Selfpub 6th year

FAQ- Authors


We stand behind every cover on
 One of the best things about our site is you know exactly what you're getting before you buy,
and you can make as many changes to the text and text style as you'd like,
even after purchase.

Because you are seeing exactly what your cover looks like before you buy it,
there are no refunds on covers.

But if you want to replace your cover with another one,
you can choose another cover by the same artist at no additional charge
WITHIN 48 HOURS, if it is the same price. 

If the cover costs more, you will be responsible for the added fee; if it costs less, we will refund the difference.

If you cannot find a cover by the same artist that did your original cover,
we will give you a 30% credit off your next cover by any artist on our site.

Our mission is to provide indie authors and publishers with the largest selection
in the world of one-of-a-kind, professionally designed, premade book covers
that can be customized on our site, downloaded instantly... and the cover is never sold again.

 We promise to provide our Authors with the finest customer service and support.

Please contact us at if you have any questions about our guarantee.

Q. Once I buy my cover, you take it off the site and never resell it, right?
Your cover is yours alone, and since the covers aren't just a simple stock image with text, you won't find the same cover anywhere else. It's one of a kind.

Q. I know I can use my cover for my eBook but can I use my book cover for print?
A. YES! But you will need to get a back cover and spine created. You will be getting two files from us. A low res book cover for ALL ebook platforms and a high res file of your cover for print on demand. For print on demand you would use the 300 dpi file and you have two option on how to get a back cover spine:
1- Create a GENERIC back cover/spine yourself for FREE with KDP using your 300 dpi file. When you go to KDP choose the option "Create Your Cover Online." That walks you through making your own GENERIC, free, back cover/spine using the front cover JPEG you got from us.
2- Custom: If you want us to create a custom back cover/spine for you, just go back to your dashboard on our site and under your cover is a link to get a back cover/spine. The artist will create a custom back cover/spine that extends the book cover through the spine onto the back cover for a truly professional design. For more information, please check out the link on our site: Back Cover/Spine

Q. What do I need to do to get a book cover, back cover/spine for print?
A. First format your book so you know the size and how many pages. Click on the link under your Cover on your Dashboard to get a back cover and spine for your book. Fill out the form with the text you want on your back cover, send us the template that gives us the size of your book, attach your cover and we will take it from there.


Q. I'm trying to make my own generic back cover and spine but KDP is asking for a PDF but when I downloaded my book cover, it was a JPG. How can I get a pdf?
A. If you are requesting a pdf so that you can upload it to KDP, then a pdf is not what you need. The 300 dpi file is needed. If you send us the size of your book, we can crop your cover (for free) to the size of your book so you can create your own free generic back cover/spine for your book. A pdf is needed when you are sending them a full back cover/spine/cover design.

Q. How do I make my own generic back cover and spine with KDP using my JPG file?
. When creating your own back cover/spine in KDP, the high res 300 dpi .jpg is the file you need to upload. When you first get to the section on KDP for the cover, you have 3 choices: upload a fully formatted cover in PDF, create your own cover, or ask for professional help. Choose "Create Your Cover Online". Yes, that sounds counter intuitive because you have your cover, but that is the link that walks you through making your own GENERIC back cover/spine using the front cover 300 dpi JPEG file you got from us. Click that link and then you can create the generic back cover/spine yourself for free.

Here is some more information to help you.
This page offers step-by-step instructions on how to use your hi-res front cover from SPBC within the KDP Cover Creator tool to make a paperback cover:
Where it says step 2: "Get images for your cover," the image you will use is your hi-res book cover from SelfPubBookCovers. If you're not sure which one is the hi-res one, it'll be the one with the bigger file size (It will say 300 dpi in the file name).
This short video provides an overview on using Amazon KDP's Cover Creator to make your paperback cover:
Bottom line, the jpg file is the file you need to upload and if you want it resized, let us know what size and send us the file. We will take care of it for free.
If you want the artist who designed your cover do the full spread, on your Dashboard, under the thumbnail of your cover, is a link to get a back cover/spine designed. The fee is $149.
I hope this was helpful.

