Advice for sourcing stock images

Both here and on Author Buzz, one topic I have kept clear of is stock images. Largely because I know next to nothing about stock images other than to check for public domain or creative commons licensing.

That lack of knowledge is why I have not addressed cover art for self-publishing. Even though I am to write about everything you need to know about self-publishing. I simply don’t know enough to even attempt to tackle that area.


Featured to the right there, that’s me trying to understand stock images, copyright law and IP (intellectual property). Not to mention trying to actually apply that to design – something I find harder than highly compressed carbon.

Fortunately, there is a Thanet based creative who knows exactly what they are talking about. An artist named Dean Samed who runs a stock photography business. He has published some solid advice for indie authors on selecting stock images. If anyone should know the business, I would imagine it would be someone who works in that sector.

The first thing I learned today while reading Dean’s excellent write up was that I there was a lot more to consider. For example, some of the sites I trust to serve up public domain and correctly licensed images (for blog posts) might not have an especially rigorous editorial process. That gave me pause. If a provider says “this is good, you can use it”, I need to be able to trust that this is always the case.

I’ve been quite strict about respecting IP and licensing terms for blogs and even throwaway memes for Facebook. Have I been strict enough at sourcing stock images? Maybe or maybe not. Perhaps the images I use really were as public domain as suggested but I might have just been lucky.

I don’t have anything particularly useful to add to the subject of curating or selecting stock images for blogs, book covers, or other art. Which is why I think it merits a big vote of thanks to Dean and Neostock for filling a gap in my knowledge. His post has given me a lot to think about.

If you are thinking about book cover design, I highly suggest you start by reading Dean’s blog post and then stick around to check out what else his site can offer you.

The Indie Author’s Guide to Stock Photography

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