Even before I got into self publishing I loved creating covers for books. Back then I took actual book covers, erased the title and author information and replaced it with my own. They weren’t perfect but they were fun (and time-consuming) to do and they provided motivation for me to get the stories done and submit them. It was so long ago I can’t even remember what software I used to do those early covers. When I decided to self publish and do most of my own covers I needed to learn a new software because that other one was three computers ago. A few years ago I took a PhotoShop Elements class online and found the software pretty easy to use. The computer I had been using is on its last legs. I keep it around to grab things from the hard drive that I might not have backed up somewhere. The new laptop (my husband’s old laptop) didn’t have PSE installed. And there wasn’t a lot of room on it to install other software. It did have GIMP installed. At first I didn’t want to learn another program. I knew how to do everything I wanted in PhotoShop Elements. But with the old laptop increasingly unreliable I had no choice.
Enter GIMP tutorials. I love YouTube. I devoured tutorials on doing covers, text effects, merging photos, creating from scratch. And I still can’t get enough. Last week when I should have been writing I was watching tutorials on how to create space scenes. Don’t ask me why I was suddenly obsessed with creating planets but I was. It might have to do with the science fiction romance story I was working on. It would be great to be able to create photos I could use on covers and not have to use my credits on a stock photo site. Now that I know how to do those I might move on to creating insects. 🙂
So throughout this post I will present to you what I’ve done in GIMP, mostly in the past week. The only photos in this post not created in GIMP by me are my author photo and my book cover.
Whenever I got stuck and wanted to throw in the towel, boot up the old computer and open PhotoShop Elements I turned instead to YouTube to see if there was a tutorial. I’m still getting used to the text effects in GIMP. I find them so much easier to manipulate in PSE and I still haven’t figured out how to do some things yet but I’ll figure it out eventually. And the best part about GIMP is it’s free.
What’s your favourite photo editing software?
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A road trip goes wrong for a group of friends trying to help one of them get over a break up. They find an inn where the mirrors are cursed and they realize they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did.
A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. A mini vacation and support for Steve, recently dumped, have the friends travelling through small towns and back roads. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they’re all ready for something to eat and a good night’s rest. Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. A little run down, it hides a supernatural horror.