Thursday, February 6, 2014

5 Tools for Creating Graphics

Everyone knows the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". We also know that using other people's graphics for our own benefit can be a violation of copyright. So what is the graphically challenged blogger and author suppose to do to dress up their social media networks? Lucky for us there are some tools out there that can help.

1. Paint
Most computers come with a free basic program. I have Paint. It is pretty simple to use, but what you can do with it is kind of limited. I like to use it to create colored backgrounds and adding book covers or multiple images to the same graphic.

2. Photobucket
I often pair Paint and Photobucket to create my graphics. You use to be able to do more with Photobucket (see this post), but I still use it for background effects and frames. I also like some of the fonts offered. If you need a set size, I find Photobucket makes it easy,

3. PicMonkey
Another photo editor that I know a number of bloggers and authors are using is PicMonkey. They offer some set canvas sizes, including Facebook cover. One of the features I miss from Photobucket is the collage function. Pickmonkey offers it and can be a great way to easily put a number of images, such as covers from a series, into one graphic.

4. PowerPoint
The other day I had a Doh! moment. I was looking at some graphics made by the National Weather Service and realized they were PowerPoint slides. There are a number of open source programs that offer presentation options. I like KingSoft. I've used Open Office as well, but find it kind of buggy.

5. PhotoShop/GIMP
If you have a little time, it would be well spent learning the basics to PhotoShop or the open source program GIMP. They can be a little intimidating, but once you get the hang of it you can make some pretty cool graphics. Do a quick search for Photoshop tutorial or GIMP tutorial and you will find step-by-step guides and even a few YouTube videos.

In my ebook Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour, I offer my own step-by-step guide to creating tour graphics. You can get it at Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.




Donna Huber
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the links above.
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1 comments:

  1. I've tried all the items on your list and Gimp is the best. I'm mildly sorry I downloaded 2.8 because I thought the previous version was better. But for almost Photoshop for free, there's nothing to beat it.

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