Book & eBook Covers
You know what they say about first impressions and all. . .
That definitely holds true for books. Now, that's not to say that there's a right and a wrong way to make a cover. You can make your cover look HOWEVER you'd like. It's your book. Your cover.
But if you're feeling a little stuck and don't know where to turn, here are some of our favorite Cover Resources.
Free Cover and Blurb Critique
Copyright Free Image Sites
Yes, you could get Photoshop. It is a great program that allows you to create beautiful covers.
You could also hire someone, there are even people on Fiverr who will create covers for you. There are those who say "you get what you pay for" but I was quite happy with the first 3 covers that I purchased via Fiverr. Just make sure that the images used are royalty free. I recommend giving the seller your own images that you've already purchased (or taken yourself).
However, there is a program that will allow you to do just about everything Photoshop allows, all for no cost.
And that is Gimp.
Now, you have to be careful when downloading Gimp. There are many knockoffs out there that will severely mess up your computer. So make sure you're getting it from a reputable online source.
Next is Inkscape.
Inkscape is an open source free vector graphics program. Like Illustrator, it can be used to draw and design digital art that can be resized for a variety of uses. It may seem daunting at first, but after a few basic tutorials, it's no more complex than Paint.
A site that I joined a year ago is PicMonkey.
I. LOVE. PICMONKEY. It's reasonably priced (there is a free version) and it is incredibly easy to use and gives you a great sounding board for your covers. I use it to create my test covers, especially if I'm unsure what image I'm going to end up using, and then use another program to polish (I use Photoshop, but only because my husband already had it on his computer).
Tutorials aren't really necessary for PicMonkey. Everything is pretty self explanatory - no fancy lingo, etc. It's all click, drag, and drop.