Has anyone used Adobe Photoshop Elements to make a book cover?


Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2014
I have pretty good drawing skills but little skill in painting. Would Photoshop Elements enable me to add colours and textures to a design, good enough for a book cover on Amazon? For instance, for volume one I'd be looking at an image of a medallion incorporating ornate sigils. (Such an object features in the first chapter). I can draw such a thing easily to a high quality but I want the medallion to have the look of worn, dented, dully polished bronze or similar, on a background suggesting snow. For volume three I want several large jewels on a purple satin cloth, one jewel to contain a human face. Would Elements enable me to scan a good quality drawing and/or stock photo and add the colours/textures to create these images?
It can, yes, but it will only be as effective as your skills in photomanipulation and digital painting/drawing and understanding of the program tools. Have you ever used Photoshop or Photoshop Elements before?
No but there's a first time for everything and plenty of instructional videos online. The cost of buying the elements software seems to be no more than I'd have to pay a designer to do it for me, and I'd have the software permanently to use for other things.
Alternatively I think my previous idea is too ambitious. So I'm wanting something like this (image attached: this is a rough draft of course). I want the object to look metallic, lit from one side, on a background. It would be same image for covers of three books in a series, with different colours/textures.
Volume One: gold object on white satin background, or maybe white marble
Volume Two: silver object on green foliage background
Volume Three: object made of bone or maybe polished black stone on background of flames.

I know that Photoshop Elements can cut out an image from its background but I'm not clear whether it can cut out an image like this that has holes in it. Also I'm not clear from Adobe's promotional videos whether it can do different surfaces like metallic etc?


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I know that the full Photoshop program can do all of that. Whether Photoshop Elements can is another matter. It should, as a lot of that would rely on some of the basic tools, but I don't know how pared-down Elements is vs. the CS or CC versions of Photoshop. It is a somewhat complicated procedure though as it would require a combination of layer-masking, painting, gradients, texture overlays, and other effects.
Thanks I'm moving towards using paintshop pro as someone I asked on reddit was very critical of elements.
There are cheaper software options available that do most of what photoshop does. GIMP is a common one. I've been looking at Affinity, which seems to have good reviews when compared to Photoshop.

You might be better trying to find a vector image to start with. The image you linked isn't great for working on. The colours are so faded and the lines are undefined. Even in photoshop you would have to spend hours cleaning it up to do what you wanted.

With a vector you could have something done in a few minutes. My attempt isn't great but you get the idea.


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I apologise in advance if i've gotten ahead of myself or presumed something about what you are looking for but here goes anyway...

Regarding book covers, I would also reccomend you consider your approach to the copy, text, title and its general design. i.e the graphic design of the book cover.

If you're not capable of doing something worthy of the books contents there are many people on upwork or other outsourcing platforms who can do this at very fair rates, it might be worth a look.

I'd say if you have spent months or even years writing something why not spend a few quid on making the package look amazing too!

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