How to Get a Cheap Cover XVII

We’re still working on the back cover.  so far we have a description, and maybe even an author bio and photo (depending on what you want). But maybe it looks a bit plain? In that case, some artwork, or photography might be the ticket.

If you decide to use this, then there are some tings to keep in mind. First of all, make sure that you have the rights/permissions to use those items. using artwork or photography without permission is stealing and more. If you do have permission, make sure to credit the artist/photographer on your copyright page:

Back cover art/photography by:

Make sure to get their real name, or artist name, and not just their user name. Darkcrystal666 isn’t a very professional sounding.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that you don’t want the images to interfere with the readability of the description, bio, etc. A good way to make sure it doesn’t is to put the images at the top, or bottom of your cover. (like I did with the row of trees) You can also run them up and down on either side of your descriptions (kind of like on the sample back cover my friend made me), or use an image to break up the area between the bio and description. If you’re a little more savvy with the image editing program, you can turn the opacity down or use mask layers, and put it under your words, however, proceed with caution! It’s very rare that words can go on top of an image and still be easy to read!

When using images on the back simple is best. You don’t want to compete with your front cover, but complement it. And, especially if the image is at the top, you don’t want the reader’s eye to stay focused on it too long. You want the image to draw them in and then down to the words below it (or from the words and into it, whatever). An image that is too detailed or chaotic won’t have that effect. It will hold their attention, and will stand out more than the words and, unless you’re selling an art book, you want the words to be the most important thing.

In lieu of an image, you can always put your title at the top in a large fancy font, ala VC Andrews paperbacks. Or even just some little twibbly bit of wingdings arranged nicely. After that, though, you might have some space left on your back cover. Don’t worry, you can fill that in with all kinds of cool stuff, which we’ll cover next time.

Places to look for art & photos
The Creative Commons One Stop Shop:
Deviant Art:
Sci-fi and fantasy art:
Flickr –
Creative common show room:
Stock xchange (stock photos):
Stock image resources (a list of links to stock image places)

4 thoughts on “How to Get a Cheap Cover XVII

  1. Mari Miniatt April 28, 2010 / 9:02 am

    So many people forget about the back cover. With mine, I took a black and white illustration made for the book, toned down the contrast, and placed the information about the book over it. That looked good, but the rest of the back cover was boring.

    It’s a horror story. I found some “free for commercial use” blood textures and worked them into the back cover, and even wrapped a small one around the spine to the front. It works great. When you look at the front cover, the little blood speck catches your eye, you turn the book around and there is the full horror of it. Now I have trapped you, you have to read what the book is about.

    • joleenenaylor May 1, 2010 / 4:42 am

      Oh nice! What a great design idea!

  2. Ruth Ann Nordin May 3, 2010 / 9:41 pm

    Good point about the back cover and not being too distracting with an image but needing one. As always, great post! 😀

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