Photoshop generated 3D book covers for book promotion and marketing

I use (and recommend) Cover Action Pro┬áto generate the awesome 3D book images you see on this site; I make them for all my clients’ finished book covers to use in book marketing and promotion. If you can use Adobe Photoshop already, you might want to think about getting the $247 software.

But if you have a book cover design already and just want me to make it 3D for you, I can do it for $49. This price includes 3 different 3D book images, which could either be ebook/paperback/hardback (like on my homepage), or three different views of the book from different angles. Even if you have an ebook, presenting the book as a “real” book is important to raise its perceived value.

Below are the main choices for hardcover and softcover 3D images I can make; in addition to these I can put your cover on a 3D e-reader like the Kindle or iPad. (Or if you want to be really creative, I can add your cover to just about anything – like the side of an elephant or hanging behind the president.)


Hardcover book covers


Paperback book covers


If this is what you’re looking for, you can send me a message or just get started by paying and then sending me your cover (make sure to tell me your three choices; if you look at the pictures closely you can see each image’s #…PB1, PB2, etc.)

Heck ya I wanna 3D my book for only $49! Let’s do it!

Which is better, a complex book cover or a simple minimalist book cover?

Book cover design is changing. Recently, especially among top book cover designers, there is almost a “minimalistic” competition to see who can do more with less. But how little is too little? A book cover that won several awards awhile back was “Killing the Buddha” – which featured a blue sky covered by a big red X:

The image sums up the title nicely, and got a lot of attention to the book because it is so revolutionary. But what about an action or thriller with a complicated plot? How do you explain what a novel is about when fiction titles are usual brief and enigmatic? Don’t you have to show more?

As an exercise, here are two versions of a book cover I’m working on. Actually I have five versions but here are the most complex and the most simple.

The first cover is pretty simple. (If I really wanted it to appeal to designers, I would have changed all the elements to white so they look nice but are hard to see). It reminds me a little of the mockingjay covers for the Hunger Games series – a complex series about killing, war,┬árevolution, death; but you can’t get any of that from the simple and stylistic covers…

A simple cover like this will probably appeal more to young adults. It seems a little more friendly, light, fun. Maybe humorous. The second cover has a bit too much, but I’ve tried to make it all look nice anyway. The book is actually about the apocalypse, zombies, vampires, aliens and religious history – so that’s a lot of stuff to try and convey. For the genre, I’ll probably stick with the more serious 2nd cover (even though the first appeals to me more).

Which one do you like?

Why you can’t afford a free book cover

Self-publishing is hard work, and expensive. With the costs of writing, editing and formatting text, aspiring authors are probably feeling pretty broke by the time they start thinking about their book cover. And if publishing on Lulu or Createspace, using their free online cover generator tools may seem like a bargain.

But the truth is, using a free or cheap cover is the quickest way to sabotage your book’s success. Reviewers will pass it up because it looks cheap and tacky. Readers will give it a miss because it looks unprofessional and homemade. And bookstores will slam their doors in your face.

After all the hard work, time and money you’ve invested in your book, you’re committing the cardinal sin of publishing: thinking that you can get readers to buy what’s on the inside without caring about what’s on the outside.

Packaging is everything. Everybody cares about how a product looks. You are creating a product and putting it out into the world. You are competing with multi-million dollar publishing industries that spend thousands of dollars on each book cover.

If you can’t afford a book cover – save up until you can.

There are lots of designers who can create a nice looking book cover for under $100, shop around for them. Post your project on or and find talented designers who work cheap. You could probably even find a neighbor or facebook friend that knows how to use photoshop and can make something better than the free templates on Lulu or Createspace.

While getting a “free” cover may feel good right now, you are sacrificing an untold amount of income from lost book sales.

Free Createspace Book Covers: Using the CS Cover Generator

What’s the purpose of your book? Why are your writing it, and who do you expect to read it? Recently I’ve met several authors who don’t plan to pay for a book cover, because they can get a free cover made with Createspace’s cover generator. Many self-publishing authors may feel that the purpose of their book is to get their writing into the hands of interested readers – and that those readers won’t really care what the cover looks like.

Maybe your book isn’t intended to be “mainstream” or “commercial” – so why should you spend any money on a book cover when you can get one for free?

Here’s why: Writing a book is about much more than the text itself. That book is a calling card, a reference point, that will be used to judge you and everything your ever do or write in the future. If you have a book cover made by a program like Createspace’s free cover generator, people will assume you are an amateur, and what’s worse, that you don’t take pride in your projects.

If you want anybody to read it, you’re going to have to send it out to reviewers and get some positive reviews – but many reviewers will pass on books with obviously cheap covers.

Maybe your writing is brilliant. Maybe people love it despite the cover, but imagine them introducing it to their friends like this: “Yeah I know the cover is ugly, but the writing is actually very good!”

Conversely, having an amazing cover can draw attention to your book regardless of the quality of your writing. People may share and talk about a book’s cover even if they haven’t read the book!

However, spending a few hundred dollars on a book cover may not make sense if

  • you’re only planning to sell a few copies
  • you just want a couple copies for yourself
In which case, using Createspace’s Book Cover Generator is an easy way for you to get something on the front of your book. Below are some examples of the templates you can choose from – with patience and some very good photos, you may be able to hack together something decent.