15 Feb 2010 Microstock Money Shots – Book Review

Microstock Money Shots - Book CoverEllen Boughn’s book will be released later this year.   It’s called ‘Microstock Money Shots – Turning Downloads into Dollars with Microstock Photography’.   I’m honored to be a small part of the book and the first to publish a review.

I contributed some short notes on analysis, keywording tools and competitive research for the second chapter. I managed to work in plugs for LookStat, picNiche, Yuri’s keywording tool and iStockcharts.de.

I also gave Ellen’s publisher a quote and was amazed to find they printed it on the cover! Click the image to the right to see a version big enough to read the quote.

In order to have the quote be authentic I needed to read the book, so Ellen sent me one of the final drafts to read. This is how I can review it before it’s published.

How is Microstock Money Shots Different?

Ellen’s book isn’t like some other physical microstock books which repeat the content of blogs and forums with tips and tricks, instructions on how to FTP and which agencies are better than the others. This book is focused on how to create photos that maximize sales!

Additionally, Ellen draws on her experience working at all levels of the stock photo market. It’s interesting to read a succinct history of how stock photography came about, followed by an equally succinct overview of the entire industry as it is today.

What’s in the Book?

Microstock Money Shots has a foreword written by top microstocker Andres Rodriguez.   He tells his story about how he started in microstock after being unable to find a stock photo he wanted and shooting it himself. He includes a few personal stories and talks about what pushed him to the top of the market.

The topics covered are broad, but all deal with generating stock that sells with minimal expense. Whole chapters are dedicated to choosing subjects, working with models, locations, and which themes are evergreen in stock photography.   It also includes a case study, talks about branding and lists things to be avoided.

As you would expect, the book is written with Ellen’s sense of fun and sarcasm, making it easy to read. It’s also illustrated with hundreds of microstock photos so you can visually see what she’s talking about.

The book is rich with information on a broad range of topics that influence the sales performance of stock photos. Even seasoned microstockers will learn a lot from this book.   I had already read all of Ellen’s blog posts on Dreamstime and thought I had a solid grip on best practices for creating stock photos. But reading through the book I found so much new information.   Just when you think you know it all, Ellen puts it all back into perspective.

When Can I Get it?

Microstock Money Shots hits shelves on August 24 but you can pre-order now using my Amazon.com affiliate link if you prefer to get it as soon as possible.

A big thanks to Ellen for the honor of allowing me to contribute to her book and getting my name on the cover.

Read more about Ellen Boughn and don’t forget to subscribe to her new blog for more great insights into maximizing your stock photo revenue.

  • Rahul Pathak
    Posted at 17:52h, 15 February Reply

    Nice work on getting the cover quote, Lee. And, you’re spot on. I can’t wait to see this book – I have pre-ordered 🙂

  • Lorraine Swanson
    Posted at 20:23h, 15 February Reply

    Thanks for the review Lee. I have to say, I love the cover art because I’m a fan of Christian Wheatley and Jan Will, but when I click through to Amazon, Chritstian’s photo has been replaced by one that is good, but not nearly as impressive!

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 23:37h, 15 February Reply

      Hey Lorraine,
      I’m a fan of Christian Wheatley’s lifestyle as well as his photography. The reason for the different photo is that the final cover design hasn’t been updated at Amazon.com yet.

  • sharply_done
    Posted at 04:38h, 16 February Reply

    Heh – my pic’s the one that was replaced!

    • Ellen Boughn
      Posted at 05:07h, 16 February Reply

      Yes sharply_done your photo was replaced on the cover but it and a similar are both on the inside.

    • Lorraine Swanson
      Posted at 13:48h, 16 February Reply

      Hey Stephen – oops – still friends? I should have recognised that striking sillhouette. (LOL, I bet you are equally as impressed by the shot of Christian’s wife.)

      I wanted to get this book to read it, but it looks like I will have to get a copy just to see who all’s in it!

  • Ellen Boughn
    Posted at 13:52h, 16 February Reply

    Believe me: EVERYONEs in the book.

  • miklav
    Posted at 16:55h, 16 February Reply

    Thank you for heads up Lee 🙂 I pre-ordered it too (not sure you get your commission though as I pre-ordered from German Amazon site – although my Amazon login works cross-borders, I don’t think their affiliate programs works so too)

  • john lund
    Posted at 14:52h, 17 February Reply


    I pre-ordered just now and I am wondering if you could kick-back half of your commission?:)


    • Ellen Boughn
      Posted at 15:09h, 17 February Reply

      Let’s see that would get you….ta da: $.80 And really I didn’t pay lee for this review.Honest!

      • Lee Torrens
        Posted at 19:04h, 17 February Reply

        34 cents actually. John, I’ll cut you a check next time we’re in the same place. 😉

  • Ellen Boughn
    Posted at 19:06h, 17 February Reply

    My editor says there is too much buzz about the book. Could I please hold it down until June or July-she asks? Funny.

    • Rahul Pathak
      Posted at 19:19h, 17 February Reply

      Wow, Ellen – that’s awesome. Maybe we can over-hype another fake book, then kill it when yours is ready to ship. Lee can you work on writing a less widely read blog please?

      • Ellen Boughn
        Posted at 19:31h, 17 February Reply

        Wait a minute…my book ISN”T fake…is it? DId I dream the whole thing? I agree Lee’s blog is way too widely read.

      • Ellen Boughn
        Posted at 19:32h, 17 February Reply

        And you have the weirdest but still great sense of humor, Rahul

        • Rahul Pathak
          Posted at 19:34h, 17 February Reply

          Are you referring to my dog peeing on a fire hydrant slide? ‘localized rainstorms’ rule!’

          • Ellen Boughn
            Posted at 19:37h, 17 February

            That and others….

  • Natalia
    Posted at 09:56h, 26 February Reply

    Looking forward to receiving the book of Ellen that I’ve preordered thanks to your post, Lee.

  • Chris
    Posted at 13:21h, 11 November Reply

    I will definitely check out this book. Ellen is a legend!

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