sunny location, and shoot without a flash. Do not send scans. Instead, place the book on table near a window, and shoot photos of the book against a plan table top. The idea is to give collectors a sense of what the book looks like from their perspective - as though they are picking it up and examining at it.

Examples of Correct and Incorrect photos:

thumbnail imageThe photo on the right was taken with a flash. Notice how the colors are washed out. The book on the left was taken near a sunny window without a flash. The true colors of the cover are captured better.thumbnail image
thumbnail imageThe main problem with the photo on the right is that it is sideways. The book needs to be upright against a plain background and taken in a 4 by 3 aspect ratio like the one on the left. The photo on the right is also shot with a 5 by 3 aspect ratio, which we can normally crop if there is enough background on the sides.thumbnail image
thumbnail imageThe photo on the right is not focused and there is not enough room on the sides for us to crop to a 4 by 3 aspect ratio. Shoot in sunlight for clear focus, and zoom out a little so we can crop it to a 4 by 3 aspect ratio.thumbnail image
thumbnail imageThe photo on the right has been cropped to the wrong dimension. Please do not crop the photos you submit. For dust jacket flaps, try tilting the camera so that the flap can be read and we can see some of the book's endpaper.thumbnail image
thumbnail imageThe photo on the right has been cropped to the wrong dimensions and there is not enough background on the sides for us to crop it to a 4 by 3 aspect ration. Please do not crop the photos you submit, and please leave enough background on the sides so we can crop it to the proper aspect ratio.thumbnail image
thumbnail imageThe background should be plain and free from distractions. A table is always best as a background.thumbnail image

Additional Identification Information:

Please tell us how many pages the book has. Rather than count the pages, we typically list the page number of the last page of text in the book. Please also tell us what color the boards are; because it is often hard to judge from the photo. Please also tell us any other identification points that are not obvious in the photos.

Photo Ownership:

The photos you submit must be your own photos of a book that you own. We are not looking for photos that someone else took as part of a listing on eBay. Rather we are looking for detail photos of true first edition books taken by the owner for the purpose of helping collectors distinguish between a true first edition and a later printings or later edition.

Tell us how we should give you credit:

We are happy to give credit to the photographer or book source. Please let us know what you would like us to say on the photo caption to give you credit. Typically we say "photo courtesy of Bob Jones", or "Thanks to Joe Smith for the picture". We are also happy to place a link to a book seller.

Submission Instructions

E-mail your photos to Send your photo as an attachment to the e-mail rather than embedded within the body. Embedded photos are handled differently by different mail clients, so downloading an attachment is much easier.


By sending us your picture(s), you agree to the following:
You represent that you are the creator of the photograph. You acknowledge that may, at its sole discretion, publish or otherwise use any photograph submitted by you. Such publication or other use may occur on,,, and/or in or on any other medium of communication now or hereafter devised, and may be for advertising, promotion, the use of trade, and/or other commercial purposes. By submitting a photograph, you consent to such publication or any other use, and you unconditionally and irrevocably waive all claims to compensation for use of the photograph, and/or any rights with respect to such use you may have under copyright law, the right to publicity, the right to privacy, the law of defamation, and any other common law or statutory claims under the laws of any jurisdiction.