Creating A 3D Book Cover (For Free!)

For indie authors it can be tough displaying your book cover in a decent fashion. You have two options. A flat one dimensional cover on your website or a nice three dimensional cover that you can display on your website and advertising products (such as bookmarks etc.) Still. How do you create a three dimensional cover without pulling out your camera and painting a cardboard box white? I grazed the internet for a tutorial on creating three dimensional book covers for my book-blogging website but came up empty. The tutorials I found were either too hard to follow or simply didn’t have enough information. I decided to try and explain it for anyone else who needs a dumb(ed) down version.

This tutorial isn’t for indie authors alone. Book bloggers, small publishing companies and even traditionally published authors can benefit from this. If you have a website, business cards or anything related to books I hope you find this tutorial useful.

*Note: There are 3D Cover Generators if you aren’t interested in personalizing your own cover. There is a downside to using these applications. Some sites use ads (to make money off the free application) which could leave you with malware on your device. They can also leave you with deformed covers ie. blurred cover images or ask you to “save your image” to your computer which could, again, cause your computer to get infected. I will not be making a list for my “References” page due to the possibility of issues mentioned above.

1. There are plenty of different websites that offer blank books. They are fairly cheap but if you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash I recommend using a free template (like the one shown below) from HTML Giant. I also like this one from PSD Graphics when I want to work a little longer. If you want a quick graphic that works just as good as one you would spend forty minutes on than the template from HTML Giant is your best bet

2.  Go to It is free online editing software. There is no registration required. When you pull up the website, and scroll down, you will see three boxes. You need to click the first one. As it’s the one for your computer not your moblie device.

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3. Once you launch the web app, the editor will give you a number of options. You want to choose the second option: Open image from computer.
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4. A box will appear (most likely in the top left hand corner of your screen) you need to choose your file.
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5. After you have opened your template your screen will look something like this.
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6. Next you want to click the fourth (4) button along the top of the application (webpage) it will say Layer.
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7. A drop down box will appear. You need to click open image as layer. (A box should appear in your window for you to type your file name like in part four (4) of this tutorial.)
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8. You’re screen should now look similar to this.
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9. So your added layer (your book cover) is just a little too tiny. The way we will fix that is to go back to the top of the web application (see part six (6) of this tutorial) and click the second (2) tab which should read Edit. You want to click the free distort option. Four (4) blue squares will appear at each corner of your book cover NOT your blank template.
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10. You can now fit your cover to your blank template. To adjust your cover move the blue squares (at each corner of your cover) until you are happy with the way it looks.
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11. Congratulations. You now have a three dimensional book cover to add to your website.
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12. You will want to save your finished project. To do that you will need to go back to the top of your web application and click File and then Save.
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13. You can then choose from a variety of options to save your photo.
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14. I recommend saving your file to as many platforms as possible. You can save to your hard drive and the cloud (for Mac user) or One Drive (for my fellow Windows users) if you dislike third-party sites such as Flickr or Photo Bucket. There are other options such as Google Docs or Facebook. I don’t recommend saving your personal documents on Google Drive or Facebook but it depends on your preferences.

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That’s it. 14 steps to a three dimensional book cover you can use on any social media platform (that allows pictures) I hope you enjoyed and are able to understand and follow this tutorial.

I am not affiliated with the companies mentioned in this post. I simply enjoy using their services.

I obviously did not write the book featured throughout this post. That honor goes to Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs.

If you stuck around this long I applaud you. Please comment with any suggestions for new tutorials OR how to improve my tutorials.

You may link back or mention my posts on your own blog but please do not copy and repost on your own blog. I work hard on each post I create and it isn’t nice to steal. To see what is OK and what is NOT you can see at the bottom of my blog (the footer) under the headline: What’s Mine Is NOT Yours.