Best wishes on your new book!

Q. Can I use your files on all publishing platforms?
A. YES! Our covers are perfect for all publishing platforms.
Our high res files are 3125 pixels wide by 4167 tall at 300 dpi for print and Smashwords.
For your ebook, the file is 1500x2000 at 72 dpi.

Q. I found another cover that uses the same image as one that's on the cover that I purchased, why? I thought all of your covers are one-of-a-kind.
A. All our covers are one-of-a-kind because they were created using *at least* 2 images. Graphic designers often purchase stock photos to create book covers with, and these stock images are available for any artist to buy.

However, if you compare a stock image to one of our professionally-designed covers, they will be different, because the artist utilized a second (or more) image for their cover. We are able to offer professionally designed book covers at a low price because most of our covers are created with stock photos. If you are looking to get a book cover that is totally different from any cover ever created, you'll want to either hire an illustrator, (we actually have some covers here that are illustrations!), or you'd need to hire a photographer, a model, rent a costume and then have a custom photo shoot. That's a pricey option, one that even Big 5 NY publishers don't use for most of their books. Here at, for as little as $69, you are getting an original cover that is one-of-a-kind--and after it is sold, it is never sold again!


Q: If for some reason I need to prove I have the appropriate rights/licenses/releases to use my cover from SPBC, what evidence can you provide me?
A: We have an extensive vetting process that all covers go through before we accept a cover. We require proof from artists to see what images were purchased and from which stock house or if there are model releases. We also check to see if Public Domain images are used. We will not accept any covers that show people from public domain or covers that do not have proper documentation. Bottom line, if you need proof about images used on a cover, we have backup documents that show how our artists have created their covers and where images used originated from. Your receipt from us should suffice as evidence your cover is legally yours to use, but if needed, we can include a statement of where individual images used on our covers came from. This would be done on a "case by case" basis if needed by a publisher or distributor.
Q: What is your policy about AI book cover art created with AI (Artifificail Intelligence)- do you allow it?
A: NO. There are copyright and right of ownership issues with AI. There is also no guarantee that your cover will be one-of-kind because of "open source" public domain accessibility.

Q. I ordered a back cover spine for my book and I'm seeing thin white lines around my text boxes on the final file you sent me- help!
The lines you are seeing around the text are really not there. If you blow the pdf up to 600% you will see that the lines disappear. If they were there, as you blew the file up larger and larger, the size of the lines would get bigger and bigger. We have run into this question before and in all cases when a test book is printed, the author sees that there is no line printed. We stand behind our files 100%.

Q. After I buy my cover, how do I get it?
A. As soon as you finish paying with PayPal, go back to your Dashboard and you can download immediately your eBook and Print book cover files. Depending on how you have your computer set up, your files will either show up on your desktop or in some cases, to your Download folder.

Q. I can't find my DASHBOARD- where is it- where did it go?
A. Your Dashboard is located at the top of our homepage between our SPBC logo on the left and the logo that says how many years we have been in business on the right. If you do not see your Dashboard it could be that your screen size is not set at 100%. One of our dear authors solved that issue:
"The last Windows 10 upgrade I got increased my window size to 135%. When I put it back to 100% there was my Dashboard and my cover!" 


Q. Can I use my book cover for other things like Bookmarks, Stickers, mugs, t-shirts?
A. Yes! You can use your book cover for all marketing and promotional use! But please remember there is a 250,000 limit of "impressions" (the amount of times the images can be used. After 250,000 impressions, the extended license might be needed. See question below.

Q. I see that if I sell more than 250,000 ebooks/print books I need to buy an extended license. Why?
A. The extended license is a requirement of the stock houses, not us and the fee is usually $75 per photo used. Since covers that are created using stock photos are required by us to be created using at least 2 images, depending on how many images were used, it could be $150 or higher. Once an extended license is paid for, it is good forever. Some of our covers are created with original art/photos or public domain art and extended licenses are not needed for those images/covers.

