Skills for IM, Graphics and eBook Covers

With our Outsourcing webinar coming up on Monday, I’ve been thinking about IM from a knowledge management perspective.

I’ve been asking myself – what knowledge is needed to run an IM business? And related questions such as what skills do we need? and what learning do we need to go through?

We all know that we need to access a great many skills. Not a few – a LOT!

But the important thing to note is that I didn’t say we must LEARN a great many skills. Learning a skill is just one way of accessing it.

In general, there are three ways to access a skill:

  1. Aquire (learn) the skill yourself
  2. Hire someone who already has that skill (as an employee or outsourcer)
  3. Use specialist software that de-skills the task so that you can do it yourself
  4. Buy ready-made PLR products where those skills were employed in creating them

For example… consider graphics skills. This is needed throughout IM.

You could buy Adobe Photoshop and go on a 1 week course to get some basic graphics skills. That’s learning the skill yourself.

OR you could hire someone as and when needed to create graphics for you.

OR you could buy some specialist tool that makes it easy for YOU to create graphics for specific purposes (see below for an example).

OR you could buy PLR graphics for specific purposes (e.g. graphics packs of headers, Facebook page, Twitter background etc. for specific niches OR generic graphics images such BUY buttons etc.)

Let’s get more specific now, and consider not just graphics skills, but a specific task that requires graphics skills: creating eBook covers.

Your options are:

Option 1:
You could do it yourself with Photoshop and specialist add-ons for eCover creation.

Option 2:
You could hire a designer.

Option 3:
You could use specialist software the makes it easy for non-graphics designers to create eCovers

Option 4:
You could look for a ready-made eCover image that you could use. (This is a unlikely to be a practical option).

In this case, Option 3 is probably a good one to have, even along with Options 1 and 2.

If you are a skilled graphic designer (Option 1), a specialist eCover tool will STILL shorten the time it takes you to create an eBook cover. For the highest quality and most original work you would still use Photoshop, but a specialist tool will create an attractive, professional-looking graphic that does its job perfectly.

If you have a policy of outsourcing all your graphics (Option 2), there are still emergencies when you want something immediately – within the next 15 minutes, for example. A specialist tool gives you that almost-instant DIY option.


If you have no graphics skills and cannot afford a graphics designer – then, of course, a specialist tool is the PERFECT SOLUTION to your ebook cover needs.

A very good example of a specialist eCover creation tool is Instant eBook Presence, which is worth checking out.


Alex Goodall



2 thoughts on Skills for IM, Graphics and eBook Covers

  • Very well researched post, Alex…

    I’d like to add just a tiny bit of info here, if I may…

    For people with a PhotoShop license, there is also the choice to use a set of the so called ‘action scripts’.
    In short, this means a macro series of PS editing/transformation techniques that would take a flat 2D image and transform it into a gorgeous looking #D eBook eCover with just a click of a button.

    Steve ? Master eMailSmith ? Lorenzo
    Chief Editor # eMail Tips Daily Newsletter

  • Right, Steve.

    That’s a full explanation of what I meant by a Photoshop add-on.

    Without those action scripts, creating any sort of 3-D image is a major production, even for a PS expert.

    Thanks for expanding on that.


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