GIMP is a free open-source image manipulation program. It functions, essentially (with a few minor differences) exactly the same way as Photoshop, which means it gives you exceptional flexibility and control over image manipulation. There are tons and tons of excellent tutorials online for how to use GIMP...just about any effect you want to create, somebody has made a tutorial for. Any brush or font you can load into Photoshop you can also load into GIMP.
There is some learning curve involved, so if you're totally new to image manipulation, or if you've had no experience with Photoshop, don't expect to be producing quality results any time soon. It can be a little tedious learning all the right tricks, but once you get it, the skills fall into place. If you have a deadline for producing a great cover for your book, you might be better off hiring a cover artist for your first few covers while you take the time to learn to make your own. Covers are so important, you really need to have a good feel for not only the software but book cover design in general (i.e., be familiar with what works for various genres). It's not a skill you can expect to learn overnight, but you definitely can learn it!
I'll check out the Paint.net and see if that works better for me.
I'm writing erotica, a fancy word for literary porn with a story. lol And since I love writing it, I'll probably stick to it untill I grow bored with it.
Tyvmuch for the offer, Joseph Edward Ryan, I might just take you up on it, if an erotica cover doesn't bother you, that is. For now though, I'd like to give it a try as I want to learn as much as I can about all aspects of self-publishing; I wasn't aware that self-publishing via platforms like Amazon was possible until about two weeks ago and it actually made my dream of being a writer come back to life! Ha! Haven't had this much fun in years and have been writing and smiling happily ever since.
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