Let's hope you have to get those extended licenses! They will have paid for themselves many times over when you sell 250,000 books!  Also, please keep in mind that if your book sells 250,000 copies, you would have a best seller on your hands. Chances are that your book would be picked up by a major publishing house which would then design a new cover for you. This is what happened with 50 Shades of Gray and other indie books that went on to be a best sellers.


Q. I found a cover on your site that is ALMOST perfect, can I have that cover changed?
A. Sometimes it may be possible.

Our site is set up for our Artists to post a cover and have you, the Author, customize their cover. Asking our Artist to modify their covers moves us away from our vision of a fast and easy way for you to immediately download a finished cover. With the thousands of covers we have on our site and with hundreds added every week, we are sure that if you refine your search you will find the perfect cover. If that doesn't work for you, sometimes, for a minimum fee of $50, the artist might be able to help you. We do this on a case by case basis. Send us an email with the cover name and we will let you know if it is possible to do the modification and what the fee would be. Please do not buy the cover until you get a confirmation back from us that it can be done and that it can be handled for our minimum fee.

A note from our co-founder, New York Times bestselling indie author Shoshanna Evers: "Remember that a cover's job is to grab the readers' attention, and to show them at a glance, what mood and genre your book is. A cover's job is not necessarily to be an exact, specific replica of what's in the story (although sometimes that's fun, ala Harry Potter illustrated book covers). I take my own advice, btw -- I don't always have the same hair color on my covers as the characters in the book do... and no one's complained yet. Find the cover that calls out to you... it will call out to your readers as well."

Q. I'm pretty good with Photoshop- can I personally change the art on the cover that I buy?
A. No. No. No.
The cover is yours and you can to do what you want with it, for example you can put it on bookmarks, in ads, make a trade booth, giant posters, post cards, put it on business cards- you name it. The cover is yours. However, the individual images that were used to create your cover are copyrighted by the photographers from the stock houses and they have strict rules about the use of their images and who uses the images. The Artist that created your cover bought the rights from the stock houses to use and manipulate those images. Those rights are non transferable. Bottom line, the Artist has the right (through the licensing agreement when the photos were purchased to design your cover) to use/manipulate the images for your cover. Not you, or a third party. If you want a modification made, please let us know what you would like done and we will confirm with the artist that designed your cover what the fee would be. Usually modifications can be handled for our minimum fee of $50. If you want a modification made, please do not buy the cover until we confirm with you that what you requested can be done and what the fee would be.

Q. What is your policy using stock images?
A. It is important to always follow stock image licensing agreements. At, all of our covers use a minimum of two images (and often more), which our cover artists then work with and manipulate to create completely one-of-kind, customized premade covers that are sold once to an author for their book, and never sold again. You will never find a "clone” cover on our site, because the main visual of each image used is altered and customized for that specific book cover. makes sure that every cover that appears on our site has been created using either legally purchased images, public domain that meets our stringent requirements or exclusive illustrations, photography or original art.

Q. The title of my book is larger than what is shown in the sample art... how can I make it fit?
A.Try using another font, a smaller size, perhaps break up your title in a different way.

Q. Can I Customize my cover in any way?
A. YES! You can customize your text (Author name, title, tag line) in many different fonts, sizes, colors and choose where you want your info to go. Want your name at the top of the page, you can do it. Want a tag line above the title, you can do it.


Q. Can I buy my cover without text on it and customize my typography myself in another program?

A. Yes! After you buy your cover, it's yours to customize your typography as you wish. We have lots of great fonts and typographical effects for you to choose from. Since you are a writer, if you don't want to customize your cover yourself on our site you can hire a freelance graphic designer to help you with your typography. OR to make things real simple, just send us an email and we will ask the artist who created your cover to make recommendations- if custom typography and fonts are requested there will be a small fee. Please remember that only the artist who bought the original stock images used can modify your cover art but any artist can help you customize your text. 

Q. What if I don't like the way my book cover is coming out?
A. Just hit the revise button and play with the font, text, color, position and glow or shadow until you are happy. Even after you purchase your cover you can make changes to it.


