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.
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:
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. :)