Writers write. What have they got to do with images? Well, that’s a valid thought. But the truth is that we need images all the time. If we blog, we need images for our blog posts. If we are authors of books, we need images for promoting our books on social media. Novelists also use images to get inspiration for the characters, dresses, places, homes, etc. in their novels. And many self-published writers seek good quality free images to be used in their book covers.
So, you see, we need images a lot. Now, finding images on the net is child’s play. But finding good free copyright-free images is not that easy. Here are some sites that might help.
Free Copyright Free Images
Google / Creative Commons:
Of course, Google can find you anything. And it has a very nifty tool that can help you find copyright-free images. While you are searching for images, click on Tools. Tools button is present under the search bar towards the right side. When the tools menu shows, click on Usage Rights. Now, pick the usage right option preferable to you.
Google makes it easy to find copyright-free images. But the search result does not say which image is free and which is paid. So, if you are only looking for free copyright-free images, Google is not of much help.
Creative Commons is also one of the most popular sources for finding free, copyright-free images. But while there’s a wide variety of images and other content on CC, I still find it lacking for my purpose. The images here are more suitable for non-fiction pieces than for say a book cover or for a romantic story. I’ve tried even their latest tool at https://search.creativecommons.org/, but I did not feel satisfied. Also, some of the CC content does require credit attribution.
That is why I prefer the websites mentioned below over a Google search or browsing through the Creative Commons.
Pixabay is perhaps the best site at the moment to get free copyright-free images. It has a massive database of free high-quality images. You can browse for the images using listings like Latest, Popular, Editor’s choice, and categories like Animals, Architecture, etc. Also, you can search for images using Type (vector graphic, photo, illustration, etc.) and orientation, size, colour. It is an excellent source for free copyright-free images.
As the name suggests, FreeImages is a site that provides free images. There’s a vast variety of images too, but the images are not as good as Pixabay. However, it is worth looking at too. You can browse by collections like Architecture, Movies, and Music. Or you can browse for New Images, Popular Images, Editor’s Choice, etc.
Images from these free sources are good enough for your blogs, social media posts, etc. You might even find a good picture for your book cover. However, if you are not satisfied or need even better quality images, then here are some excellent paid websites for that. Here are two:
Among all the image websites I checked, I found Adobe’s stock images best of all. Excellent, professional-quality images here. You need a paid subscription to download Adobe Stock images. If you have an account on Pixabay, you can get 30 days of free access to professional images at stock.adobe.com. (The offer is running now, might change later.) The pricing is reasonable, and the first month of subscription is free. You can cancel the subscription within the first month. When you purchase an image here, you can save it in the Libraries. You can directly access your library by using the Adobe account details. There are Standard images that can be bought using a subscription plan. There are also Premium Images which cost extra and are quite expensive.
istockphoto by Getty Images houses numerous excellent images. But it is not free. The good thing is that if you want only one photo, you can pay only for it. So, you don’t need to buy a monthly or annual subscription. Also has HD videos and Illustrations that include clip art and vector graphics. You can save your purchased images on the Boards at the site.
UPDATE: Recently discovered https://www.pexels.com/. It looks quite promising too with many high-quality images.
At all these sites, be sure to check the license you have been granted for the image use. Don’t use the images for any purpose that the license prohibits.
Online Image Editors
Just as writers need images, we also need image editing. We need to put our words on images, or alter images to match our writing better. Numerous photo editing websites and apps are available now. But for professional needs, good quality websites work better for image editing. Here are some that work very well:
Fotor is an online photo editor that offers many features to the user. You can use it to create collages and to edit or design an image. The collage-making is usual. The editing feature has numerous beauty effects, including wrinkle removal, weight loss, and facial reshaping.
However, it is Fotor’s Design feature that is most special. It offers design templates suiting various needs like book covers, pamphlets, blog covers, social media covers, cards, etc. The wonderful thing is that all these templates are highly customizable. You can change their backgrounds, fonts, move the design elements around, and totally alter the look of the template. (I have reviewed Fotor on my technology blog. Check out my review HERE.)
Fotor has free and paid membership plans.
Canva is a graphic design tool website. Like Fotor, it uses customizable templates to help users design images like Book Covers, posters, pamphlets, social media posts, etc. Like Fotor, it too uses simple drag and drop interface for designing images.
Unlike Fotor, its photo editing feature is very limited. I could not find the button for an editor on Canva’s website. But when I googled, I found that editor is available at https://www.canva.com/photo-editor/. But it does nothing more than basic photo adjustments like adding colour filters, adjusting brightness, contrast, etc..
Canva too has free and paid memberships.
PiZap does not have any design templates. But one can use it for quickly editing, designing, touching up an image or to create collages. It also has tools to design social media covers or to design Emojis. But you need to keep Flash enabled on your browser to use some features. Also, there are advertisements on the website. PiZap too has free and paid subscription plans. PiZap has a Chrome app so you can also install it on Chrome browser for quick access from the Chrome App Launcher.
Also worth checking out are https://boxshot.com/3d-pack/3d-book/ which has a simple tool to create a 3D book cover design for ebooks. There are several free designing tools for writers at https://www.adazing.com/free-tools-templates-graphics/ as well. The tools here include book trailer creator, book mock-up creator etc. But you need to subscribe to their newsletter to receive these tools as gifts. I haven’t tried any of them so I can’t say anything about them.
So, these are the free stock images and online image editors that I’m aware of. If you know of something better, let me know!
Check out Jyoti Arora’s Books
(Click on the picture given below)
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