GIMP for Beginners: Book Covers and Free Graphic Design

An introduction to the free GIMP graphics design tool focusing on the creation of book covers for self-publishing
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  • Lectures 30
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

Learn the GIMP from the Ground Up

In this course I'll show you how to use the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), a free Photoshop like program, to produce professional looking, high quality graphics on a budget. The course uses the creation of book covers for self-publishing as the basis for demonstrating the use of the program. The techniques demonstrated can be used to create stunning graphics for any purpose including display on the Web.

GIMP Easily Explained:
Excellent course with detailed explanations on how to use GIMP to create fabulous book covers. Thank you!
-Maria Oquendo

This course provides material suitable for the absolute beginner and includes information on how to install all required tools and resources. It then goes on to show you how to use those components to produce unique, professional looking, and high quality graphics suitable for use as book covers for self-publishing. The course includes information on graphic composition that can be used to cause the most important elements of your image stand out.

Note: I demonstrate the use of the GIMP on a PC running Microsoft Windows 7. If you're a Linux or Mac user, the GIMP is also available to you, and information in this course beyond installation is fully applicable.

Sell More of Anything with Professional Looking Graphics

Though you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the truth is that most people do exactly that. Why not produce the best impression you can by displaying stunning graphics mixed with text. Whether you're selling books or some other product, graphics that can capture the customer's attention will give you a leg up in differentiating yourself from your competition.

This Course Includes Everything You Need to Know to Become Proficient with the GIMP

This course includes 29 lectures, over two hours of material, divided into the following major categories of information:

  • Installing, staring, and stopping the GIMP
  • GIMP window layout
  • Creating a simple book cover
  • Working with layers and selections
  • Loading fonts and using text effects
  • Buying and manipulating inexpensive images
  • Creating colored boxes
  • Using layer masks
  • Stroking a path
  • Putting it all together

Learn to Create Stunning Book Covers and More

Why focus on book covers? The course benefits from having a specific focus and I'm the most familiar with using the GIMP to create book covers. Besides, you only need to know the fundamentals of using the GIMP to produce book covers. Don't worry, you can still create amazing images for the Web and beyond using the basics of the GIMP.

A Great Cover Course
Bite sized lessons that are clear and concise on how to use The GIMP to create ebook covers for the KINDLE. Very easy to follow.
-Bronwyn Wilson

This course uses a combination of presentation slides and screen capture to show you how to use the GIMP to produce book covers specifically.

Expect to spend several days to weeks digesting all the information provided in this course.

Start Today!

Silly as it may seem, your book cover is the first characteristic of your book that is likely to distinguish you from the crowd. Why not spend some time learning how to produce a quality, professional looking book cover for your self-published work using free tools and inexpensive professional quality images?

What are the requirements?

  • A PC running Windows or Linux or a Mac running MacOS
  • Some free memory and disc space to accommodate the GIMP and your images

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Install the GIMP on Your PC
  • Use the GIMP to produce a basic book cover
  • Use advanced concepts to produce professional looking book covers
  • Use tips and suggestions to maximize our design and implemention

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone seeking an introduction on how to produce high quality graphics using the GIMP
  • Self-published authors needing to produce professional looking, high quality book covers on a budget

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

This course introduction provides an overview of the course objectives and my computing environment.


In this lecture I demonstrate how to install the GIMP on Windows 7.


Learn to start the GIMP, the screen layout presented by the GIMP program, and how to exit the GIMP.


Some additional information from the cutting room floor.

Section 2: Creating a Simple Book Cover

Create an entirely white image the correct dimensions and resolution for a book cover.


In this lecture we cover how to load images off the internet and load them onto a cover. Warning: Only use to which you own the rights, such as purchased images, for your book covers.


Explains how to insert a simple title and author name over the top of the image.


Learn how to save your book cover for later manipulation using the GIMP and for display on the Web.

Section 3: Working with Layers and Selections

In this lecture we introduce layers, an important element when it comes to composing complex images from simple components.


How to use the image selection tools.


Review how to apply various visual effects to selected regions of an image.


Learn how to select, copy, cut, and paste graphical selections.


Here is some additional information on the use of layers focusing on the Layers Window menu.

Section 4: Loading Fonts and Using Text Effects

Let's look at what can be done to make your text look special.


In this lesson we review how to search the internet for free fonts and load them into the GIMP for usage on our book covers.


Explore how to make use of the fonts you downloaded.


How to make text standout by placing drop shadows beneath.

Section 5: Buying and Manipulating Inexpensive Images

This chapter outlines purchasing inexpensive images from for use on your book covers.


This lecture explains some of the manipulations that can applied to images once they're selected.

Section 6: Creating Colored Boxes

Learn how to create rectangles of color our your book covers.


Learn to use the GIMP Color Picker tool to sample colors from images or other websites.


Learn to use the color gradient tool to produce boxes and background containing color gradients.


Use colored boxes behind text layers to make the text standout on your book cover.

Section 7: Using Layer Masks

Learn how to use layer masks to produce image and text effects.

Section 8: Stroking a Path

Learn how to outline text by stroking a path.

Section 9: Putting It All Together

As a final project we create a simple yet pleasing book cover by combining images with text and colored boxes.

Making a Space Book Cover

In this lecture we create yet another video to stress the use of colored boxes on a book cover.


Some final information on downloading the sample covers in XCF format.

Section 10: Question and Answer

In response to a student who asks how to create a layer and fill it with a color.

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Instructor Biography

Author/Publisher Brian Jackson, 28 Courses, 1,950+ Reviews, 4.56 Stars and 42,000+ Students

Born in Los Angeles, California, in the middle of the last century, I have always wanted to be a writer. After twenty-five some odd years spent working in the computer industry in the heart of the Silicon Valley, first for Lockheed as a Systems Programmer and later for Cisco Systems as a test tool developer, I managed to retire early and begin my next career as a self-published author.

Along with writing and publishing my own novels I also publish the works of my wife, Melanie Jackson. During the past four years I’ve published well over 100 books in paperback and eBook formats. Oddly enough this includes eBooks on how to self-publish books and how to create professional looking book covers using the GIMP. I’ve also recorded and distributed a pair of audiobooks available for purchase on Amazon and Audible. Finally, I spend a portion of my time maintaining both my website and my wife’s website, which was developed using WordPress.

My latest endeavor, begun in July of 2014, is to record training courses for distribution via Udemy. My goal is to provide low cost high quality screen cast based educational material focusing on my area of expertise; namely, self-publishing and book cover design using the GIMP. As time permits, I plan to expand my catalog to cover Web page development and Udemy course preparation.

I currently live in the beautiful California wine country with my wife, published author Melanie Jackson, and Butterscotch the cat.

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