This author online thing can be both the highest obstacle in your path and the biggest blessing you will find.
Writing blog posts? Easier than finding beautiful images to grace them with that won’t then get you sued six ways from Sunday.
Getting 80,000 words + down as a book? Seems like a breeze when you compare it to figuring out how to market that sucker with professional looking images and a great cover.
One of the reasons I’m going to try so hard to get traditionally published before considering self-publishing is my lack of confidence in the media area. Computers and I have an uneasy alliance. My go-to tech support method when the computer is being an asshole is to turn it off and make it think about what it’s done for a while. When that doesn’t work, I am lost at sea. I tell you this to make sure you know that if I can use these websites I’m about to list for you, then you know they are user friendly.
In my wanderings around the webnet I have found resources for images, media/marketing, and Ebook covers that look amazing at a reasonable price. I’d like to share them with you here so that you can get your own book out there covered in chrome plating.
Freesource Stock Photo Websites
Some of these are free of copyright and/or are creative commons public domain and require nothing but pointing and clicking. Some of them ask that you give the source credit (i.e. attribution.) ALWAYS double check the fine print before you go downloading all willy-nilly.
My go-to site: Stocksnap.io. Landscapes, general cityscapes/indoor shots, and specifics like food & medicine. Search what you need.
Super popular collection of high res photos: Unsplash.com
More artsy/abstract sort of photos, all by photographer Ryan McGuire and free to use: Gratisography.com
Also a great selection of generic people, animals, fashion, food, nature and architecture: Freestocks.org
Vintage photos free of any known copyright (useful for those old-time history posts) but be warned, there’s no search feature so you have to wade through lots of photos to find one you want: New Old Stock
This awesome article from Snappa.com was my source for this post, they have a nice list of 21 different places to go for photos. Check it out!
Snappa.com for social media, blog posts, marketing/ads. Use their templates, size and resize for different social media, save, and use. You have to create an account to use it, but you can do most things for free (super fancy stuff is, of course, a paid service.)
Highly recommended by other authors: Canva.com. Also needs you to create a free account so you can create, save, and edit projects.
Ebook/Print Book Cover Designers
Packages starting at 395$, premade covers starting at 195$: Damonza.com
The largest selection of premade covers online, starting at 65$ and going up to 200$ or more. This site focuses exclusively on premade covers, so no cover packages. Gotta be honest, some of the cheaper covers look cheap, but most of them are fantastic: The Book Cover Designer.com
Pre-designed covers by genre. Custom packages start at 350$, premade covers start at 99$ and go all the way up to 195$ premium ones: Covertopia.com
Hopefully this post eases some of the pain of searching for resources. Enjoy!
Beautiful header image via Stocksnap.io and Sergei Soloviev.
*Although Stocksnap.io is one of the freesource websites I listed I always give it credit, plus the photographer who uploaded the picture to Stocksnap, for two reasons.
1) They’re gorgeous photos and the artist deserves a shout out even though they made it free to use, and 2) just in case the rules ever change, to cover my ass. Giving credit to the source when it’s a free-use site is only mandatory when they ask for attribution. I do it to be extra careful, in this sue-happy world.*