It all started when I got an idea for a Medieval Fantasy Romance series that would feature a diverse caste of characters. Diversity is something that's lacking in the Fantasy genre, and I wanted to be a part of changing that. However, I knew from the beginning that I would need to do a custom photoshoot in order for the cover of the book to be successful. Like most romances, I wanted the cover to portray the characters, but knew I would be hard-pressed to find stock photographs of an interracial couple in Medieval historic dress. I spent months searching for the right models, hiring a photographer, ordering costumes, and planning every detail of the shoot. The final results were beautiful photographs that I could proudly use on the covers of my books.
However, the fact that photos like these do not already exist out there has weighed heavily on my mind for quite some time. If you are a writer who strives to portray diverse characters, finding quality stock photos of models for your cover can be a daunting, near-impossible task. There exist very few classy, quality, beautiful images of people of color, plus-sized women, interracial couples...the list goes on. It's no wonder so many book covers have begun to look like clones of each other. There is very little variety out there to choose from. Where are the photos of men and women wearing business suits, portrayed as beautiful and powerful, and successful? Where are the photos of plus-sized women portrayed in the same flattering light as their thin counterparts? Where are the Fantasy and Historical images of people of all races that aren't stereotypical? Where are the models with tattoos, piercings, freckles, and other interesting quirks?
After years of frustration and searching without success for stock photography that fills these gaping voids, the idea for Mosaic Stock was born. Even though doing my own custom photoshoot was a success, I recognize that not all authors and small publishing houses have the time, money, or resources to do a custom shoot for every book or series. It certainly isn't something I can do with every new book. With that in mind, my mission has become to fill those voids by offering stock photography you will not find anywhere else at an affordable price.
As the daughter of a photographer and hair/fashion/lifestyle magazine editor, I have access to models, make-up artists, and the myriad of other resources needed to make this business a success. I feel that these resources and connections have equipped me to make this venture a successful one.
Mosaic Stock's mission statement:
Mosaic is a stock photography site created by an author, for authors. After years of frustration over the lack of diversity on stock photography sites, romance author Elise Marion (who also pens young adult novels under the pseudonym Alicia Michaels), decided that the void needed to be filled. After all, if she felt frustrated with the lack of diversity, there must be other authors, publishers, and cover artists out there experiencing the same. With that in mind, Mosaic teams up with photographers and models to provide quality images for use on book covers, websites, and other media. By not following trends or the status quo, we hope to offer something new and fresh for the publishing market: models that portray our world realistically by incorporating people of all races, sizes, and backgrounds. Because Mosaic was founded by an Independent author who understands how financial strain can sometimes be a hindrance in the publication process, we are also committed to offering these quality images at affordable prices. Authors and publishers wishing to purchase stock will be able to choose between a low-cost royalty free option, or investing in exclusive rights to the photos of their choosing.
How we will benefit from this Kickstarter campaign:
The funds raised through this campaign will be used to get the Mosaic Stock website off the ground. Funds will be used to establish Mosaic Stock as a limited liability corporation, and to fund our first two photoshoots in Austin, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. Funds are needed to pay hair and make-up artists, and for costume rentals so that our models look their absolute best. Studio space is also needed to conduct a shoot of this size.
With the help of avid readers, as well as the authors, publishers, and cover artists we hope to serve with our product, we can make Mosaic Stock a reality, and offer a much-needed facelift to the book industry!
Other ways you can support Mosaic Stock:
Please share this campaign with everyone and anyone you believe would be interested! Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising there is. If you're a reader, tell your other book loving friends. If you're an author tell your fellow writers. If you're a cover artist, photographer, model, or illustrator, you can help spread the world too! As an independent author, I've seen what our sense of community can accomplish!
Like our Facebook page and invite your friends to like us as well: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mosaic-Stock/633925933401538
Samples of photography:
To give our contributors a glimpse of the sort of quality work Mosaic Stock will produce, here are some sample images taken by our photographer, Larry J. Stephens, editor of Encore HD Hair Magazine, and fashion photographer!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we foresee is not gaining enough money to cover our start-up costs. However, based on the amount of enthusiastic feedback we've gotten from people involved in this industry, we are convinced that this much-needed service will be well received by members of the literary community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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