Q. I found a great cover for a book I'm thinking about writing, can I buy the cover now and customize it later?
A. YES! You can go back and customize it 100 times on our site if you wish. You paid for it, it's yours. Customize it and change it to your heart's desire.

Q: I get both a lo-res and hi-res file book cover file. Which do I use and where?
Use the lo-res 72 dpi file for posting the cover on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. You can also use it on Barnes & Noble's Nook Press, and Amazon's KDP. For Smashwords and Apple iBooks, use the hi-res 300 dpi file.

If you want to make a paperback cover, or use the cover on bookmarks or other printed swag like postcards, use the hi-res 300 dpi file. For more information on making a paperback cover, see the FAQ for that question.

Q: Why are these covers wider than usual?
Our covers are designed to offer the author the ability to crop a cover to their preferred trim-size for a paperback book as well. If you want to use a typical e-book size, we are happy to crop it thinner for free. Most authors use the covers as-is at e-book distributor sites like Amazon, and have no problem getting them uploaded. They may notice, however, that their book cover "stands out" in a list of other book covers because of the extra width. Many authors consider this a great benefit. Since it's not easy to draw readers' gaze directly to *your* book- with the wider width, it gives your book more attention!


Q: Should I create a back cover/spine with KDP, or IngramSpark?
ALL! What some advanced indie authors do, is they create a KDP paperback solely to sell on Amazon. However, there are independent bookstores who do not like purchasing or carrying KDP books because that company is owned by Amazon, and many small book store owners feel that Amazon is pushing them out of business. For those bookstores, many are more likely to purchase or carry a book created through Ingram Spark instead of KDP. So you can use an Ingram Spark book to sell *everywhere except* for Amazon, and a KDP paperback to sell on Amazon. 

Q. How do I change my cover file for my book?
Changing a cover is easy. Just go to your Amazon KDP Bookshelf, click "edit book details" next to your book, and go to the section where it says "upload cover image." Then you choose your new cover image file from where it is saved on your computer (probably under "downloads"). It's the same on all of the other retailers. When changing your cover on Smashwords and B&N Nook Press, use the hi-res "print quality" file.

To change a cover on a book that’s already published via Amazon KDP, just go to your Amazon KDP dashboard, and click to Edit the book. You don’t need to unpublish it, and you don’t need a new ISBN. Click where it says to upload a cover, and browse for the new cover file to upload. Click save changes, and that’s it! The changes will go live within a couple days, often much faster.
For other distributors (if you’re selling on Smashwords, iBooks, B&N, Draft2Digital, Kobo etcetera, the process is quite similar: login to your dashboard on the distributor site, click to edit the book, make the cover change, and click save.
By not unpublishing nor reuploading as a new book, you’ll retain all your reviews and ranking.
Q. If I send you my book, can you review it for me?
A. We are sorry to say that we have an internal policy at SPBC that prevents us from reviewing or blurbing books by the authors who use our site due to the conflict of interest. We are sure you understand!

Q. Why do the colors on my cover look a bit different when it's printed on a paperback, or bookmarks, compared to on my computer?
A. When comparing your book cover on a computer screen and when it is printed, you are not comparing "apples to apples". It is normal to see a difference because files will look brighter when viewed as a PDF on a computer screen. The reason for this is that the colors are illuminated from behind in RGB ( that's in red, blue and green to create all the colors you see in the file). Some monitors are brighter than others. When we look at a printed book cover we see it with reflected light and it is printed in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black to create all the colors). This is why we always recommend that our authors get a test book printed.  


Q. The colors on my print cover look a bit different than my ebook cover when seen on the web. Why?
A. Your ebook colors are being shown on the web as RGB color. Print books are CMYK. Although both your ebook and print book are being shown on the web in RGB, if the CMYK cover is shown in RGB, there is a color shift. Many times colors will looking identical but sometimes there might be a difference. This is a normal occurance.

