Author, Cover Design, Editing, Indie Author, Self Publishing

123rf – Economic Stock Photography

ShortChange Cover 1.5Following a post by Joanna Penn, I came across some economical stock photography sites and the one for which this post is dedicated is 123rf123rf is a collection of royalty free stock photos, most of which can be used in most forms of media, not just editorial work.

The site boasts over 40,000,000 photos and videos, which is excellent by my standards and the price point is superb for eBooks as well.  $40 roughly equals 40 credits.  The average number one might spend on a given piece of art on the site is 3 to 4 for eBook cover materials.

I was surprised to find that the site had above average stock photography that suited my purposes quite well.  For the art-savvy author on a budget, please consider gathering some materials from a paid site like 123rf or some of the other less expensive stock photography sites out there.

In most cases, you will spend less than purchasing a premade cover.  Two caveats however…

  1. If you choose very popular photos, then chances are another cover will be using the same image.  Choose overlooked images, rather than the really popular ones.
  2. Your cover quality still depends on your artistic skills.  Stock photos significantly increase the potential quality, but for $50 or so, it may be a better idea to purchase a premade cover.  Most sites claim they don’t sell duplicates of premades, so you won’t be in the same boat as #1 either.

With millions of photos to sift through, I take my time searching for just the right photo for my book cover.  Some of them are excellent.  Others, a little rough around the edges.  Take a look and see if a site like 123rf is right for your project.

My advice: Use stock photo sites for images you cannot get on free channels, such as wikimedia commons or flickr’s creative commons outlet, like a supplement channel.

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