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eBook Cover Creation - Part 2 - Selecting a Cover Image


For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to re-create my cover for 'Prospero'.

There is an old adage - “you can't judge a book by its cover”. Sadly this is no longer true.  In the world of independent ebooks, if a cover looks amateurish, then it will be assumed that the book is amateurish too.

You may want to use that photo you took for your cover, but if it looks like it was taken with a cellphone then chances are everyone else will think so too. Be a fair but firm judge of your own material.

(My first self-published book, Fall From Grace, has a cover I created which I thought was simple yet striking. Twelve years later I facepalm every time I look at it.)

When in doubt, I suggest falling back on stock photography.


My favourite site for stock photography is CanStockPhoto;


I recommend CanStockPhoto because their prices are very reasonable. I found the perfect image on another side for my ebook 'Crevice', however it would have cost me nearly $75. I found an image on CanStockPhoto that only cost me $5.00 USD, and in retrospect I think it was a much better fit. 


One thing to be cautious of when using a stock photography service is their licensing. MOST stock photography site prices include a 'standard' license, which has limits. Additional licenses may be required (at a higher cost) depending on how your book will be distributed. This can affect the pricing for print books, depending on how many are pressed and/or sold.

At the time of writing, the standard license included in the base price of all photos on CanStockPhoto include the distribution of ebooks with no limitations. Always verify to be sure - you don't want to find yourself in legal trouble, nor do you want to cheat another independent artist out of a few dollars worth of commission!

Use some keywords from your plot as search criteria and review the search results. It can be tedious, but hopefully something will eventually jump out at you. For Prospero, I searched under terms such as 'reincarnation', 'rebirth', and 'infinity'. It wasn't until the last criteria that I found the following;


It was perfect! It looked intriguing and, without giving away the plot, I felt it fit the theme of the book precisely.

I went with the 'Large JPG' for $5.00 USD. True, the 'Medium JPG' for $3.50 would have been sufficient, but like I said - start big and work your way down. Besides, it was only an additional $1.50.

In the following sections we'll look at what we can do to make this stock photo 'ours' and have it identify with our own written work!  Next we'll start with the cover font.

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