Hello and welcome to Graphic Tools for Indie Authors , Part 7 of my series dealing with graphics tools which can be used to promote novels, blogs, social media campaigns, and more.
In this entry I’m going to examine the Free Online Book Mockup Maker. The title pretty much says it all.
In truth there are several online 3D book cover generators. I chose to highlight this one for two reasons. First — it’s free! Second — you don’t need “spine art” to use it. Just the front cover image.
The format of this post is the same as all of the others in this series:
- What is the Free Online Book Mockup Maker?
- Website Overview
- Using Free Online Book Mockup Maker
- Free Online Book Mockup Maker Applications
- More Resources
That said, let’s get started:
What is the Free Online Book Mockup Maker?
The Free Online Book Mockup Maker (hereinafter “the Mockup Maker”) is a web-based tool which will take an image and turn it into a 3D image of a book. The image will become the front cover.
Images are uploaded by the user and the only image required is the front cover. The Mockup Maker does not provide for “spine” images nor for back cover images.
The Mockup Maker can render images as physical book, or as it would appear on cell phones, tablets, or computer screens.
Generated images may then be downloaded for use. Mockup Maker is entirely free, does not add watermarks, and does not even have a paid version.
The Mockup Maker website consists of three main pages — each corresponding to a step in the process of turning an uploaded image into a 3D book cover.
The bottom of the first page holds some brief promotional material and a couple of links discussed later in this article.
Using Mockup Maker
In Step 1 you decide whether or not your desired book image will be “Single” or “Composite”.
“Single” means an image of a sing physical book. “Composite” is an image of a physical book and the book cover displayed in a device such as a tablet or cell phone.
Toggle between Single and Composite using the tabs on the first page. Make your image selection by clicking on it.
Click “Next” to move to Step 2.
Step 2 consists of selecting an image for your front cover and uploading it. Note that the instructions on the page say, rather cryptically: “Please browse and upload the JPG or PNG file for your book cover design. Front only, spine if needed”.
This seems to imply that you can also upload images for the book spine, but I have not done this, and you may not have to. There are several templates which do not display the book spine.
Just browse you computer for the images to upload and then click the “Upload” button. Depending upon the size of the image, uploading may take several seconds, but at the end the image will display in the web page.
Click “Next” to move to Step 3.
Step 3 consists of downloading your image in either JPG or PNG format. Use the buttons below the image as appropriate and you will be prompted for a Save location.
Note that the Mockup Maker does not provide a preview of your 3D book. You must download the image and then view it.
Here is the finished image for a (unwritten) book of mine:
Mockup Maker Applications
There is really just one application for this website — rendering 3D images of your book. What you do with those images is up to you. Book Marketing is the first and probably most important use for such images.
You can tweet them, post them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, your blog, your newsletter, author websites, and other outlets. Use the images for both pre and post publication promotion.
There are a couple of links at the bottom of the Mockup Maker web pages which provide additional paid and free resources. The first is DIYBookCovers.com. This is actually the “parent” website for Mockup Maker and provides access to some free videos on book cover design as well as links to templates and a book on cover design. I haven’t looked at any of these too closely so cannot comment on them. They are there if you want them.
The second link takes you to a paid Creativ Indie course on book cover design. I think it’s a bit pricey at $197US, but again, I have not explored it.
Mockup Maker is not the only resource out there that allows you to create a 3D book cover image. A quick web search for “book cover generator” or similar phrase will turn up several. I chose to highlight Mockup Maker because it is free and extremely easy to use. Other applications offer more features, more templates, and paid options.
All book cover generators assume you already have a book cover image. If you don’t you’ll need to source such an image (a subject that could consume multiple blog posts).
In addition, it’s easy to spend a lot of time on a book cover and various images of the book being used. But is this really the best use of your time as an author? You are a writer, not a graphic designer. You may want to just invest some money and hire a professional book cover designer and let them worry about the image, various 3D renderings, and placement in various templates.
What say you, readers? Would you use Mockup Maker? Have you already used it? and if so, what for? Let me know in the comments!