Creating A Free Book Cover For Commercial Use

A list of websites that can help to create a free book cover for commercial use.


So I just got done putting together my first book cover for a competition, it may or may not get chosen. Either way creating it was definitely a learning experience. Most of my art up and to this point has been my own work created for individual sales, prints, or more often as gifts. So walking into a design competition for something that was going to be used commercially put me out of my element. After a LOT of research/pulling out my hair/yelling at websites for not having the info I needed, I think I’ve got a pretty comprehensive list of sites that can help keep people away from copyright issues while still creating a book cover for free.

1. Either create your own font or find a font that is free for commercial use. These websites can help:

The risk of using a free font seems to be that it may not always be the best quality and there is a chance that the person who uploaded it onto the site stole it from somewhere else so it is actually copyrighted. If you find a font you like you just have to research that font to ensure it is actually good for commercial use.

This step is absolutely the biggest pain of them all.

2. Either create your own unique images or manipulate stock photos for the cover image, stock photos free for commercial use can be found here:  

3. Find a free layout to put all this stuff on. I used:

4. There are a lot of programs you can use to put all of these elements together in the final layout, a free option is GIMP which can be downloaded here:

I am use to Photoshop but have switched to GIMP because, I think I mentioned this, FREE. As far as how to use this program, if you are new to it, you will need google-fu. I wish I could tell you everything you need to know right here, but that would be an exhaustive instruction manual.

Hope this helps.

The Tins

I’m not really sure how this came about. I’ve been doing a lot of acrylic pours lately and I had this tin. I had some paints left over from one piece I was doing and didn’t have another canvas to pour it on so in the tin it went. After is surprisingly dried successfully, I added resin on top and called it a day.

But Then I got another tin…

Then my friend wanted me to make him a tin…

And now I’m working on a galaxy tin for another friend, and then I’m done.

No really, I’ll be out of tins at that point.

Making Art from the Ashes

There are those who make art and they know there’s no future in it, so eventually they stop. Life gets too busy and they just don’t see the point anymore. They let it go, they move on to working and raising children and in general just experiencing life. Occasionally they’ll make some doodles that look particularly impressive and some co worker will say over their shoulder ‘that’s really good.’

Then there are the artists who can’t stop. Even if it’s not any good, even if no one ever sees it or hears it, they can’t stop creating. They’re lives get chaotic and they’re documenting the traumas with paint. Their hearts get broken and they sing about the betrayal. Their house burns to the ground and they make art from the ashes.  If they get an interview or get into a gallery they ask ‘why do you make art?’, and the artist makes something up that sounds really good. But in truth, they’re thinking ‘how could I not make art?’. Their wrists give out and their voices crack, even their fans are saying ‘maybe it’s time to quit.’ But somewhere along the way they saw their muse, and they keep seeing her in their dreams, in the way people act, in the direction the wind is blowing and if they don’t create, then they don’t fucking exist.

Grade School Art Revival

My friend Mari and I came up with these in grade school. We called them MJ Goop, I think we even managed to sell a couple to other students. It’s just glue and ink left to dry in a Pringles lid, but I thought it would be fun to make some more. I added string this time so I could hang them over the window and let the light shine through them.