Wonderful Option for Book Covers

Now, I don’t know if I’m the only one who struggles when someone asks for cover art for a book but I’m sure there must be others out there.  Stock photographs are often not my thing and art can be expensive (though I note, worth it).

A museum colleague pointed out to me the other day the Washington State Historical Society’s pricing for licensing e-book covers.  When he told me how much it was, I said “Excuse me?  That’s IT?”  And so  I thought that I’d mention this.  Presently (though this may change), it’s around $50 per image for e-book covers (print licensing costs more but is still really reasonable).

Now, you might be thinking “why would I want to use a historic image?”  Well, the Society’s collections currently number over half a million images.  That’s a lot to choose from and while I’m sure not all are available, there is art, photographs, ephemera…  (Plus it helps support history education.  Yep, I’m biased here.)  You can view many, many items at their online collections website.  Ordering can even be done online here.

As a disclaimer: do remember to check with the Society for current pricing.  You may also be able to find great historic images through your local historical societies or museums.

Also, if you search the collections, make sure to click the little box under the search bar that says “display only items with multimedia records” so that you can see thumbnail pictures.

Below are a couple of images that I like (your mileage may vary).  If you find something good, let us know!

Hodet by Virna Haffer. Washington State Historical Society Collections, ID# 1974.35.52.4.

1943 Army Recruiting Poster. Washington State Historical Society Collections, ID# 2005.0.390.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 as depicted by artist Ronald Debs Ginther. Washington State Historical Society Collections, ID# 1969.31.13.

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12 thoughts on “Wonderful Option for Book Covers

  1. That is rather cool of them to do that – and it’s for a good cause.
    I made all of my books covers using unrestricted stock resources from Deviantart.com They were my first choice for covers, but they were free…aside from the time I put into making them, but I find photo-manipulation rather fun. :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for sharing the post–as with all of my posts on resources for authors, I think the more people who are able to hear about it, the better. :)

    • You’re very welcome! I hope that it helps. Though I know the range of images can be overwhelming, there are definitely a lot of original things there to look at. :)

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