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!