Posted by: Michael Kingswood | January 15, 2013

Changing the Covers

I use GIMP to do covers.  At least I do when I don’t hire out for them.  It’s pretty powerful, and the price was right – FREE!

Over the last year and a half I’ve learned a lot about how GIMP works, and I like to think I’ve gotten a lot better at covers.  Certainly the cover for The Necromancer’s Lair is pretty good, IMHO.  This one also is pretty good.  It’s for a novelette called The Suspect’s Wife.  I wrote it under my Mystery pen name, Alex Mariner, and released it last month.

Suspect's Wife Cover (1333x2000)I like it because it’s simple and to the point.

Now that said, some of my older covers REALLY suck.  I modified a few of them a little while back.  And while those modifications were improvements from the originals, looking at them now, some of them are still pretty weak.

Problem is, though I’ve learned a lot about how to use GIMP by trial and error, my knowledge is still fairly elementary.  Or rather, was.  A few days ago, I found a great GIMP tutorial site that gives step by step instructions in how to do a lot of cool stuff, some simple and some complex.  Just reading through a few of the tutorials showed me how to better use a number of GIMP’s features, in particular layer manipulation and text effects.  So last night, I decided to work on the cover for Lords of the Remnant, one of my earlier short stories.  I like the story, but frankly, the original cover was lacking.  Here are the results:

The original cover:  Lords of the Remnant Cover

And the new one:    Lords

I think this new one is about a 1000% improvement over the original.  I’m sure there are more ways to improve it, but I like it a lot.  I think I’ll be re-working the rest of my early covers over the next several months.  Stay tuned for the results.

In the meantime…

Lords of the Remnant.  A fun science fiction short story, now with a more fun cover.  It’s feeling lonely, though.  You should go say hi to it, check it out.  :)  And while you’re at it, say hi to it’s cousin, The Suspect’s Wife.  You’ll be happy you did.  :)

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Responses

  1. I use Photoshop (downloaded the free CS2 suite) and know about layers and effects on fonts… I see you figured them out on Gimp! :) Good job! :D

    • Thanks. :)

      I was about to download the CS2 suite, but I use a Mac with OSX Lion, which does not support Power PC applications, and CS2 is written for Power PC. So….no free CS2 for me.

      Shucks.


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