Review of: Making Your Own Ebook Covers tutorials.
I’m cheap. There, I said it. Feels good to get that off my chest. I’m cheap in real life and I’m really cheap online. I’ve found that with a little bit of practice I can do what I need to do online. What I can’t do, I can usually find someone who can do it dirt cheap on eBay. Yesterday it was time to crank out two ebook covers.
With the 12 in 12 challenge looming, I knew I would be making several ebook covers over the coming months. My first thought was to check eBay for software which would let me easily make them. Denied. The only thing on there were cheap cd’s with photoshop scripts. While I’m pretty tech savvy, I’ve never spent the time to learn photoshop beyond the bare basics.
My next thought was finding some software I could download that would let me make ebook covers with the push of the button. Strike two. I found one with no trial download, and the other I gave up on after a minute due to pure failure on its part. More googling led me to the unavoidable truth, I was going to have to pay someone $40-$100 each to make them, or I would learn to create ebook covers myself.
I went back to a link I had found earlier on Making Your Own Ebook Covers. I had been dissuaded by the $27 price tag but after doing my normal google research, and reading what appeared to be a unbiased favorable review, I purchased the package. What I got was:
- 66 page pdf guide to making ebook covers
- Access to ten “members only” Making Ebook Cover Videos
- Several preformatted ebook cover templates
All of the tutorials are using the open source equivalent to photoshop called GIMP. GIMP is extremely widely used, and even better, free! One of the selling points of the Making Your Own Ebook Covers site was that once you bought the system for $27, you would never need to buy anything else to make your covers. After several covers, they have delivered on that promise.
I’m a big fan of video learning, so I was looking forward to the videos. To my surprise, I never touched them until I already had my first ebook cover under my belt. The 66 page guide was extremely well written and informative. It assumes (correctly in my case) that you have never touched GIMP before. The first part of the book gets you comfortable with GIMP. The next part has you designing a very simple ebook cover then transforming it into a snazzy looking 3d picture. The final part of the book is taking that cover, and going through several steps to make it look professional. These steps include adding reflections and shadows. The guide does a great job of going step by step and explaining everything. They even tacked on a one page cheat sheet at the end for when you make future ebooks and only need a general outline not step by step instructions.
Most of the videos are well done versions of what the book outlines, but the final few are on subjects not covered in the guide such as different ebook and software box formats and a guide to making dvd and cd covers. Like everything else, they did a great job.
They advertise that they include several ebook templates if you want to get up and running in a hurry. While I haven’t used one yet, I did look at them and they are very professional. I will definitely be using them in the future.
The online review I found said it took him 3 hours to go through the guide making his first ebook cover, and about 90 minutes to make his next cover. That was almost exactly how long it took me on the first run with my second cover clocking in about an hour. On the first trip through, you’re getting a feel for the program and going step by step making your ebook cover. On the second cover, I had a workable cover in under 30 minutes; I spent the rest of the time adding the professional tweaks.
As corny as it sounds, in addition to getting the ebook covers I needed this weekend I
- Set myself up to obtain all future ebook covers for free
- Learned an extremely valuable skill that I had waited to long to learn
In summary, if you are only ever going to need one ebook cover in your life, pay a graphic artist to make it for you. If, however, you think you will need more then one, do yourself a huge favor and check out Making Your Own Ebook Covers. If the thought of following a step by step guide with lots of pictures doesn’t scare you, you’re in!