Main | eBook Cover Creation - Part 4 - Preparing Your Cover Image »

eBook Cover Creation - Part 5 - Adding the Cover Text


For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to re-create my cover for 'Prospero'.

Well unless you're trying to be very unique, you'll want to add some text to your cover, such as the title and the author's name. Let's start with the title.

If GIMP was open when you installed your font then you'll have to restart it, otherwise it won't appear in the font list.

Make sure to save your progress thus far and keep it in GIMP's default 'xcf' format.

To add text to your cover, click on the 'Text' tool;

Click and drag on your image the area you would like the text to fill. If you plan to centre your text then it is suggested that you have the text box stretch the entire width of the cover. You will note two things when you create this text area;

The text entry box appears.
This is where you'll enter the title of your ebook.
A new layer is added to the 'Layers' pallette.
We will look at this more closely in a moment, but basically everything you add to your cover creates another 'layer' that can be edited.
Enter your title text in the text entry box.
You will note that it will also become the name of the text layer.

You'll notice that you can't really see the text on the cover yet. That's because the default size of the font is 18pt, and your image is quite large by comparison (though you are looking at a zoomed-out view).

Highlight the entire text in the text entry box, then select your font from the drop-down menu in the 'Text' portion of the 'Toolbox' pallette.

Next you'll want to change the font size. I had to bump it up to 320 before it occupied the full width of the cover.

Be sure to center the text as well (see above). You can also change the font colour if you'd like, though I do not plan to.

Your title now looks like this;

It's a bit lost in the trees, isn't it? Let's use the corner boxes to pull it down into the sky a bit.

Now let's darken the font up a bit. First, click on the 'Select by Color' tool;

With the new cursor, click on any part of the title font. It will select the entire title.

It will look kind of funky. That's okay.
Not go to Edit->Stroke Selection;

At the menu, change the value under 'Stroke Line' to 5.0 and click OK. Feel free to experiment with your own values.

You will be able to vaguely see that the intensity of the font lines have changed. To look at it properly, click on Select->None.

It's now much more dark and crisp.

Quick note - at this point, if you need to edit your text, re-select the Text tool from the Toolbox and click on the text area. The following prompt will appear;

Click on 'Edit', and you will get your text entry box back.

Now we have our title, let's add a little bit of a shadow effect.
To do this, we must first make a copy of our title.

On the text layer, aptly named after our title, right click and select 'Duplicate Layer'.

You will now have a second layer. My new layer is called 'PROSPERO#1'. Click and drag it so that it is underneath the original layer.

Select the second layer, then click and drag the corner boxes of the text area, pulling the second layer of the title downward so that you have an odd merging of titles such as this;

Don't worry, we'll fix it. Making sure the second layer is selected, go to Filters->Blue-Gaussian Blur;

Adjust the blur until the preview box looks like a the desired shadow effect. I put mine at about 35. Whatever you enter in Horizontal will automatically adjust and reflect in Vertical. Click OK.

The end result is a pretty cool effect. Don't mind those guidelines. They'll disappear when you save it in a more conventional file type.

Repeat these steps to add the author's name. You can use the same font or a different font, whichever you prefer. I typiclaly add my name in the Tahoma font - as a Windows font it is free for commercial use.

In the next section we will review the finalizing steps for completing your cover!

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