If you have an eBook that you would like to sell, you probably already know that having a dramatic image of your book dramatically increases sales. Potential buyers feel better about purchasing something that has the appearance of being tangible even though it is really just a file they will download.
Paying others to develop your eBook cover for you is expensive. Many of the software packages available that design cover graphics for you create covers that look very cheap. This can actually lead to a decrease in sales! The automatic creation of good-looking covers is a myth. To get a good, high-quality graphic, you are going to have to design one yourself with graphic software.
Once you decide to make your own eBook cover, you need to choose a graphic software package to use. Most professional graphic designers use Photoshop. But Photoshop is very expensive. For an excellent and free alternative, there is software called The GIMP. You can download the GIMP for free at http://www.gimp.org .
If you are making 2D cover images, you will open a new layer with the correct dimensions of a book cover, such as 500 width by 700 length. You can then continue to add layers of images and text, and apply a host of various effects to each. For example, you can make an image semi-transparent, and then put the text in front of it.
GIMP uses a concept called "Layers". Think of layers as being a clear piece of plastic on which you place your image or text. You can have as many layers as you want, and arrange them in any order, so that some images can appear in front of others. Using Layers will allow you to continue to play with your image, manipulating it until your eBook cover looks just the way you want it. Then you can save your project as an image file, such as JPEG.