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Have any authors used any of those online buy clip art places for their covers?

I'm searching for an image for my next novel, Wrong Number, that's going to go live in a couple weeks. I've found a few images that seem pretty good that I can buy for around $5.00. Has anybody done this? Or is there some unknown hassle that I don't know about waiting to pounce?
 

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I do cover design work for others, and that's exactly where I get images when I need them. Of course some sites have better images than others. The important thing is to make sure you know the usage rights being granted to you before purchasing. As for "unknown hassle," I really can't think of any.
 

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Greg Banks said:
As for "unknown hassle," I really can't think of any.
Because if you COULD think of something. . . it would be a "known hassle". :D
 

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Don't blame Greg. I guess I put that "unknown" in there first.  ::)

But Ann posits it quite well: are there any "known" hassles to deal with?
 

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I'm hesitant to say there are no hassles only because you didn't mention which site you were looking at. There shouldn't be, but I have no idea whether the site you've chosen may have some hassle (known or unknown) that I've never encountered elsewhere. Of course if you come across a passage mentioning claiming your first born child or your soul, you might want to go elsewhere.  :) Otherwise, the process should be quite straightforward.
 

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Did you rely on clip art for the cover of Stalker?

If not, why waste your money now. Stalker has one of the best covers I've seen in a while. You clearly know what you're doing.
 

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I have used my own cover art - photos  here on my computer that we have taken.  It's not too sophisticated, but I've been told they're nice.  And the price was unbeatable! :D
I put the text on them using GIMP.  It's free.  My son told me about that.
 

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CS said:
Did you rely on clip art for the cover of Stalker?

If not, why waste your money now. Stalker has one of the best covers I've seen in a while. You clearly know what you're doing.
I don't generally take images and slap them on covers, I use images in creating the designs I come up with. Perhaps Dave wishes to do the same, which means he wouldn't be wasting his money. Besides, sometimes you do find that the perfect image has already been created by someone else.
 

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Whichever way, a good cover sells books, that's for sure.  So it's a good investment to come up with a compelling one. 
Sounds like Greg already knows that! :)
 

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For what its worth, I used http://www.fotolia.com/ to buy the picture of the puzzleface woman on my cover. It cost me $10 which was the most I could pay for a single image. I could have probably paid $5 but I wanted the best possible terms of use and I didn't want to mess around with second guessing the legality of using the image on my cover.

Keep in mind that I did not read the terms of use in detail. I'd sooner have my hand run over by my daughter's bike than drag myself through that. Nevertheless, maybe you should read it if you can bear it.

I then went to Google Images and found a background I liked (the red swirly one). At that point I just used an opacity mask to kind of blend the two images together.

Note that I literally spent hours trolling through pics on the web. I had to do this because I have no visual artist skills and could not create my own material. As I found picsI liked, I bookmarked them, added them to the basket, whatever. As already stated, it's worth the time.
 

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reemixx said:
There's plenty of stock photo sites on the web for exactly these purposes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_photography

Sam Landstrom mentioned Fotolia. There's also iStockPhoto which is a big one, and heeeeaaaps more. Just search "stock photography" in Google.
Ok, help me out here I am a little technologically-challenged, what size do you purchase, how does it work? If you purchase something for like $2 then you can use it for the cover? What about this license agreement thing? I noticed that Mr. Banks says he uses them... So seriously, you spend like a couple of bucks and then you have the right to use it for anything? My nine-year-old is trying to write a book right now, and she wants to have a cool cover, it of course is along the lines of, like "Magic Treehouse" type stuff, she also of course, knows what all of her girlie friends like in books (they even have their own book club) I am encouraging her to finish the book to get it finished during the summer. Any help will be awesome. Thanks.
 

