Uvah: He doesn't need text effects.
He needs to understand typography and the principles of graphics and design. You can't start with the roof...you start a house with the foundation.
Thanks Doc for the info on fonts. I still don't have any idea how to put it all together.
Perhaps you know someone with a professional graphics background?
If not, try Graphics and Design schools near you. Explain the project and what you can pay. Perhaps they can hook you up with someone to help you.
It will be a lot easier sitting face to face with someone and explaining everything you need/want.
Also, try to decide first on the 'look' you want from the graphics. I mean, flat, modern, homey, etc. Then find free images (truly 'free' for commercial use). The graphics person will insist on that. If you can't find such an image, don't panic. A real graphics person has tons of them available either licensed or knows where to get some.
If you insist on doing it yourself, I'm not optimistic about the results. Remember: You'll be going up against folks who did invest.
Also, a very small point: Are you limiting yourself to XP? If so, your potential market will be dwindling. On the other hand, they'll be so vulnerable that you might just be in big demand. lol.