I stumbled on a powerful and simple way to make a 3D book cover for free. Several sites offer book cover makers, but they all seem to either want your email address, have poor resolution or offer only a few predefined views from which you must pick. I found one that with a little bit of “post production” work on your part will leave you with a very nice ebook cover or paperback book cover, much as you see above and in my sidebar. Now you can do your own book cover design, and see it in 3D. Let me show you how it’s done.
Boxshot has a powerful and user-friendly tool. To use it, you need images of your front cover, back cover and spine. They all need to be to the proper dimensions though it seems that the tool can adjust a bit to accommodate slight variations.
If you don’t have files of all these handy, but you have a book on Amazon or another site, you can easily use the Microsoft Snipping Tool to capture a high-resolution copy of what you need from the Amazon site as I did below.
Then go to the boxshot site and upload them in the three appropriate spots. Below you will see that at this point I have uploaded only the front cover at the boxshot site. The blue-themed back and spine images you see below are the stock images you will find on the site that I had not yet replaced when I took this screenshot.
If you find your spine is too narrow for any text (you might have to experiment a bit before you come to a conclusion), use a tall and skinny rectangle of the color of your cover for the spine.
When you are done, you will be able to rotate the image in every direction until you get to the one you want. Play with the orientation. For their low res offerings, if you rotate or tilt your book too much, their book cover creator can introduce noticeable distortion into the image. When you get the orientation you like, click the “download your image button”. Here’s where it gets a bit tricky.
They will offer you three options: one is free and is lower resolution and comes with their logo watermarked in a few places. The other two options are not free, but they offer you higher resolutions versions without their logo. I’m confident that you will get a beautiful rendering if you go with their paid options. However, I would not pay the first time. You might not be happy with it.
For the first time, download the free version of your 3D book cover image to make sure you are happy with it and understand the entire process. After you download your image, if you like the orientation but want the higher res version without their logo, repeat the process and purchase the one you want.
Note that they can’t make your source material better than it is even if you go with their highest resolution offering. That is, if your original file is low resolution and “fuzzy”, even if you buy the high-resolution version of the book cover you have created, it is going to be a high-resolution rendering of a fuzzy image. You don’t want that. This is another reason to test before you buy.
Alternatively, if you are happy with the resolution of their free offering but don’t want their logo in the picture (literally) you can do this: save the free image in your “pictures” folder on your computer after you download it, open MS PowerPoint, import the picture of your book’s 3D cover. Then, using the Snipping Tool, grab a rectangle of white from the side of the PowerPoint slide, paste it anywhere on the page, then move it, rotate it and adjust the size until it covers the logo you don’t want. You may have to play with it a few times to get what you need. Once you get your “white out” block in place, use the Snipping Tool again to grab a picture of the entire 3D image of your book cover, save it in your “pictures” folder, and then use it on your WordPress site or flyers or anywhere else you need it.
Using images I already had (which I created in Canva), it took me all of three minutes to create my book cover design and then each of the two 3D book cover images you see to the right side of this screen and the one at the top of this page. Higher resolution would be nice, but I’m fond of free, too. Your first time it will probably take you closer to ten minutes, but after you do it a few times you’ll be doing them in three minutes, also.
Let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to write me. And share with everyone any other ideas about book cover creators. It is important that you have a great image of your book not only on your various websites but also for handouts, email signature blocks, etc. Whether you use the free or paid versions, boxshot has some powerful tools that can help.
As a reminder: I have no affiliate relationships with any vendor, including boxshot. All things I say on my website about any vendor’s products are my own opinion.
I’ve also written two other guides you might find helpful. The first (which is by far my most popular blog) details how to use the Hemingway App and Grammarly together as a simple, free and powerful editing tool. The second provides step-by-step instructions on how to get great book reviews from Amazon’s top reviewers.