Friday, November 1, 2013

Stock Versus Professional Photo Shoot.

What every other debates is what they want on their cover. Every time a new book comes out we either fall in love with the cover photo or we despise it. We complain that it's a work of art or a cheap ploy that the author or publisher is using the get readers to buy their book when it's actually horrible.

Some readers wonder why Daemon (aka Pepe Toth) is on so many covers (Indie and traditional) and authors get mad when they see the same thing.

Here's why...

It's called Stock photos.

You can go to sites like


and search for whatever type of images you want. Put them in photoshop and BAM book cover.

These work for a lot of awesome covers. Cover designers do great with these. I have these on 98% of my covers.


But after The Only One was released I realized something that upset me. Look at that cover. It's beautiful. I love that image. I love how it related to a certain scene in the book and conveys the passion of the two characters. But you know what I hate? I hate that I've also found it on ten other covers since it was revealed three months ago.

For my next serial (Forever Wild, a serialized novel) I wanted to have seven covers, so I decided to do a custom photo shoot with K Keeton Designs. I picked out my own models and drove down to Springfield, MO to watch my custom shoot unfold.

I was able to figure out the exact shots I wanted. Pic out the exact models. Set the mood and get everything cohesive for seven

The problem?

It's a lot more expensive.

You can get stock art for about $10 each photo. A custom shoot is anywhere from $200 (if you have maybe a good friend with some photography skills) and upwards in the thousands. That still doesn't include your cover designer fees. So with stock photography you can get a beautiful cover for under $100 and with a custom shoot it can be around $1000. Is it worth the difference? I guess we'll find out when my cover is revealed on November 13th :)

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. When not writing she spends her time fighting over fake boyfriends via social media. You can find her online on




  1. It is expensive especially if your book sits in the sea of books.