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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

Animated Book Covers for Authors

Animated Covers: At First Sight

I encountered animated covers for the first time on Twitter. The look is a subtle one—a mist rising over a disappearing character, the title shimmering before your eyes, blood glistening on the end of a knife. Animated covers are very simple. They’re not book trailers or teasers… they’re covers. Book covers. But living.

Here’s my first attempt at animating one of my own covers, a book I wrote under a pseudonym some time back:

As you can see, there isn’t much to it. With practice and some more updated tools, I would have added to the sun glint over the girl’s shoulder or added movement to the forest. That being said, you don’t need to do much to animate a cover—only layer one or two basic effects over the original cover.

Uses for Animated Covers

Unfortunately, Amazon and other booksellers don’t currently allow for animated covers. The gif format is persnickety at times and a different file type altogether from standard image files. So how can you use animated covers?

  • Social media. As I mentioned earlier, I first encountered animated book covers on social media and instantly fell in love. Twitter and Instagram are the best places to parade your masterpieces, but anywhere you have a platform will work.

  • Your website. You can choose what you want on your website, so why not flaunt your covers? These can catch readers’ eyes and make them especially excited to sign onto your list.

  • Your emails. Readers love cover reveals, so why not go the extra mile and show them the works?

Animating Your Covers

Ready to see what your own book covers look like animated?

Since book cover animation is a growing trend among self-publishing authors, you have several ways to go about getting your own animated book cover.

If you’re curious to see how it would work out but not ready to commit to a full design, you can do an effect similar to the one I posted above on Canva has similar effects, and while you’re limited in what you can do, it’s a good way to experiment with animation and see what looks good on your own cover.

If you want something more serious and flexible, Glitterboo is a popular site for adding glitter effects. Other effects can be found on animation and video-specific editors like DP Animation Maker.

What if you’re not that tech-savvy? An increasing number of cover designers are including animation in their list of offerings. even highlights animation as one of its core book cover offerings at a competitive price.

Have you animated your book covers? What do you think of this eye-catching trend? Share your thoughts in the comment section or click the blue button below to visit my Facebook group for self-publishing fiction writers.


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