Author Topic: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?  (Read 615 times)  

Offline James Bruno

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Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
« on: March 30, 2012, 02:02:35 pm »
I want to experiment with putting together my own book cover. Two key things: a) on a scale of 0 to 5 (no skills to expert) regarding IT abilities, I'm a 1.5; and b) I don't want to pay anything for this. I just want to begin climbing the long learning curve at my own leisure. I've collected some images I'd like to start playing around with.

Any recommendations on free software for this purpose? Sort of along the lines of "Photo Art for Dummies?"


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    Offline Matthew Lee Adams

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 04:59:49 pm »
    If you have PowerPoint, that's what Dean Wesley Smith suggests for anyone who is trying to keep costs down as low as possible:

    http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=6347

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    Offline Greer

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 05:02:47 pm »
    GIMP. It's free, and extremely powerful. And you can find lots of tutorials for it on DeviantArt.

    Offline Gregory Lynn

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 05:06:10 pm »
    GIMP. It's free, and extremely powerful. And you can find lots of tutorials for it on DeviantArt.

    I spent five or six hours trying to figure out how to get GIMP to give me text that runs vertically and once I saw the Dean Wesley Smith thing about Powerpoint I slapped myself upside the head and spent five seconds figuring it out in Powerpoint and spent three hours doing various covers that convinced me I didn't want my text to run vertically.

    So basically, go with PowerPoint.
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    Offline ETS PRESS

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 05:10:14 pm »
    Keep in mind that mine are simple, but I create them in PowerPoint, then resize them in Photoshop. If I need fix them up a bit, DS does that for me.

    Offline Greer

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 05:15:49 pm »
    I've just started teaching myself photoshop, which has the most amazing tool - layers. I had no idea how awesome layers are until I started playing with them, and now I can't imagine doing photo manips without them. I'm quite certain that GIMP also has layers. But from what I can tell, PowerPoint does not. Also, I don't think you'll find too many resources on Deviant Art for PowerPoint.

    Offline rubyscribe

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 06:09:31 pm »
    Paint.net  is free, easy and quite good.  I've used it for all my covers (see my signature).


    Offline churlishfellow

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 07:19:01 pm »
    There's quite a bit you can do with Inkscape, which is free.  A great vector-path program with pretty powerful text editing capabilities.

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    Offline James Bruno

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 07:39:43 pm »
    These are all great suggestions. I'll check each of them out. I must add that my intention is to put together a basic visual concept for my cover designer of what I'd like to see in my book cover. Explaining my ideas orally doesn't always get my visual ideas across very well.

    Offline JETaylor

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 07:41:52 pm »
    I've just started teaching myself photoshop, which has the most amazing tool - layers. I had no idea how awesome layers are until I started playing with them, and now I can't imagine doing photo manips without them. I'm quite certain that GIMP also has layers. But from what I can tell, PowerPoint does not. Also, I don't think you'll find too many resources on Deviant Art for PowerPoint.

    Gimp does have layer capabilities.  It's what I used to do a few of my more complex covers that mix two or more images together.  Although I'd love to get my hands on Photoshop at some point.  
          

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    Offline Briteka

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    Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
    « Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 07:44:35 pm »
    Gimp is the way to go.  It's nearly as powerful as Photoshop (actually, at this stage, it's probably just as powerful).  It's hard to figure out how to use it at first, but there's easy-to-follow tutorials on Youtube for almost everything.  Once you use the tutorials a few times to do some things, everything clicks, and it becomes much easier.

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