Tip Tuesday – Stock Images on Covers

Hi All!

I know it’s Wednesday, but my “new to me” Mac gave me a bit of trouble yesterday. So I decided to combine my usual Wed long form post with the Tip Tuesday this week.

Let’s talk a bit about stock images. I’ve seen a lot of confusion in the groups about this as of late. I spoke a bit about this in my Scams and Scandals post back in early December.

However, what I would specifically like to address is authors reporting other authors on Amazon for copyright infringement simply because the main subject on the cover is the same as theirs, and 2. Authors damaging the reputation of designers who they thought “copied” off of another designer because they’ve used the same stock images. DO NOT DO THIS. Acts like these have damaged Designer’s reputations as well as severely hurt the income of other indie authors.

Many cover designers use stock imagery to create custom and pre-made covers. Experienced designers can alter images to make them look unique, but the fact of the matter is, sometimes there is just so much you can do with a close-up of a bare chested man, or the back of a woman’s head. There are only a handful of reputable stock imagery sites that offer ethically obtained stock WITH model release forms on file. Sometimes overlap will happen, especially when it’s a good photo.

The alternatives are to pay for your own photoshoot, and use those images, or buy images from a photographer with the specification that that image cannot be resold. That is the only way to get a truly unique image for your cover that you own, and that can get very costly.

Another important thing to note is that although you’ve paid for your cover design, you do not own the images (neither does your designer) the images are being licensed. Therefore, (depending on the licensing) you may be able to use the cover images on bookmarks, but will likely need to purchase the extended license to put the images on t-shirts, mugs and totebags. As always, read the terms of your contract, ask your cover designer about the licensing. They should be able to help clear up any questions you have.

Here is a link to another great article that I found on the subject. CLICK HERE

If you want to come to hang out and “talk shop” please join the Struggling Indie Author Facebook Group. It’s small right now, but I’m hoping to build it up over the next few months. Would you guys rather meet up on discord? I have no idea how to use it, but I’ll try to figure it out if there is interest.

Oh! One last thing, I added some free books to the required reading section of my site. You can check it out here.

For more Indie Author News and information subscribe to The Struggling Indie Author Podcast.

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