There are paid services like Book Brush that can give you fast and beautiful mockups and promotional images for a fee, but it can be easy to create one on your own using Canva or any other image editing software.
We’ll use Canva for this tutorial.
Step 1: Find a background image. This can be a stock photo, a vector, an attractive texture—anything that fits the look and feel of your book.
It’s important to remember that your background shouldn’t compete with your cover. You want something clean, simple, and basic for a neat aesthetic touch. In some cases, a simple color will do, or a background texture like the one below.
Step 2: Grab your book’s front cover image or a mockup. If you don’t have a good 3D mockup for a paperback, it might be easier to paste your cover over a phone or e-reader graphic. Even if this means you have to pay for one, it’s still cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere.
Note: A 3D graphic is recommended and will make your promotional images look more professional than a flat picture of your book’s front cover. However, if you’re short on time or tech skills and need to throw something together in a pinch, an attractive cover will sell on its own without the need for a 3D render. Compare the two images below for an idea of how it works.
Step 3: Create your header. Is this a new release? A sale? An upcoming book? Spell out the important part of your message with a simple font to catch readers’ attention. Sometimes you'll want to make identical images with different headers for different occasions.
Step 4: Iron out the key details. This is where you have the title, your name, and where/how readers can find the book. Keep in mind that too much information will overwhelm people and turn them away, and in many cases, you can include more details in a post adjacent to the image.
If you want to make your promo pop, try using a different font for your header and your information, as I do below. Just make sure all text is easy to read and relates to the feel of the book you’re writing.
I find it helpful to make mockups in different sizes—one horizontal and one square or nearly square. This way you can use the same mockup on different platforms and in different ways, from paid ads to social media headers.
It’s also more effective to keep all important text and images near the center of your design because different platforms might crop the edges to make it fit better. The more versatile you can make it, the more ways you can use it.
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