eBooks for Beginners – Cover Page Images

As mentioned in a previous post, cover pages are important for eBook marketing.  How many times have you browsed through book covers looking for a striking visual clue?  A dull cover presentation will likely cause a shopper to move on to the next book.  Cover images provide a visual clue about the book’s subject.   A cover picture of the Mars rover suggests the eBook is about Mars exploration or NASA or similar.  If the subject is actually about blueberries in a summer salad, the reader will be very disappointed and probably not buy your eBook or anything else you write.  As much as the subject, the cover image will help sell your book.  Make it compelling, attractive, and interesting.

Why can’t I use pictures from the Internet for my cover page!

Pictures, drawings, and other images on the Internet are often assumed to be free.  NOT TRUE.  Most images are copyrighted work by the creator, whether indicated or not.  Using copyrighted material – especially for mass distribution – may carry significant penalties.  Written permission to reproduce licensed work must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Where can I get free images?

Fortunately, the Internet has many sites that provide free or public domain images.  In many cases, no credit must be given to the creator and no fees are charged to download and reproduce the image.  Here are some sites that provide license-free images:

–        My Public Domain PicturesMy Public Domain Pictures is our little photo blog project where we release our personal amateur pictures into public domain.  You can use our pictures for any purpose…  refer to the “about” section for additional details

–        Public Photo – No need to ask permission to use images. All Resource photos are free, have been published in the Public Domain by us.

–        Public Domain Clip Art – PDClipart.org is a HUGE collection of public domain clip art. The collection is FREE and NO REGISTRATION is required. We hope you find the clip art useful for your documents and projects.

–        Morgue File – Looking for high resolution stock photos for your illustration, comp or design needs? Search Morgue File for free reference images. Yes, they’re all completely free.

A large listing of additional public domain image sites can be found on Wikipedia.  As always, research the image or website you may use.  Better safe than in trouble for misusing someone’s copyrighted or licensed work.

Another option for cover images is to create an image yourself or pay someone to produce an image for you.  Mark Coker – Smashwords founder – suggests the following in his style guide: If you do not have the technical or artistic ability, or the time, to create a professional-looking image, send an email to list@smashwords.com to request Mark’s list of fellow Smashwords authors you can hire to create ebook covers for prices ranging from $40 to $100 (a deal!).  .Png and .jpg (.jpeg) formats only for SmashWords cover images.

Two good reference guides for additional information:

How to Create a Documentary With Public Domain Images and Film Clips

Smashwords Style Guide

By Dion D. Shaw

Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs.  New Day.  New Opportunity.


Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

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