Your cover image

We want you to love how your book looks, so we ask you to choose your own cover image (unless it is in a series with a set design – if you’re not sure, check with your assistant commissioning editor).


While often a straightforward process, the clearing of image permissions can be time-consuming. Therefore, we ask that you start the process of selecting your cover image at least three months before your manuscript submission date. 


Our contribution to your cover image

We contribute up to £150 towards the cost of clearing permission for your cover image.

Image fees of up to £150

Simply ask the image suppliers to send the invoice directly to us. Ask them to include your name and the name of your book.

Image fees of over £150

Where the image fee is greater than our contribution, we ask that you pay for the image and invoice us for £150. Remember to attach a copy of your receipt from the image supplier as our finance team needs this for our records.

Invoice details

Send invoices by email to Bekah Dey: 
Contact name: Bekah Dey

Office address:

Edinburgh University Press
13 Infirmary Street 
EH1 1LT 
United Kingdom

VAT number: 593070143

Technical requirements

  • Resolution: 300dpi or higher.
  • Image size: at least 170mm wide.

How to submit your image

  • Send us your chosen cover image at the same time as your final manuscript and forms: either the digital image file or the image’s reference number if it’s from a stock image agency.
  • If you have the image file, you can email it to us or use a file transfer service such as the Edinburgh University Press SFTP site or WeTransfer.
  • If you are sending us a reference number or link, simply fill this in on your Book Form.

Where to find your perfect image

All of the sources below should provide images within the £150 budget.

Stock image agencies

We have accounts with the following stock photo agencies. If you choose a cover image from one of these stock photo agencies, include the site name and the image reference number on your Book Form and we will purchase it directly.

Film stills


Photofest is our preferred supplier for film stills. You will need our account details to log in and browse the images. Please email Kelly O'Brien to request them:


SCRAN hosts images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media. The fees vary a lot and might be well above our £150 contribution, so please don’t set your heart on an image before the quote comes in.

Further permission clearance

  • Some images may still be in copyright and will require the artist’s permission to be cleared.

Galleries, agencies, estates, individuals

If you would like to use an image that is not available through any of the above sources then you will need to approach the copyright holder directly to clear permission to use the image and to request a high-resolution (300dpi and at least 170mm wide) image file. They will most likely want to know the following information about the book:

  • Title and Author/Editor
  • Proposed publication date (usually 9 months after your scheduled manuscript submission)
  • Type of publication: scholarly, not-for-profit
  • Image use: front cover
  • Proposed print run: up to 500 copies, including both print and ebook editions
  • Rights sought: Non-exclusive world English language print and electronic rights for one edition only, including all reprints
  • Length of license: 10 years

Further permission clearance

If the artwork is still in copyright, you might need to clear additional artists’ permissions.

AI Images 

We would only consider using an AI-generated cover image in exceptional circumstances. Contact your commissioning editor to discuss.

Clearing artists’ copyright permission fees

Permission fees

Artists’ permission fees are expensive and often come in above our £150 contribution. These fees are in addition to the reproduction fee that is paid when sourcing the image itself. Unless you have access to funding, you might prefer to choose an image that does not incur permission fees.

Step 1: determine if you need to clear the artist’s copyright

You don’t need to clear the artist’s copyright if …

  • You sourced your image directly from the artist or photographer
  • You sourced your image from a stock image agency like Getty Images or iStockphoto
  • The artist died more than 70 years ago.
  • The image is in the public domain or published under a Creative Commons licence.

You need to clear the artist’s copyright if…

  • The artist is still alive and you did not source the image directly from them
  • The artist died less than 70 years ago

If you don’t need to clear the artist’s permission, you’re all set.

If you do need to clear the artist’s permission, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: find out if the artist is represented by DACS

DACS is a licensing agency in the UK that represents many artists. It is a good place to start when tracking down the artist’s permission.

  • Search the DACS website to check if the artist is represented by DACS
  • If the artist is not represented by DACS, you will need to ask the person/gallery/archive that you are sourcing the image from if they know who holds the artist’s permission. Contact them to request permission.
  • If you cannot find the permission holder, you legally cannot use this image on your book cover. Plenty more fish in the sea – it’s time to look for a different image.

Step 3: clearing permission

  • If the artist is represented by DACS, follow its permission request guidelines: how to apply for permission with DACS
  • For other permission holders, start with a friendly email and they will be able to advise on their procedure.