This week's Ask Kat question comes from Heather Sutherlin and was originally from my IndieReCon post 10 Ways to Make Your Cover Stand Out in the Crowd

How can I tell if stock images allow me to use them in book production? Also, what programs are best for photo manipulation?

Seek out the policies page on the stock site. Or on the specific stock's page. Or if in doubt, contact the creator of said stock. I use Fotolia, because they have a great range of stock and policies that protect you.

If your photo manipulation style is more filter heavy, Photoshop is your program. If your photo manipulation style is more illustrative (like mine), Corel Painter is your program.

Alicia Kat Dillman is the author of Daemons in the Mist, the first book in the Marked Ones trilogy. A professional illustrator and designer, Kat lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two crazy studio cats and nine very overfull bookcases. She can usually be found performing, watching anime or reading books when not playing in the imaginary worlds within her head.