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Custom Book Designs provides professional book design and illustration for self published authors. I specialize in helping new authors get their book printed and in an online storefront.

Custom Book Designs

By Annette Wood

Dec 10, 2017

Tips on book cover design when using free stock photos

Man... when I first started as a designer stock photography was EXPENSIVE!! Like hundreds of dollars for ONE image! So it's pretty wonderful and amazing that we can now purchase stock photography at very affordable prices, and even get some for free!! In most cases it's true... you get what you pay for... but not with the free stock photo websites that I mention here - man, these images are amazing!

First things first... or, well second things first! After you get that great free image to use on your book cover make sure you use it to the best advantage. One things about stock photos is, well... they look like stock photos. The pluses are great color and quality, but you don't want you beautiful book cover to look like it has a stock photo, so I'm going to give you some tips on how to turn that stock photo into something original.

Here's our original photo - a beautiful photo by Christine Spochia that I found on Pixabay. You can check out her other photos here.



But by enlarging the photo and some creative cropping, I have been able to create a much more powerful cover.

By taking the photo, and with no cropping or repositioning, you end up with a nice, acceptable cover.

With just a little experimentation, you can take that free stock photo and turn it into something really original!

Pixabay is just one of the many great free photo websites. It's a large community of creatives, with over 1,3000,000 images. All contents are released under Creative Commons, which mean you can use and modify them without permission or giving credit to the artist. But it's a great idea to credit the photographer on your copyright page and Pixabay makes it very easy to make small donation, too... which helps keep free sites like this active!

Check back to discover more great photo websites!