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Frequently Asked Questions from Artists

Here are the most common questions we get from artists and cover designers. Hopefully your question is answered, but if not, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Creating & Designing Book Covers

What rights/licenses do I need to have for cover design elements?

You need to legally obtain the stock photography, graphics, and illustrations you use in your designs. For most stock photography websites, this means purchasing the standard stock asset license, though in some cases the license limits usage. It is your job as the designer to ensure you are within your legal rights to use the images on your covers.

What is your policy about book cover art created with AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

We don’t want covers 100% created with generative AI tools. However, there is no way to determine which assets making up a design were created using AI tools, therefore we cannot enforce a policy one way or another.

We suggest using stock assets, custom illustrations, and graphics (obtained legally, of course!) to create your covers.

What size should I make my covers?

In short, we recommend using a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, or setting your canvas size to 2700 x 1800 pixels. 

Here’s a longer article from our blog explaining why.

What is your approval process for book covers to be shown on your site?

When you create the cover image, simply upload the high-res .jpg file and mark it as “Pending Review” — our team will check it out and publish it! 

We want to be sure the cover design is not using stock photography that isn’t allowed or too similar to other covers, and that the quality is high enough to stand out in bookstores. 

Modifications & Print Cover Options

What happens when an author wants a full wrap for a cover I've designed?

If an author purchases your cover, they have the option to add a full wrap (back cover + spine) to their order. 

If they do, you’ll get an email about the purchase and a notification that they’re requesting a full wrap. The template for the print wrap should be attached to that email (if not, just let us know!).

If you want to complete the full wrap project and receive the additional payment for the project, we ask that you try to complete it within 24-48 hours. Just complete the project and upload the PDF file to your dashboard!

If you do not want to complete the project, simply respond to the email declining the offer and we’ll send it to our in-house design team. 

Why do the colors on my cover look a bit different when it's printed on a paperback, or bookmarks, compared to on my computer?

It is normal to see a difference because files will look brighter when viewed as a PDF on a computer screen.

The reason for this is that the colors are illuminated from behind, and the colors are often RGB.

When we look at a printed book cover we see it with reflected light and it is printed in CMYK.

This is why we always recommend that our authors get a test book printed.  

Rights, Legal, and Our Process

I found another cover that uses the same image as one that's on the cover that I purchased, why? I thought all of your covers are one-of-a-kind.

All our covers are one-of-a-kind because they were created using multiple images.

Our artists often purchase stock photos to create book covers, and these stock images are available for any artist to buy.

We are able to offer professionally designed book covers at a low price because most of our covers are created with stock photos.

If you are looking to get a book cover that is totally different from any cover ever created, look into our Custom Cover options.

If for some reason I need to prove I have the appropriate rights/licenses/releases to use my cover from SPBC, what evidence can you provide me?

We have a vetting process that all covers go through before we accept it from the designer.

We require artists to acknowledge that the images they used to create a cover were either purchased from a stock photography site, created on their own, or using generative AI (as in Photoshop’s built-in tool).

We will not accept any covers that show people from public domain or covers that do not have proper documentation.

Your receipt from us should suffice as evidence your cover is legally yours to use, but if needed, we can produce a statement explaining where individual images used on our covers came from.

Once I buy my cover, you take it off the site and never resell it, right?

YES! It’s one-of-a-kind, unique, and yours alone.

What is your policy of using stock images?

It is important to always follow stock image licensing agreements. Many of our covers use two or more images, which our cover artists then work with and manipulate to create completely one-of-kind, customized premade covers that are sold once to an author for their book, and never sold again.

We try to ensure that every cover on our site has been created using either legally purchased images or exclusive illustrations, photography, or original art.

Other Questions

How should an author credit the artist in the front pages of the book?

While it’s not required, the best way to credit the artist is to link to that artist’s gallery of other covers.

You can find the artist’s name near your cover while searching and when you purchase the cover.

Click the artist’s name to get their storefront URL.