The Wall of Book Covers
Book Cover Downloads
Ebook Template Download
GIMP & HTML Udemy Course Examples
Udemy Courses

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Self-publishing Ebooks on Amazon
Self-publish ebooks on Amazon using Microsoft Word to format your book and the KDP web interface to submit it.
Gimp Book Covers for Self-publishing
Use the GIMP to make book covers for use in self-publishing your short story, novella, text book, or novel.
Gimp Intermediate
GIMP intermediate topics to go beyond the basics of book cover creation.
Gimp Advanced
Use the GIMP to create 3D book covers and other advanced techniques using this free image manipulation program.
Use the GIMP to create web graphics and HTML to position those graphics on a web page.
Write Now
Write a novel, novella, or short story using this inspirational and practical advice.
How to use the free Mail Chimp service to maintain mailing lists and mount email campaigns.
Word 2010 for Beginners
The basics of Microsoft Word 2010 for beginners, focusing upon the features most often used by writers.
Self-publishing on CreateSpace
Format a manuscript using Word and submit it for print on demand (POD) publication via the CreateSpace web interface.
Do It Yourself: Book Covers
Brian Jackson, February 2011, 78 pages, $0.99 eBook Price

Finally, a Do It Yourself Guide on Creating Book Covers

Here it is, the book you've been waiting for. Finally, you can create your own book covers using the simplified methodology outlined in the book. It's fun, it's easy, it's fast, and it's cheap.

Sell More Books by Getting Your Book Noticed

What's the first thing you notice about a book, even an eBook, when shopping on Amazon, the world's largest retail book seller? I'm willing to bet it's the cover. Even before you read the title or author name to see if you might be interested, it's typically the cover of the book that first catches your eye. That being the case, here's an important question I want you to ask yourself before we begin:

If my book cover is the most important element when it comes to getting my self-published book noticed and ultimately sold, then why am I not creating my book cover myself?

The answer to this question may very well be that there are no training materials available on how to create book covers. At least I haven't seen any. If this is what has been holding you back, I'd like to help by offering this manual to fill this significant vacuum in the pantheon of self-publishing literature.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Using the GIMP

This guide is directed at users of the PC based Windows 7 operating system (though it has been used successfully by MacOS users). It instructs you on the use of the Gnu Image Manipulation Program GIMP (a free program) to combine text, colored boxes, and inexpensive images to produce spectacular book covers.

Why wait. Now's the time to become your own graphic artist.

What You'll Learn in This Book

  1. Installing and Running the GIMP
  2. Creating a Simple Book Cover
  3. Working with Layers and Selections
  4. Loading Fonts and Using Font Effects
  5. Buying and Manipulating Inexpensive Images
  6. Creating Colored Boxes
  7. Using Layer Masks
  8. Sroking a Path
  9. Putting It All Together
Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords)
Do It Yourself: Publish On Amazon
Brian Jackson, February 2011, 45 pages, $0.99 eBook Price

This manual explains how to format your book using Microsoft Word on either a PC or a Mac for publication at Amazon using the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) web-based interface. Formatting books for publication on Amazon isn't a sexy subject, but it is about to become fundamental to your life as a self-published author. Let me save you some time and frustration by walking you through the process your first time. I've done this more than 100 times myself, so I think I'm ready to lead the way.

Before we begin, I wanted to point out that publishing a book on Amazon may not be as straightforward as you originally thought. In addition to making your book available in ebook format via KDP, Amazon provides services for selling your book in Print on Demand (POD) paperback format (CreateSpace) and audiobook format (ACX/Audible). This book addresses formatting your book and publishing it in all three formats.

This book is terse but packed with information. I'll assume you've made your decision to self-publish and you don't need to read all that marketing hype. I'm here to guide you through the process of publishing on Amazon with as few missteps as possible.

Why wait. Now's the time to become your publisher.

What You'll Learn in This Book

  1. Book Publishing Resources
  2. Formatting Your Book for Amazon
  3. Refining Your Book Page
  4. Using KDP to Publish Your Book
  5. Using Kindle Select
  6. Publishing on CreateSpace
  7. ACX Audiobook Creation
  8. Amazon Author Central
Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords)
Remote Control
Brian Jackson, April 2011, 78k words, $2.99 eBook Price

British intelligence can no longer afford to risk its finest minds in the field. Now female control agents who are trained and retained at headquarters remotely communicate with male field agents who are long on brawn and short on brain.

Angie was the best in her field when she ran up against an arch villian who neutralized her field agent. This looked bad on the record, but even worse she did the unspeakable: she fell in love with her replacement field agent, Alistair McInnis.

Alistair lied his way through the admission process and is far smarter than any one thinks. But when he finds himself on a suicide mission, Angie has to break all the rules to save him. Does she succeed?

Remote control is story of a possible present in which women run the world hidden behind proxy male mouthpieces. It is both a romantic comedy and an action adventure story.

Read Remote Control and meet the James Bond of the future.

Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords)
Travel Logged
Brian Jackson, February 2011, 81k words, $2.99 eBook Price

Owen fell to pieces the day his wife died. Once a top executive, a mover and shaker in his field, Owen's private and professional life have now both been ruined by alcholism. His boss gives Owen one last chance to redeem himself by joining a cut-rate tour conducted by a company just purchased by his own and reporting back on the tour agency's deficiencies. Having no other chioce, Owen accepts.

Outraged by the bad food and even worse hotels and touched by the stories of his companions, Owen upgrades the tour using his corporate expense account and corporate travel resources. Along the way, Owen learns to love again.

Now only one step ahead of Interpol, can Owen pull off the vacation coupe of a lifetime?

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Brian Jackson, September 2010, 75k words, $2.99 eBook price, $5.99 print price

Susan Weber is a successful advertising executive living the high life in San Francisco. One night she clogs her kitchen drain by stuffing a whole chicken carcass down the garbage disposal. Enter Joe the plumber. He's friendly, polite, drop dead gorgeous... and happens to be a vampire. Drained is a light hearted, romantic farce in which a couple tries to coup with being half undead.

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Of Two Hearts
Brian Jackson, August 2010, 35k words, $2.99 eBook Price

This work includes the two novellas "Moon Heart" and "Soul to Soul".

In Moon Heart a dying woman stumbles upon a miraculous cure in the form of a wounded werewolf. After saving the beast from a hunter's gun, compassion turns to romance as two lost souls learn to hope again.

In Soul to Soul Julia Wilcox gets a great deal on a rental home where she plans to work on her new novel. Finding the home to be huanted, she begins to write a story about the ghost. But soon love comes calling and Julia finds that she is the only one who can save her new found love from oblivion.

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M/M Romance
First Son
Brian Jackson, August 2010, 63k words, $2.99 eBook Price

Ian Johnston, son of the President of the United States, flaunts his gay lifestyle to taunt his father, a conservative leader of the Republican Party. While clubbing one night, Ian is stabbed and nearly dies. Malcolm Young is an ex-army ranger who works for the Secret Service. Without his consent he's assigned to pose as Ian's lover in order to protect the president's son. Thrown together against their will, Ian encounters the first love of his life while Malcolm is forced to confront his own deeply hidden sexual desires. Can love survive the intense scrutiny of public office? First Son is a light and whimsical journey through the halls of power taken by two unlikely lovers.

Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords)
Blood Lust
Brian Jackson, August 2010, 59k words, $2.99 eBook Price

An amped up, shiver driven, love fest. - Dark Realm Review.

Blood Lust is a contemporary retelling of Dracula as a M/M Romance. It tells the story of Don Emilio Diego Vargas Tepes and his thwarted attempt to subjugate Los Angeles under an iron rule. Join Arthur, Seward, Van Helsing, and even the crazed lunatic Crenshaw, as they confront evil on a grand scale.

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Man Made
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

"Man Made" is a contemporary retelling of "Frankenstein" as a M/M romance. It tells the story of a man who creates a beast to satisfy his carnal desires only to lose control of his creation. What unfolds is a story of dark obsession and revenge.
Cozy Mystery
Sanderson House
Brian Jackson, September 2011, 39k words, $2.99 eBook Price

Cheryl Sanderson is looking to make a new start in life beginning with her new home in San Francisco. But her old life in Las Vegas won't leave her be. Soon she's hip deep in boarders, larcenists, and dead bodies. And to clear her good name she must find the murderer of her most recent house guest.

Sanderson House is an enjoyable cozy mystery about a young mother trying to catch a break in life.

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Soul to Soul (Sanderson House 2)
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

Cheryl Sanderson's husband Leo is dead and gone. Or is he? After leaving his funeral, Cheryl is haunted by the image of her husband, and he wants something. So does Leo's boss, Big Eddie. Now Cheryl is having to follow a string of clues to satisfy the last wishes of her late husband while being dogged by big Eddie and his goons.

Soul to Soul is an enjoyable sequel to the cozy mystery Sanderson House.
Murder Most Deadly
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

Everyone in Crabapple Cake Corner is a slueth, but they are also frueds. "Murder Most Deadly" is a cozy mystery spoof in which an inept detective is called upon to solve a most dastardly crime. Ultimately faced with the kidnapping of one of their own, can the town pull together to bring an arch criminal to justice?
Science Fiction
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

What would you do if you ran the world? Nathan Merryweather is about to find out as he visits a lonely Nebraska farm to resolve a simple insurance claim. "Symphony" is the story of an alternate present in which nothing is as it seems and a man who finds that he can't escape his destiny.
Fly (Sequel to Symphony)
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

A plane lands at a closed military base in the Mojave Desert. The military is looking for someone. A burglar pulls off the heist of a lifetime only to have all of his assets made null and void. A battle ensues in the remote desert for the destiny of humanity. Read "Fly", the sequel to "Symphony".
The First Book of Dreams: Metropolis
Brian & Melanie Jackson, September 2010, 92k words, $2.99 eBook Price

Welcome to the Narcoscape, the place of dreams where infants are beguiled by visions and do not wake in the morning. It is the shadowy realm of the coma patient and the last stop for the drug users who come looking for the arms of Morpheus. It is the kingdom of the insane, the place where dark things prey on the mind.

