Amazing Free Commercial Use Stock Image Websites For Book Cover Designs | Breakdown

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 Amazing Free Commercial Use Stock Image Websites For Book Cover Designs | Breakdown

Whether you're an author designing your own DIY book cover or a graphic designer on a tight budget designing an ebook cover for someone else it is always best to make sure that any image, vector, or illustration you get online is commercial free, and won't violate any copyrights or else you might get you sued for thousands of dollars.

If you are looking for the best websites to use commercial use stock images, vectors, or illustrations on your book cover designs for free then keep on reading. I'll also show you examples of book covers created with images from each specific site. 

What is a commercial use stock image?

A stock image labeled for commercial use is basically an image you can use on products or content that you will be earning a profit or making money from. For example, when you write a book, share it, and sell it on amazon you are making a profit so therefore any image or illustration you use as your book cover has to either:
  1. Be created/photographed by you or 
  2. Be a stock image licensed or freely available to you
Using royalty free commercial use stock images on a book cover allows you to use it on your book freely without being charged royalties (no percentage is taken from each, and every single book sale you make). 

Some royalty free stock images have a limit to how many times they can be sold (most have a max of 500,000 print sales or else you must purchase an extended license). In this post most of the sites that I'll be talking about are creative commons no attribution required free stock images (so you're not limited to the 500,000 sales cap that a traditional website like Shutterstock or istockphoto would have). 


All the images on Unsplash are 100% free to use on your book covers both commercially, and non-commercially for print as well as digital. Attribution is not at all required, but if you do give attribution, the photographers at Unsplash would kindly appreciate it as it helps bring exposure to their wonderful works.

The great thing about Unsplash is that you can browse images by collections, and create your own as well. 

Here are two book cover designs I quickly created using commercial free stock images I found on Unsplash: allows you to use images for your book cover design with no restrictions.  Stocksnap uses Creative Commons CC0 license so that you can distribute, modify, edit, and copy the images on the website for commercial use without limits. Stocksnap allows you to sort images by date, views, favorites, downloads, and trending.

You also have the option of letting them send you their most popular free stock images straight to your inbox each week. 

Example of an book cover designed with Stocksnap free stock image: 

If you like designing non-fiction feminine book covers that are simple, and minimalistic for that clear cut business professional look then I truly recommend StyleStock. At StyledStock you can sort their free stock image library by color or type (beauty, fashion, floral, etc). All the images listed are free to use both commercially, and non-commercially without attribution. 

Below is an example book cover I designed using two images from Stylestock. How creative you want to get with free stock images is completely up to you. You are not limited to just grabbing a photo, and using it as it is. You can modify/edit to your heart's content to make it more unique, and fit your style.

Magdeleine features stunning high resolution free stock images with two types of licensing: CC0 - Public Domain as well as attribution required images. There are currently eight categories to choose from such as people, city, food, animals, abstract, and more. 

CC0 Public Domain free stock images allows you to use those certain images (clearly labeled CC0) for both personal, and commercial use. All the images are generally free to use though some may require attribution (those images will state so).


Pixabay has over 1,000,000 free stock images that can be used commercially on book cover designs as they contain no attribution Creative Commons licenses. You can search your images by type such as photos, illustrations, and videos.

Below is a book cover I created with stock free images I found on pixabay:


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