As an author, designing a book cover is just as important as writing the story itself because it’s what introduces people to your work first. If you’ve seen all those amazing pictures on Pinterest, you may be curious to know if you can use those for your own cover.
It is generally not possible to design a book cover on Pinterest. In order to commercially use a photo, you need to have permission from the copyright holder or have the right to use it by purchasing a license.
Now, there is a lot of information when it comes to book covers, images, and copyrights. I’m going to help you understand how to use those inspirational Pinterest boards to your advantage so you can create the book cover of your dreams.
Pinterest doesn’t have any software to make the book cover itself. Paint, Photoshop, and Gimp are your best bets. However, Pinterest can help you find your inspiration and maybe even some images that you can track down the commercial use rights for.
Remember, it is very important you don’t use an image without the rights or written permission because this can end up in your book being pulled from websites and you can end up being sued for using the photos and profiting off of them.
Pinterest is amazing for finding things that inspire you so you can visualize your cover, or just putting together images that really hit on the aesthetic of the story you want to tell. Once you have the images you really like, you can find similar ones on stock photo websites.
These will require you to pay for rights to use the image, which is normal for this industry. There are tons of websites that sell images and if you don’t like basic stock sites, you can also find specialized websites that will sell commercial use licenses for custom photos they have taken.
There are incredible photographers that can make some really beautiful images for you to put on your cover and a lot of them don’t charge nearly as much as big stock photo websites. A lot of these photos can be found on Pinterest, just make sure you go to their website or social media.
Pinterest can be used in numerous ways that don’t revolve around actually using the photos you find but can be used to look at other covers people have made and get an idea of what you would like and what sells in the market you are trying to hit.
While you can’t just take images off of Pinterest to use for commercial purposes, many of these photos link back to the creator of them and a lot of them do have the option to purchase rights or maybe even lead you to more of the works you love.
Now, if you happen to reach out and they are not wanting their work to be used for a book, take the inspiration and make an aesthetic board on Pinterest and find similar works that you actually can use.
While searching on Pinterest, you can also look up free use and find photos that photographers/artists have put up on the internet for people to use and edit without having to pay for rights or ask permission.
However, make sure you double check it is free to use. If it is, then you are in the clear to put it on the cover of your book and use it. These free-use images are honestly used a lot on covers but they can be incredible with some tweaking. It’s fairly simple to turn a regular image into a fantastic book cover.
Pinterest has a plethora of images and inspiration for you to pull from and it is honestly such an invaluable resource for authors and book designers. There is so much creativity on there that you should absolutely take full advantage of it, even if you don’t end up using images from it.
Legalities of Using Pinterest
So, as we’ve covered before, using images commercially requires permission or purchasing the rights. A lot of new authors may not be aware that using these photos without permission can result in huge legal issues.
You should know that if you are caught using them without permission the owner can file a copyright claim and Amazon or any other publisher will pull your book down and potentially ban you from publishing with them again.
You also have to worry about the monetary consequences of it. You can be sued for everything you’ve made on the book and then some. If it’s an honest mistake, some may be willing to let it go as long as you pay for the rights or find a new cover. But the risk of being sued is still very real.
These are the two big ones but you may also have to worry about damaging your own reputation because of it. If you aren’t sure if something is free-use then the best idea is to seek out the creator of the image or simply move on to something else that has less risk carried with it.
A better option is to hire someone to make the cover for you and send them your Pinterest board for elements that you would like to see. Professional cover designers are very aware of the copyright risks that are present.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into using images for book covers and a lot of legal lines you need to watch out for. Pinterest is used best for inspiration or even finding photographers whose work you really enjoy.
And the big takeaway is to be aware of what you are using and make sure you have explicit consent to use it commercially because if not you can damage your wallet and your reputation, which is something that can be very hard to bounce back from.