Q. How should an Author credit the Artist in the front pages of the book?
The best way to credit the Artist is to link to that Artist's gallery of other covers, as such:

You can find the artist's name near your cover while searching and when you purchase the cover. Click the artist's name to get their customized URL (example above). We love to give credit where credit is due!

Q. I can't save my cover to my FAVORITES, what should I do?
A. You will need to sign up to use the Favorites lightbox feature.


Q. I customized a cover, but I can't buy it, what should I do?
You will need to sign up to purchase your cover.


Q. Where do I find "my saved covers"? I don't see them!
After you sign in, go to your Dashboard. If they don't show up, please clear your Browser Cache (not your history or cookies) and then do a refresh.

Q. Will you help me promote my book with your cover?
A.YES! If you're on Twitter, we can help you promote your book when you've published it by Tweeting to us with your buy link. We'll then re-tweet it to our followers - (over 15,000 followers now)! Sample tweet: I have a new cover from @SelfPubBkCovers! (buy link)


Q. What is your approval process for book covers to be shown on your site?
A. Our covers go through an extensive vetting procedure covering 23 points for quality and legality of images used. All images used to create a cover fall under 3 categories: Original illustrations/photos, stock photography images and public domain images.

If an artist sends a cover with original photos, a model release must be made available to us, if stock images are used, we know that the stock houses have approved the photos for commercial use and that there are model releases on file. If public domain images are used, we will not accept the cover if a person or even a part of a person is shown. Our requirements for using public domain images are set higher than the legal requirements. Bottom line, before a book cover is approved to be on our site, it is examined in detail and only after it passes our examination process is it posted for sale.


Q. Both KDP and SmashWords offer "free" ISBN numbers; should I release the book with two different titles and two different ISBN numbers or should I buy an ISBN and release identical books under both KDP (soft cover and Kindle) as well as SmashWords?
Shoshanna Gabriel (aka Evers), co-founder of SelfPubBookCovers, and an author as well, has answered this question:

When it comes to ISBN's, you need to have a minimum of two ISBN's: One ISBN for ALL digital formats (Mobi for Kindle, EPUB for Barnes & Noble, EPUB and Word doc for Smashwords meatgrinder), and one for the paperback edition (KDP). You could use the free ISBN from Smashwords, however, Smashwords will be listed as the publisher. Same thing with KDP for the ISBN — KDP will be listed as the publisher. If you are on a tight budget, this is certainly fine to do. Either way, you'll have to upload separately to Amazon Kindle, which is where you'll make most of your money.  For Amazon, they will give you an ASIN number, and you can use that. You won't be able to add your Smashwords ISBN to that (while theoretically you could, it wouldn't make sense because Smashwords is listed as the publisher). 
The reason most of us indies don't like letting Smashwords and KDB be listed as publisher, is because we want our *own name* to be listed as publisher. Some indie book stores won't purchase a paperback to sell in their store that says "CreateSpace" because they feel Amazon is putting their book stores out of business, and Amazon owns KDP. In that case, having your own name listed as the publisher helps. Otherwise, it probably doesn't really matter.
If you are willing to spend some money to buy your own pack of ISBN's, you can buy a 10 pack from Bowkers at
No one bothers buying them one at a time, because it is prohibitively expensive to do so. The ten pack should last you for five books with a digital ebook edition and physical paperback edition for each. In that case, do not bother buying the barcode because you won't need it for KDP, which will give you the barcode using your own ISBN for free. You would use one ISBN for Smashwords, Amazon, and anywhere else you choose to upload an ebook such as Apple iBooks. You would use the second ISBN when you upload to KDP.
I hope this information helps! If you live in Canada, I've heard you can get free Canadian ISBNs. However for me, as an American, I always go through Bowkers at the link I gave above, because it's the only place to officially do so.
Q. What is the Author License Agreement?
A. When you sign up, this is a copy of your License Agreement.

