I took advantage of the 4th of July sale by BookCoverPro and purchased the Deluxe version of the company's book cover design software. So far I have successfully created two book covers using the company's templates that come as standard items in the software package.
Any time you obtain a new software package it takes quite some time, at least for me, to learn how to use all of the bells and whistles. Once I decided to try using the templates I had five roughed up covers within an hour. I selected one of the five rough attempts and honed into a nice looking cover even my wife thought looked good.
I did try to make a cover completely from scratch and after spending several hours gave up and went back to the templates for the second cover I created, a redesign of a cover for a book already in print. This is not a condemnation of the software, just a comment on the fact that to create something from scratch will take quite a bit more effort to master the learning curve.
Some authors may object to using templates out of the fear of creating a cookie cutter book cover. BookCoverPro provides a wide range of backgrounds, the ability to change colors and other items to create a unique cover. Even with the permanent, fixed features of the templates, BookCoverPro allows for the creation of additional text boxes and the introduction of photographs and images from outside the selection made available by BookCoverPro.
The software can be purchased as a download or a CD. A 20+ page manual is available for download and provides basic instructions on the features of the software and is quite helpful. Yes, I read the directions!
For the money I spent this was a great deal. I can create a unique cover in a short period of time for less than half of what I would spend to have one professionally created, and that is on the low end of the cost spectrum for custom covers.
As with any investment in a business, the owner should look carefully at the benefits of the money invested. If you only have one or two books and do not plan to publish multiple books, you might be well served to pay a professional to create a unique cover for you.
If you plan to publish multiple books, even at the full price of $187 for the downloadable version and $202 for the CD version, this software is well worth the price. The basic BookCoverPro Standard version is available for $97 but comes with only one template, as opposed to 49 in the Deluxe version, and additional templates may be purchased for $14 each. For $212 a CD and downloadable package can be obtained. Additional licenses for the Deluxe version may be purchased for $99 each and additional licenses for the Standard package may be purchased for $59.
While I have not tried this feature yet, the software has tools to convert the cover designed for print to an e-book cover.
Perhaps the best feature of the software is every cover created by the software using the templates provided are designed to be used and accepted by the two main print-on-demand companies, CreateSpace and Lightning Source.