1. As you get ready to make your first cover start to think of a concept. It can be in your head or a rough sketch you put down during your coffee break.
Ok do you have your concept.
Great. The hard part is actually over believe it or not. What follows will be just tedious work getting things the way that you imagined them to be.
Ok open up Gimp 2. I know it take a bit of time to start off.
Is it on. Ok.
Taking a look at the screen you see a blank workstation in the center of the screen, to the left the layers window and to the right the tools window.
Now that you have that on your screen there are some things that I personally use to get started. This is the easiest way for me because it speeds up the process. Grab any old picture and drop it in the works area in the center.
On the layer screen you will now see the picture you dropped in as a layer.
To be continued…
Ok in the layer window we want to right click with our mouse and make a new layer. name it bottom layer/backlighting
And after the new layer is created then we can delete our starter image because we do not need it anymore.
The next thing we must do is make our canvas size. This is I find to be pretty standard 500 x 800 gives a good image for an ebook.
In the menu bar go to image and find canvas size. when you start to scale you will find that you can not really get it to scale to the 500 x 800. That is because next to the scaling properties there is a chain link. Click that to allow free scaling.
Can you believe that you are almost there. The hard parts are over. Now you can start to make your cover. Think of your image like an Ogre. Ogres are link Onions. Covers are like Onions.
Layers you daft irritable beast of burden.
Before we jump into the layers let’s take a quick look at lighting that background.
For that we must look at the tool box.
The tools we will be using are very simple for a cover from scratch. If you will use a picture you took or some royalty free stuff then you will need to know about cutting out and cropping in order to get things to sit. But since this is a simple guide for the beginner lets stick with our own things.
the icons and what they are
A <— this is for text box it allows us to place our title and the cover text which we can use in the end.
The pencil, brush, art sprayer and eraser. These are our main tools for the detail work.
the finger. Rub the colors in order to blend them.
The shader or texture adder as I like to call it. This is a gray box looks like a shading tool.
Finally the color pallete allows us to have a range of colors to what we like.
As you experiement with these tools you can improve your own skills and your own covers with less work needed in getting outside pictures and more of the book being yours and yours alone.
As you work with your cover remember in gimp 2 you want to work from the bottom up. Or when you finish the layers on the very top will be seen and as the cover gets put together it will merge the layers from top to bottom.
Here is a quick play cover I made with the tools that I mentioned.
Do not worry about any mistakes you make as you go through this.
your best friend through this whole process is ctrl-z and for those who do not speak Keyboard go to the edit menu in the menu bar and you can see that you can go back and undo your mistakes.
Good luck and feel free to post comments on this tutorial I hope it helps.