How to Get a Cheap Cover – Part VI

(I’ve been running a series on my MySpace blog called “Adventures in Indie Publishing” where I tell everyone how I made a muck up of it all so that they don’t have to.  At the moment I’m exploring “How to Get a Cheap Cover” and, after a suggestion from Ruth, I decided to post it here as a series (because it’s a long, long post!)

So far I’ve talked about how to find specifically artwork or photographs to use for your book covers, but what if you’re not exactly sure what you want? Maybe you’re on the fence, or maybe you’ve decided which one you want, but you’re having a hard time with that licensing issue. Either way,  the Creative Commons website might make things easier for you.

Through their website you can search flickr, yahoo, google, blip and others with an automatic Creative Commons License filter. You can narrow down your search results by ticking check boxes like “use for commercial purposes” or “Can modify”.

However, keep in mind that just because something is labeled not for commercial use, or not for manipulation, doesn’t mean the artist/photographer won’t let you, if you ask. For example, all of my work is CC licensed with no commercial use, however I’ve given permission to a company making brochures to use one of my photos and to a website designer as well. Technically this is commercial, but to me they aren’t making money off the photo, but the finished product, so more power to them.

Of note:  To find specifically art try adding ‘”drawing” or “art” after your keywords.

You should still message the artist/photographer – even if this means making an account through flickr or whatever to talk to them! An email can go a long way!

Now that we have our image(s) I’ll be discussing how to get the cover put together next time!

Do you know of any other place to get images?


  1. How did you get that screen of (cc) search into this post? I’d love to be able to do that.

    I think one of the hardest parts about making a cover is coming up with the idea.

    1. Just in case I am going to give you the long version. Just skip whatever bits you already know, LOL!

      first I used the PRNT SCRN button on the keyboard. This can be in different places, on my desktop it is it’s own key, and on my laptop it is on the F11 key (accessed by pressing the Fn or function key at the same time) however it should be in the upper right hand side somewhere.

      This “prints screen” to your clipboard, not to your printer, meaning it copies what is on the screen, sans the mouse pointer. (sometimes that can be annoying) or cursor.

      Open an art program – paint brush is fine for this.

      Choose “paste as new” (in Paint brush go to edit – then click paste or press Ctrl+V on your keyboard at the same time). you can now resize it in your program or upload it to a place like Photobucket that has editing tools. I find it’s easier to do it in the program itself. (in Paintbrush it’s under Image – then choose stretch/skew. type in your desired % in BOTH the horizontal and vertical boxes. 50% will make the image half your screen size. I probably went 40% or less on this one).

      Now you can upload your image to an online image storage host, such as photobucket (free account). For the wordpress editor just copy the URL code which photobucket gives you and then choose the “add picture” option and paste the code into the box. Conversely, wordpress seems to have the option to upload images straight to their server instead, eliminating the need to use photobucket. I don’t know if blogspot has this option, and I know MySpace doesn’t.

  2. This is so neat! Thanks! I’m going to try it right away. 🙂

    1. I saw you got it to work! yay!

      1. Yeah, I was so happy to see how easy it was. You give great instructions!

Comments are closed.