Before we get into the actual creation of our very own OpenOffice Writer Template, we’re going to need a few tools.
Now, for the basis of this, and other tutorials available freely on EZebookTemplates.com, I’m going to make some assumptions about the tools you actually have. I’m going to assume that you have the same tools I do.
But don’t worry, I’ll also have alternative suggestions for the higher priced tools that I use .
Okay, with all that out of the way, it’s time to get down to the first portion, which is. . . . .
Being Prepared By Having The Right Tools Handy
But, having the right tools can make a huge difference in what types of OOo ebook template creations you can come up with.
So, here’s what I use:
1.) OpenOffice Writer — Duh!
2.) Photoshop 7
3.) Iconico.com’s Color Picker Tool
4.) A Good Resource For Color Schemes — like www.colorschemer.com
5.) A Slammin’ Place To Generate Web 2.0 Stripe-y Backgrounds — www.stripegenerator.com/
6.) A Few Extra Graphic Resources — like Photoshop Layer Styles, Photoshop Brushes, Ebook Cover Actionscripts (that’s for Photoshop too ), Royalty Free Images that can be included inside “for sale”, or “commercial”, template designing, a place to help with template ideas, etc.
Now, if you’ve got good resources like those listed above, coming up with killer OOo ebook templates is much easier to do.
But, don’t be fooled. It’s still kind of tricky to do, and does take some time. However, it’s nothing you can’t learn with a little bit of help .
So, if you don’t have the things on the above list, it’s time to let you in on where to get them and some great cheaper alternatives to some of the tools.
1.) OpenOffice Writer Alternatives
Um. Okay, why would you need one??? It’s FREE dammit! Plus, it’s really the entire basis of this tutorial, and the entire site, so if you don’t have it and you want to continue on, then GO GET IT!!
2.) Photoshop 7 Alternatives
Really, I think you should be using Photoshop when following along, but I know it’s pretty expensive. Even for the older version I’m using.
So, a good alternative, that’s also FREE, would be GIMP.
Lots of people use it. And it works fine for them.
However, there are certain things that we’ll be using in the following parts of this tutorial that will require you to have Photoshop, like Brushes, Layer Styles, and Actionscripts. Those are designed to work solely with Photoshop, so it may be a good idea to download a free 30 day trial of the program from Adobe.
At least that way you’ll have 30 days to play around and learn how to use Photoshop .
3.) Iconico.com’s Color Picker Tool Alternatives
Well, I don’t know why you’d need an alternative since the tool is free. But, if you do, you can purchase a similar tool from www.colorschemer.com. But again, you really don’t need an alternative to free. . . . .do you??
4.) Good Resources For Color Schemes
The color schemer site isn’t the only place to check out cool color schemes. There are a few more places. Oh, and every one of them is free to check out the color schemes, so there’s no worries about cost here!
ColorBlender.com – for those of you that prefer to create your own unique color schemes
ColourLovers.com – a terrific place to spy all kinds of neato color schemes, patterns, and other cool colorful stuff
ColorSchemer Gallery – the standard for checking out tons of color schemes
Daily Color Scheme – nice site that offers new color schemes every day
Page Painter Color Scheme Gallery – a number of color schemes to check out
Adobe’s Kuler – pretty cool site with very attractive color schemes
5.) Web 2.0 Stripe-y Generator Tool Alternatives
Well, again, the Stripe Generator site online tool is free to use. Plus you can browse other people’s stripe designs and get some great ideas of your own. So, I think this one is the only one you need
6.) Extra Graphics Resources
You can never have too many of these sites bookmarked. The tricky part is finding sites that offer free, or not too expensive, graphics to use inside designs you plan to sell. Those are few and far between at this juncture, but I’ll do my best to provide you with a few places . . . .
Creating Online – so far, looks like you can pick up some free stock photos and can use them multiple times within your designs without having to purchase an extended use license, but this is for the FREE photos listed ONLY
Wikipedia Public Domain Image Resource Page – this has a pretty good listing of places to get “so-so” images you can use commercially for free
Image*After – a decent resource offering free images that can be used commercially in your designs
SXC.hu – this use to be a great place to pick up some free images to use within your template designs, but they have since changed their terms and this is no longer allowed.
but, you can get some great ideas for desiging by browsing through their gallery.
and, if you’re just making ebook templates for your own use, then adding their images is all right, so long as you’re not reselling it? messy stuff, i know!
Big Stock Photo – this site is a little bit more lax with their terms of usage, but if you’re going to be reselling your template multiple times, then you’ll need to purchase one of their “special licenses” for every photo/image you use.
Free Photoshop Brushes – contains a nice list of places to pick up personal use and commercial use PS brush sets
bsilva’s Squidoo PS Brush List Page – even though you’ll have to pay $9.99 for each commercial brush set you want to use in any resellable works, b includes some really nice free Photoshop brush sets you can play around with, along with tutorials and other interesting stuff
SpoonGraphics Urban Brushes – these can be used within commercial designs( read the comments on the page and you’ll see what I mean ) and they are very, very good
Emma Alvarez’s Butterfly Brushes – a lovely collection of soft butterfly shapes that can be used in commercial designs with a few restrictions
Nice And Easy PS Brushes – free for commercial use, a few sets that are interesting and could be useful to you
Free Web 2.0 Layer Styles – the best web 2.0 styles I’ve found anywhere online, free or otherwise. i prefer to use these on my text and sometimes within a header/footer design. they’re fantastic!!
Okay, that was a LOT to digest.
I know. But think how much more prepared you’ll be when we start designing our very first ebook template. And how much simpler it will be.
Tomorrow we’ll start getting into creating a simple design that doesn’t use a whole mess of extra graphics.
Then, future tutorials will include creating more complex graphics and how to turn them into killer ebook templates.