Why is it important to have a professional (legal) cover design?
It's super important to have a professional cover design. Your cover is generally the first thing that readers will judge your book on. Having a professional cover image goes a long way towards getting your book noticed, not just on Tablo, but also once it's published on online bookstores.
This means it's also super important to be aware of copyright laws surrounding the use of images online. These laws apply to any cover image you design for your book and any pictures you may use in your book or across social media.
This brief book will cover where you can find free images (with no copyright implications) online, and also provide a couple of free and paid places you can go to get a great-looking and professional cover designed.
The basics of copyright on the internet
Under copyright law in most countries, any original material produced and posted online is automatically covered – including music, video, images and writing. This means the work belongs to the author and you’re not allowed to reproduce it or distribute it without the owner's permission.
You may be thinking: but people share images and videos via social media all the time; surely all these people aren’t breaking the law? Unfortunately, most of them are.
So, if you’ve got a really great idea for a novel and you tweet it online, your idea isn’t covered. Until you actually create the work, anyone can come along and use your idea.
If you need to use images for your website, blogs or social media posts, make sure you’re using images that fall under a Creative Commons (CC) licence.
These are easy enough to find, I’ll talk about a few options in the next few chapters.
Google Images as a free resource for images
Google has a simple option for images licenced under CC. As you can see below, it’s pretty easy to find.
Head to Google Image Search > Search tools > Not filtered by license > Labelled for reuse.
(Screenshot taken by me from images.google.com. Note: I haven’t included Google’s logo in the screenshot and all the images on this page are licensed under CC to prevent copyright issues.)
If you’re using the images for personal use, or would like to modify them, select the corresponding options.
Don’t forget to correctly attribute the source of these images – include the author’s name and a link to their original work.