WRITERS. Brian Jackson, a self-published author, has created an e-book that explains how to use free online tools and inexpensive images to create high-quality book covers. Entitled “Do It Yourself: Book Covers,” the 74-page e-book is available on Amazon for $0.99.
The guide is directed at users of Windows 7, but it has also been used successfully by Mac OS users. Jackson explains how to use a free program called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) to combine text, colored boxes, and inexpensive images to produce your own book covers.
While an attractive cover is vital for all types of books, the ability to design your own cover gives you more control over how your finished book will look. It can also save money when publishing free or low-priced books for relatively limited audiences.
After explaining a few basic pointers for book-cover design, Jackson discusses the following topics:
- Installing and running the GIMP
- Creating a simple book cover
- Working with layers and selections
- Loading fonts and using font effects
- Buying and manipulating inexpensive images
- Creating colored boxes
- Using layer masks
- Stroking a path
- Putting it all together
To show the types of results that that can be achieved with the methods outlined in his book, Jackson has created a page showing sample covers that he has designed.
Brian Jackson is a self-published writer of fiction who originally began using GIMP while working for Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley. Now retired, he spends his time writing and publishing.