Whereas, LLC (the "Company") is in the business of providing one-of-a-kind artwork consisting of two or more photographs or illustrations to its customers for use as a book cover, and
Whereas, Author desires to license artwork from the Company for use as a book cover.
It is therefore agreed as follows:
1. Grant of Rights. Author is licensing from the Company the right to use the artwork selected from the Company’s available cover art for the cover of Author’s book (the “Book”).  This license is limited to an eBook or print run of up to 250,000 copies of the Book.  An additional fee will be required for any additional copies. When buying a book cover on, you agree to purchase an enhanced license from the stock house(s) for images used in your cover once a total of 250,000 books (combined ebooks and print) have been sold. This is a requirement from the stock houses: an extended license fee of $75 per stock image is needed if there are more than 250,000 combined ebooks and print sales. If your cover is an original "hand drawn" illustration, an original photograph not purchased through a stock house or if public domain images were used there would be no additional licensing fee. It is the author's responsibility to inform SelfPubBookCovers if book sales exceed 250,000 books. will inform you if an extended license would be needed at that time. The Company will not be held liable for license infringement. This grant of rights includes the right, for all print and ebook versions of the Book, to distribute, publish, use, transmit, crop and otherwise display the Licensed Cover in connection with the Book, and for marketing, advertising and promotion of the Book. The actual cover art image can only be modified or altered by the artist who has created the cover.
2. Author Acknowledgments. Author acknowledges that although the Licensed Cover is represented by the Company to be a one-of-a-kind piece of art, it is derived by combining two or more stock photographs and that such stock photographs may appear individually or combined with other photographs for other uses. The combination of the stock photographs used to create the Licensed Cover will be exclusive to Author, will be removed from art available for licensing on the Company's website upon execution of this Agreement, and will not be licensed by the Company again. However, since the Company does not have exclusive rights to the stock photographs used to create the Licensed Cover, it is possible, although unlikely, that a non-affiliated party could recreate the Licensed Cover without the Company's knowledge, in which event the Company shall not be liable in any way to the Author.
3. Representations. Company represents and warrants that (i) the Licensed Cover was created by an artist for the Company by using two or more stock photography images which were licensed by such artist from a reputable stock photography agency; (ii) that each such stock photography usage license is represented by the artist to be sufficient to grant to the Company and for Company to grant to Author the rights the Company is granting to Author herein; (iii) that the Licensed Cover is represented by the artist not to infringe upon any copyright, trademark or trade dress, or other intellectual property rights of others; and (iv) that the artist represents that the stock photography agency has obtained valid model releases from each person who appears in the Licensed Cover sufficient to convey the rights granted to the Company and to the Author herein.
3. Term. This license shall remain in effect for as long as the Book remains in print.
4. Compensation. Author shall pay to Company a license fee, in full and complete compensation for the rights granted herein, in the sum indicated next to the Licensed Cover selected by Author.
5. Indemnification. Author agrees to fully indemnify and hold harmless Company, its employees, directors, officers, licensees, and anyone else associated with the use of the Licensed Cover as authorized herein, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, costs, expense, or damages including attorney's fees and expenses, arising out of any unauthorized use of the Licensed Cover.
6. Copyright Credit. Copyright to the Licensed Cover, if possible, shall be printed in the Book as specified next to the Licensed Cover.
7. Disclaimer. The Company, its employees, directors, officers and anyone else associated with the Company, hereby disclaims any and all warranties of merchantability, fitness for any particular purpose, expressed or implied, in connection with the license granted to Author herein. The Company shall not be liable for any indirect, special, incidental, economic or consequential damages arising out of the license granted to Author and in no event will the Company's liability exceed the amount paid by Author to Company for the use of the Licensed Cover herein.
8. Jurisdiction. This agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of New York and the parties consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal and State Courts located in New York County, New York.
9. Miscellaneous. a. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between Author and Company regarding its subject matter. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be void or invalid, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. Failure by Company to enforce any provision of this Agreement is not a waiver of future enforcement of that or any other provision.
b. By clicking on "Accept" Author hereby acknowledges that Author has read the Agreement, has understood its terms and has been given the opportunity to seek legal advice.