All your questions about book cover design, answered.
No, not as a general rule. If stock photos are needed, I will suggest options and provide them as part of the overall cost. In rare circumstances, an unusual photo option may be needed (e.g. a non-royalty-free photo that requires a special license), which will incur a separate cost.
All of the photos I use are royalty-free stock images from reputable sources, such as iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, BigStockPhoto, Pixabay and Death to Stock.
Royalty-free stock photos used in book covers are covered by a basic license up to 500,000 books sold. There is no extra charge for this.
If your book sells more than 500,000 copies, you are legally required to hold an Extended License for the stock photos used in the cover design. This typically costs around £100/$130.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of stock photos, this happens occasionally. However, I use image-manipulation techniques to ensure my covers look distinct. I also research the market thoroughly and steer clear of overused images.
I can design a cover for you that relies wholly on typography, thus avoiding the use of stock photos.
I’m also happy to design a cover using your exclusively-commissioned photos, but be aware that a photoshoot typically costs upwards of £1,000/$1,300.
Before I start work on your book cover design, I try to get as much information from you as possible about your vision for the cover, including any muse images you’ve collected.
I also (with your permission) like to read the first few chapters of your book, in order to get a feel for the style and content. All of this, plus my own market knowledge, informs the eventual cover design. The result is a cover you’ll love – and one that will sell your book.
Probably not, no. Most photos you’ll find online are copyrighted material. You can’t use them for a book cover without getting permission from the rights-holder and paying royalties for their use (an expensive, time-consuming and often fruitless exercise).
Most photos used in book cover designs are royalty-free and therefore available to use for a flat fee.
However, by all means, send me any (copyrighted) photos you like the look of, and I can usually source something similar that’s royalty-free.
Via BACS (within the UK) or via PayPal (worldwide).