Zenfolio | Valentino Sani photography | WHAT IS STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY?


June 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment


Crime and thriller book cover image by Valentino Sani photography


This is the definition from Wikipedia:

Stock photography is the supply of photographs (but also illustrations and video), which are often licensed for specific uses.

You can read on about it at the original webpage

I decided to write this blog post because many self published writers (but even some publishers I must add) haven't clear in mind all the pro and cons of where to source images for their book covers.

The obvious simpler and cheaper solution is a stock photo. The question is from which library/agency you license the image (be it a photo or an illustration). Because if you want/need an exclusive image, as often publishers do, then is absolutely mandatory to research the service of an agency that license images with exclusive rights. Example of these are Trevillion, Arcangel, Plainpicture. For obvious reasons this is the most expensive choice, since you must pay a premium fee for the exclusivity.

If you do not require/want exclusivity you can visit agencies such as Shutterstock, Alamy and iStock, where you can license images with so called Royalty free terms of usage. The downside being that the same image may be appearing on another publication thus not guaranteeing to your book cover any exclusivity/uniqueness. This is the cheaper solution because of the lack of control over exclusivity for your book cover image.

I have some friends writers that were self publishing and always told them that to have the better professional look for their covers they should firstly hire a good graphic designer, then choose to license the perfect image (for low print run even those premium agencies I mentioned above maybe will surprise you) instead of choosing something “free” from the internet. First of all your cover will look professional and second you will not risk to appear “cheap”.

There are also special services provided by graphic designers that offers to make your cover “key in hand” with a set price for a cover jacket, back front and spine, plus two or three revisions (in case you need some changes) and often also the e-book version.

My images are only licensed exclusively on Arcangel and Trevillion.

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