Saturday, March 24, 2012

Having Fun With GIMP or What Keeps Me Motivated

Click on the picture

With the completion of my first book, The Dark Side Of The Medallion, I decided to learn more of the intricacies of the photo-editing program called GIMP. More specifically, I wanted to make my own book cover.

One of my Christmas gifts last year came from my daughter. It was the GIMP Bible. I believe that in the past two months I visited every one of its 722 pages...Yikes. As with any powerful program, if you don’t keep up with it you soon forget how it works. I came up with a germ of an idea for a book cover. I wanted a picture of Jen, my protagonist, Bast the magical cat that protects and helps Jen and Seth, the antagonist. Sounds simple yet it proved difficult to execute. Not that I couldn’t draw the objects that I wanted no it was too busy on the book cover. I needed something simpler and at the same time something that forced the reader/buyer to pick my book up and open the cover to discover what lurks inside.

For those of you that use Photoshop you’ll know what I mean when I tell you that learning how to use GIMP is a steep learning curve. I tried literally a hundred times to make a book cover until I began to realize that some of my efforts were beginning to pay off. I could not afford the asking price of Photoshop. GIMP on the other hand is a free open-source photo editor with many great bells and whistles.

Last night I managed to finish my first attempt at a book cover. I still have some tweaking to get it where I want it. The good news is that I can now make this cover in less than a half hour of my time.

Seeing this first completed cover is one of the things that motivate me to continue my writing journey. I am researching a different font for this cover and might rescale the image of Bast to a slightly larger size. I also want to add a line somewhere letting the reader know that this is book one of my trilogy.

I would love to hear from anyone who is designing his/her own book cover. Keep your pens moving and words flowing.

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