Covers and Images
Author: HatedLove6
Content Rating: T-13
Published: 2016-11-09 11:44:37
Tags: reasons i will not give your story a chance, writing, guide, covers, images

I have standards and I’m not afraid to use them. This is a list of story turn-offs that make me hit the back button and not give your story another look at. What are we talking about in this chapter? Covers and images.

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:
This was mostly inspired by and written for QuoteV members, but these things can also be pretty universal for any site.
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Covers or images that are copyrighted.

You have no idea how much this bugs me and I hate the cover feature overall. (1) QuoteV won't put your story in the list when people are searching and browsing stories without a cover image, which makes it harder for people to find your stories. (2) Because of this, people try and scramble around to find a picture to put as a cover image and because some aren't artists or know how to make covers, just pick a picture they downloaded from Google, a screenshot of TV Shows, cartoon or anime, or, worse, get their pictures from DeviantArt or other image hosting websites (including Photobucket), and say all it's good. No it is not. Just as plagiarizing stories are horrible (something this site also has problems with), so are using someone's picture without permission. The only reason stories with cover images that doesn't belong to the writer gets a click from me is so I can directly link the story to the original artist and let them handle it themselves. That's it. I won't read the story because I think this is blatant disrespect. And, no, giving credit does not mean getting permission. It's still copyright infringement. If the artist did give the person permission and credit is given, then there's no problem with me. That's fine. There are even people in the Covers & Image group that would be willing to help you with this; although I would be careful on who you ask because I see people using copyrighted images. If you do find someone that doesn't use copyrighted images, they are gold! If you don't want to ask artists to make you pictures, and you're not exactly an artist yourself, there's still things you can do to make cover images.
  1. There are sites such as Banner­-Fotor that has easy templates and clip art that you can use for free (as long as it's not for commercial use).  Please read the Terms of Service down at the bottom carefully before you use this site though because it doesn't allow copyrighted images either.
  2. DeviantArt has an entire section dedicated to stock images.  In fact, the link provided is to the Resource & Stock Images section of DeviantArt, and in the far left column, you can filter down to what you want even farther.  That being said, most of these stock providers have rules when using their product.  Please read them and give credit where credit is due.  Sometimes the rules aren't on the product itself, but they're most probably on their profile pages or in one of their journal entries.  Give them credit and send them a link so they can see your handiwork!  And if you don't know how to use stock images, get GIMP (because it's free and it can do almost anything Photoshop can do) and check out Tutorial King.  And if you're not allowed to download GIMP, MS Paint or Microsoft Works Word or LibreOffice will do the job just fine.
  3. You can search on Google specifically for public domain images.  Of course this isn't fool proof either if you search "public domain images," so you would have to do a little bit of searching for proof that it's under public domain, or at least creative commons, but you can also tell Google that you'd like to filter these images to make things easier for you.  On the upper right corner, there will be a little icon with a gear.  Those are your settings.  Click on it, and then click on Advanced Search.  Then, down to the bottom, there will be "usage rights" and a drop down list.  Usage rights is highlighted, and if you click on it, it'll open up a page that will explain what these rights mean so your search is modified.  Click on the "free to use, share, or modify," or "free to use, share, or modify even commercially," and you'll more than likely be safe.  There could still be mistakes by Google, so a little more digging would be safer, but you took that extra step, so give yourself a pat on the back just for trying.
  4. 4.  You can use a doll maker, or a scene maker, to use for your cover image as long as you are allowed to use it on other sites and you give credit.  There's a specific avatar maker that is free to use Rinmaru Mega Anime Avatar Creator that is awesome, but, sadly, even though on Rinmaru's DeviantArt page it says "Share the characters/creations you made using my game on any website you would like as long as you give credit to the game and the artist," hardly anyone actually does give credit.  She's already said publicly that you can use it almost however you want—short of selling the images for money, or posting it outside of the scraps folder, the least you could do is put a disclaimer in the footer and give credit.
If you didn't know anything about copyright infringement, and that it was possible for pictures posted online to be copyrighted (and all those other lame excuses), and that it included screenshots of shows, well, now you know.  Because the covers are so small anyway, I don't generally judge anyone's stories based on the cover images.  This entire section also includes chapter/question/result images in stories, quizzes, polls, surveys, etc.  Just usage of images in general.    

Covers that depict self-harming.

For one, covers like this are not allowed.  In the Terms of Service under "You agree to NOT use the Site to:", it says, "Upload, post or otherwise transmit any content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive to another's privacy . . . , hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;"  Covers of people cutting themselves is harmful.  It may not be kicking or punching like in action scenes, but cutting is violent in a way that means that the person hurt themselves.  Two, if you do cut, You-Fic is not the site to really get sound advice (and you may even run into people who would say "up the road, not across the street").  Outside of You-Fic, there are support groups dedicated to self-harmers, there are hotlines you can call, or, better yet, talk to a trusted adult about it such as a school counselor and your parents!  And finally, if you don't cut, and this book is about a character that does cut, why have a cover or title that focuses on just that one thing?  There should be more to a character than he or she cuts, or is emo, or whatever.  It screams stereotype to me.  If I run across any stories that have these covers, I would click on it only to report it.  I wouldn't read the story.
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