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Meredith Sinclair said:
Ok, help me out here I am a little technologically-challenged, what size do you purchase, how does it work? If you purchase something for like $2 then you can use it for the cover? What about this license agreement thing? I noticed that Mr. Banks says he uses them... So seriously, you spend like a couple of bucks and then you have the right to use it for anything? My nine-year-old is trying to write a book right now, and she wants to have a cool cover, it of course is along the lines of, like "Magic Treehouse" type stuff, she also of course, knows what all of her girlie friends like in books (they even have their own book club) I am encouraging her to finish the book to get it finished during the summer. Any help will be awesome. Thanks.
When it comes to photos and images, bigger is always better. It's a good idea to do all your design work at a high resolution which can then be resized according to your requirements. Higher res images are often more expensive though, so it also depends on how much you want to spend on the images.

Different stock photography websites offer different licenses for different uses (and there's often different licences for images within a single website as well). You need to find out whether the images you want to use are royalty-free or rights-managed. Check out the wikipedia link I posted to find out the differences between the two. Your best bet is to find some royalty-free images which generally let you use the image multiple times for a fixed fee. But some also have limits, so you might want to find that out first from whatever stock photo website you choose.
 

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With iStockPhoto, the standard license is fine (since most authors who I work with won't likely sell 10s or 100s of thousands of copies). As for image quality, it depends on what the image will be used for. I generally don't have to spend more than $3 to get an image that I can use to create a high quality cover (as long as you know how to manipulate the images). Of course quality becomes more of an issue if you need an image to be the focal point of the cover, as opposed to a complementary or even a background image.
 

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Greg Banks said:
With iStockPhoto, the standard license is fine (since most authors who I work with won't likely sell 10s or 100s of thousands of copies). As for image quality, it depends on what the image will be used for. I generally don't have to spend more than $3 to get an image that I can use to create a high quality cover (as long as you know how to manipulate the images). Of course quality becomes more of an issue if you need an image to be the focal point of the cover, as opposed to a complementary or even a background image.
Thanks, soooo, if I sell like 300 paperbacks I am good buying one of the $5 pics? When does the price go up? I mean as far as sales go... if I sold more, I would just go back and pay more. ??? Sorry, I just want to make sure not to mess up.
 

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Greg Banks said:
I don't generally take images and slap them on covers, I use images in creating the designs I come up with. Perhaps Dave wishes to do the same.
I found a piece I quite like, and will be adding some homemade textures to it. I'm eager to see how it comes out.
 

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Meredith Sinclair said:
Thanks, soooo, if I sell like 300 paperbacks I am good buying one of the $5 pics? When does the price go up? I mean as far as sales go... if I sold more, I would just go back and pay more. ??? Sorry, I just want to make sure not to mess up.
The actual terms are below, but I believe the applicable part here is that you have to pay an extended license fee (which I think is over $100), if the image is reproduced 500,000 times or more. But it is part of the guidelines that you can notify them of this after the fact, and I'm sure, pay the necessary fees then.

http://www.istockphoto.com/license.php
 

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Greg Banks said:
The actual terms are below, but I believe the applicable part here is that you have to pay an extended license fee (which I think is over $100), if the image is reproduced 500,000 times or more. But it is part of the guidelines that you can notify them of this after the fact, and I'm sure, pay the necessary fees then.

http://www.istockphoto.com/license.php
thanks Greg,

I have a ton of pics in my cart now for her to look at. You have been most helpful as are most of you guys/gals, I just learn so much from you all on here. I did realize that there is a licensing agreement terms right beside the sizing, so I think I will be good.

Today is her last day of school, but she only has half a day, she says she will get crackin' once school is out! At 11:30 I will tell her it's time ;D ... gotta keep her on task..... ;D We are using LuLu (she looked it up and liked the name :D) so, I think we will just print a couple hundred to sell at the local book store when she does her little "book signing" Soooo I don't think we will have to worry about any extra charges. ;)
 

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Greg Banks said:
I do cover design work for others, and that's exactly where I get images when I need them. Of course some sites have better images than others. The important thing is to make sure you know the usage rights being granted to you before purchasing. As for "unknown hassle," I really can't think of any.
There all types of members on KB that do all types of things, another example
 

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I should have mention that Stock.Xchng is another site that has a large library of both paid and free imagery. I've used some free images from them before, but I've never bought any from them. iStockPhoto just seems to have either better looking images, or a better selection of images, overall.
 
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