Mastodon The Writing Desk: How to create a free 3D book cover

2 September 2015

How to create a free 3D book cover

The standard book cover image can work well but for some publicity material can look a little flat. If you only have an eBook or need to do some promotion while waiting for your paperback or hardcover edition, a simple ‘3D’ image can be useful.  There are plenty of software packages on the market to do this but here is a simple way to create a 3D cover for free:
  • If you don’t have a copyright free 3D master, you can save the example at the top of this post. (Don’t worry about my cover, as that will be hidden.)
  • Visit the online PIXLR Editor at   (Pixlr uses Flash, so if you find the editor isn't working and just shows a blank screen, you need to install the Flash player, which is free from HERE )
  • Open your 3D 'master' image in the editor, then open your 2D book cover by clicking on LAYER and Open Image As Layer.

  • Select EDIT and Free Transform to re-scale your cover image to approximately the right size, and confirm changes.
  • Select EDIT and Free Distort then adjust the corners of your image to fit the book cover. You may need to experiment and ‘drag’ the image, moving the corners until it looks right, then save the image as JPG or PNG.

  • If you use CreateSpace, you can also also rotate the 3D Preview image to any position then ‘capture’ it using Print Screen or a graphics package:

  • Finally, when you do have your hard copy book, give a little thought to the use of a prop, such as a candle, to add interest when you use it with social media:

If you have any other tips and suggestions for how authors can use or create 3D cover images, please feel free to comment below. 

Tony Riches

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