If you want to create an eBook cover by yourself, without buying eBook creator cover software or buying Photoshop, or paying a graphics designer to do it for you, then read on. I’m not promising to make an artist of you! I don’t claim any artistic talents myself, just the technical know-how you will need to create your ecover!
1. Download and install GIMP – a free open source image manipulation program. If you have time, you can have lots of fun getting to know what you can do with it. If you don’t have much time, be careful not to get distracted from the task in hand – follow these steps to get your eBook cover finished! Then, you can play 😉
Just Google GIMP and you will find the download page easily.
2.Get yourself a free template eBook cover by googling ‘free eBook cover’. The one I use in this tutorial will probably be the first site you come across at ebooktemplatesource.com.
There are three types of covers to choose from – for this tutorial I will be using the first type, called ‘cover01’
Download and save this to your hard drive. Then extract all files to a convenient folder.
You will be using the file called ‘cover01.psd’ later in the Gimp software.
3.Start up Gimp.
4.First we have to create the front of your cover. This is the part you have to design for yourself to suit your own eBook. I’ll show you how to do a simple one here and then you can go and play around with it when you have time.
After that we need to stick it onto the cover we’ve already downloaded to make your eBook cover and save it properly for you to use in your eBooks.
5.Click on File – New
6.Set Width and Height at 500 pixels each and click OK.
7.You should now have the Gimp window and a new Image window open. Go to the image window, select Layer – New Layer. A New Layer window will open up. Give your new layer a name eg Front Cover and click OK.
8.On the main Gimp window, you should have a list of the layers so far; Front Cover and Background. Click on the Front Cover layer to make sure that’s the one you are working on.
Now, select Tools – Selection Tools – Rectangle Select
Click any where on your image window and drag to create a rectangle to represent the front of your eBook.
9.Now we are going to colour in your cover. Once you start to play with Gimp you can do all sorts of fun things here. For now, we are going to create what’s called a gradient i.e. the page will have a colour that blends gradually from the foreground colour to the background colour.
Pick your foreground and background colours by clicking on the little coloured boxes on the main Gimp window.
Go to Tools – Paint Tools – Blend Tool
Click any where in the middle of your rectangle near the top and drag down to the bottom and release. Your page will be filled with your chosen colours.
Play around with clicking and dragging from and to different places and with your foreground and background colours until you get something you like.
10.At this point you could insert your photo and or text. For now we’ll keep it simple and just add text.
Click on Tools – Text.
Click on your cover where you want to start the text. A text editor will open up. Type in your text in this editor. To change the colour, font, size etc of your text click on Dialogs – Tool Options. A Dialog will open in the main Gimp window where you can click on the properties of your text and play around with it.
11.Add text wherever you need to. Each block of text will be added as a new layer so that you can edit it at any stage by clicking on Tools – Text and then clicking on the text you want to change.
12.Now you have the basics of your front cover!
Next we have to attach this to our eBook template.