This post was part of the Author Toolbox Blog hop for March, 2018. (*Reader warning, a couple NSFW words in this post today.*)

The purpose of the hop is to post helpful, encouraging things or practical tips and tricks for other authors. Although it has taken a hiatus, you can view the archives here.

One of the reasons I’m going to try so hard to get traditionally published before considering self-publishing is my lack of confidence in the media area. My go-to tech support method when the computer is being a fiberoptic-fucknut is to turn it off and make it think about what it’s done for a while. When that doesn’t work . . . I am lost at sea. I tell you this to make sure you know that if I can use these websites I’m about to list, you know they are user friendly.

In my wanderings around the webnet I have found resources for images, media/marketing, and Ebook covers that look amazing at a reasonable price. I’d like to share them with you here so that you can get your own book out there covered in chrome plating.

Freesource Stock Photo Websites

An example of what has available

Some of these are free of copyright and/or are creative commons public domain and require nothing but pointing and clicking. Some of them ask that you give the source credit (i.e. attribution.) ALWAYS double check the fine print before you go downloading all willy-nilly.

My go-to site: Landscapes, general cityscapes/indoor shots, and specifics like food & medicine. Search what you need. Their photos look like this:

Kelly Ishmael 5

Super popular collection of high res photos:  Their photo quality is:

unsplash photo

More artsy/abstract sort of photos, all by photographer Ryan McGuire and free to use:

Also a great selection of generic people, animals, fashion, food, nature and architecture:

Vintage photos free of any known copyright (useful for those old-time history posts) but be warned, there’s no search feature so you have to wade through lots of photos to find one you want: New Old Stock

This awesome article from was my source for this post, they have a nice list of 21 different places to go for photos. Check it out!


The cover teaser I made for Instagram on Super easy! for social media, blog posts, marketing/ads. Use their templates, size and resize for different social media, save, and use. You have to create an account to use it, but you can do most things for free (super fancy stuff is, of course, a paid service.)

Highly recommended by other authors: Also needs you to create a free account so you can create, save, and edit projects. If you’ll be using any of your designs for commercial purposes there is a fee, which is all laid out on their website.

Ebook/Print Book Cover Designers

Packages starting at 395$, premade covers starting at 195$:

The largest selection of premade covers online, starting at 65$ and going up to 200$ or more. This site focuses exclusively on premade covers, so no cover packages. Gotta be honest, some of the cheaper covers look cheap, but most of them are fantastic: The Book Cover

Pre-designed covers by genre. Custom packages start at 350$, premade covers start at 99$ and go all the way up to 195$ premium ones:

Directory For Editing/Proofing/Blurb Writing

Ryan Lanz runs a great site called A Writer’s Path where he posts articles by other authors and links to a LOT of helpful things for you. I know a lot of editors and proofers offer their services on Writer’s Digest, but the costs for their classes and services run pretty steep and it seems a bit more commercialized now than Ryan’s site. *Just my personal feeling about this*.

Anyway, find A Writer’s Path directory for book coaching, proofreading, copyediting, manuscript evaluation, and blurb writing here.

Writer’s Digest might be exactly what you’re looking for, since my personal vibe from their site means pretty much nothing. You can find some of their resources here

Hopefully this eases some of the pain of research-searching online for you. If you have any sites you really love for services like this please do list them in the comments!

Beautiful header image via