Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Create An E-Book Cover For Free With Gimp- Part 2 of 2

How to Create a Cover For Your Ebook For Free With GIMP - Part 2 of 2

By Steve Bracken

Assuming you have created your front cover for your 3D ebook cover from the free templates you downloaded, now you have to save it before you go on.

1. Click on File - Save and give it a name. It will be saved as a .xcf file, which maintains the layers of text and graphics so that you can go back later and change them.

2. Now you want to turn it into a flattened image that you can stick onto your ebook cover template. Click on Dialogs - Layers. In the main Gimp window you will see a list of all your layers. Click on the eye next to the background layer. You should now have just your cover with no white background (just a check pattern).

3. Right Click on any one of the layers and select Merge Visible. In the window that opens click on crop to bottom layer (your main page shape) and discard invisible layers (your background). Click OK. You now have your front cover prepared for sticking onto the cover template. Click Select - All, then Edit - Copy.

4. Now go to File - Open, and select the cover01.psd that you unzipped earlier. Open it. Click File - SaveAs and change the name so that you don't accidentally overwrite your copy of cover01 - you will be using again and again once you get hooked on creating your covers! ;)

5. If the layers are not visible in the main gimp window, click on Dialogs - Layers. Click on the layer called 3D Render. Click Layers - New Layer. Now click Edit - Paste Into.

6.Click on Layer - Anchor Layer. In the main gimp window change the opacity to about 40% so that you can see the ebook cover underneath your front cover. This will make it easier to position and shape the cover properly in the next steps.

7. Click on Tools - Transform - Scale. Click on the top left corner of your cover and drag it down until it has the same height as the spine of the ebook cover. Click Scale on the window that opens. Now click Tools - Transform - Move. Hold down Shift and click on your cover and move it into position so that the side is aligned with the spine. You might have to try Move and Scale a few times to get this right. It could also help if you zoom in on the image by clicking on 200% on the bottom of your image window.

8. Now select Tools - Tranform - Perspective. Click on the bottom right of your front cover and drag it into the front of the ebook cover underneath to get your 3d appearance. When you are happy that all the corners fit, click Transform in the window that opens.

9. Now you have it! Your first ebook cover. All you need to do now is to save it, and then save it again in a format you can use in your ebooks and on your websites.
Click File - Save As. Then save it as an xcf file for later modification.
Then save as again, but this time select the file extension at the bottom of the save window and choose jpeg.
Click Export in the window that opens and set the quality of the jpeg using the slider to give a file a balance between file size and image quality. Finito!
Get the updated versions of this tutorial with screen-shots and video as soon as they're available at

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