If you are lost in the Narcoscape you need a dream retrieval expert like Nicodemus Smith, the ghost hunter, the slayer of night terrors who won't negotiate with the Dream Police.

Prepare to enter the dream world, a world like you've never experience before.

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The Second Book of Dreams: Meridian
Brian & Melanie Jackson, October 2010, 61k words, $2.99 eBook Price

Welcome back to the Narcoscape, the shadowy realm of dreams where dark things prey on the mind. We all go there; the saints, the sinners, and the serial killers too. Can Nicodemus Smith, a dreamside detective, find a wakeside killer before he hunts her down?

"A fresh new world well worth visiting."
--Lynsay Sands, New York Times Bestselling Author

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The Third Book of Dreams: Destiny
Brian & Melanie Jackson, October 2010, 57k words, $2.99 eBook Price

Nicodemus Smith can control dreams, but can she control Destiny? She will have to if she is to save her lover and the Narcoscape from a rogue agent of the FBI. Enter the Narcoscape, the shadowy realm of dreams where dark things can prey on the mind.

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Blood Reich
Brian Jackson, August 2010, 81k words, $2.99 eBook Price

The year is 1945 and the Third Reich is losing the war. In a desperate attempt to save the Motherland from destruction, the Nazi High Command makes a deal with an ancient Yugoslavian count to give them the blood of the vampire. Vampirism soon spreads through the German forces turning men into blood crazed fighting machines and the Wehrmacht into an unstoppable juggernaut.

Johann Schmitt is an aging Gestapo officer who after capturing Pierce, an American spy, discovers that his country is being overcome by vampirism. Together, Schmitt and Pierce try to stay alive while attempting to respond to the unearthly menace that threatens to destroy their countries and take over the world.

Blood Reich is a fast paced action, horror novel that pits an unlikely duo against the forces of evil to save humanity.

View the Blood Reich Trailer.

Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords)
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

"Demeter" is a detailed retelling of the voyage of Dracula from Transylvania to the shores of Great Britain. Originally told via a set of short entries in the ships log, "Demeter" fills in the blanks while telling the detailed story of what really happened during that doomed passage.
Meat Hook
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

Every town has a boogyman. The town of Forest Pines has a real one and his name is Meathook.

The time has once more rolled around for the Harvest Festival and the Adams family has come to town to visit friends and enjoy in the festivities. The stockyards may have closed long ago but that's no reason not to kill a fatted calf. This year the streets will be painted with the blood of both the guilty and the innocent.

Night Moves
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

They thought they would be enjoying a weekend alone in a cabin in the woods. Then their sleep was interrupted by a band of intruders. Now they can only hope that an ancient evil buried deep within the basement of the cabin will come to their aid and free them from the worst that man can do.
Horror (Young Adult)
Dead Ringer
Brian Jackson, Coming Soon

Charlie Weber goes to high school. He only has one problem. He's dead. Having your ear fall off can be embarassing, but at least Charlie still has one chance to get his life back in order and graduate. "Dead Ringer" is a story of a night at the carnival gone horribly wrong and a young man's attempt to set things right again with no other help than that of a band of freaks.
Short Stories
Dead of Night
Brian Jackson, August 2010, 59k words, $2.99 eBook Price

From the end of the world to romance on an elementary school playground, from vampires and ghosts to killer accordions, these are the short stories of Brian Jackson. Published individually in various hard copy venues, these stories are now available for the first time in a single volume. Come let the author share with you his love for the short story form.

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The Kiss
Brian Jackson, August 2010, 6750 words, $0.99 eBook Price

"My name is Steve Merriman and I'm eleven years old... Today, March 11th, 1969, after school, I have to kiss a girl." Thus begins the charming story of the longest day in a young boy's life. Here, for the first time as a standalone story is a remembrance from days gone by when: drop drills were performed to prepare for the bomb, girls had koodies, and a first kiss was both scary and enthralling.

Publication History:
    March, 2008, Spring Review 2008, Columbia College
    June, 2008, A Curious Affair by Melanie Jackson, Dorchester Publishing
    August, 2010, Dead of Night by Brian Jackson
    September, 2012, audio recording by Brian Jackson

Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords), Audiobook (Audible)
In Walked Trouble
Brian Jackson, January 2011, 7500 words, $0.99 eBook Price

"I knew ahead of time that trouble was at my door by the sound of the footsteps in the hallway. You see, they were the footsteps of a dame; and in my book, and at this time of night, a dame almost always spells trouble." Harland Case is on the job again, only this time the job involves vampires and other unsavories. A Los Angeles, noir piece that tells the story of one hard up dick.

Publication History:
    November, 2009, Lost Continent Review eZine
    August, 2010, Dead of Night by Brian Jackson

Print (CreateSpace), Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), All eFormats (Smashwords)
  About the Author

    Born in Los Angeles 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 modularly using Bootstrap 3 and SSI technologies.

    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.

    Available on Kindle is my backlog of previously published and unpublished material. My books are clever, exciting, and often written with a sense of humor.

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

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