Finding Pictures for Book Covers


Creating a book can be a fun and exciting experience, especially when it comes to designing the cover.  Sometimes one or more high resolution photos may be needed to incorporate into the design of the book cover.  Finding pictures for book covers can be quite a task, and it can be quite enticing to just copy images we may see while surfing the web and save them to our computer to have it incorporated into a book cover design.  This however is considered plagiarism, and one must be careful when finding pictures for book covers.

When creating a book cover it is important to make sure that you have permission from the photographer for any pictures that you use. While it might be tempting to use free photos from Google images, in the long run it is not worth the legal risk if someone recognizes their photos on your book cover.

There is however a way to search for images that are under creative commons, or are available for you to use for personal or commercial use.  When searching for pictures for book covers on Google images, always use the Advanced Search option so that you can filter the search settings and search for pictures that are free to use commercially.

Other ways include contacting the photographer of a photo that you see online, and ask permission to use their picture in your book cover design.  If they agree, there may be a price involved that could be quite pricey.  There may be times where some photographers may be unwilling to grant permission for their picture to be used in your project.  Or there could be other times where you just can’t get into contact with the owner of the picture.

It saves time to look through a database of photos that are available for use, with usage rights and specifications visible for all to see.  The surefire way of getting the exact photos you need are stock photo sites, but many times authors would prefer to use free options.  Below are a some of the some sites and resources for finding pictures for book covers that can be used for free.

Public domain images:

Photographer Permission Released photos: