Ever since I updated the images and theme of the blog, I’ve been getting a lot of comments on the 3D book covers on the home page. If you have Photoshop (not Elements), they’re quick and easy to make. I wish I could say I slaved over them, that they are evidence of my technical genius or artistic abilities, but the truth is, I use a super bit of software I found on the web.
I bought a tool called “3D Covers Pro”. You can get it either from the software publisher here for $37 or from a place called MightyDeals for $24 as of the time I post this article. (The MightyDeals price is better, but it’s possibly a limited time offer. They say the deal is good for a few days, but I got it there a month ago, so I have no idea how limited their times really are. Plus, I didn’t get some of the “extras” that come with getting it from the software publisher. I only wanted the book cover templates, so this really was fine for me. (BTW, I’m not affilitaed with these folks, know them at all, or get any kind of commission for linking to them or anything. Just sharing how I made my own covers.)
I have been thinking about doing a box set of my books once the entire series is available, and this will work great for that too. You not only get templates for nine different styles of 3D books, but templates for brouchures, CDs, DVDs, spiral notebooks, binders, business cards, and a few other things I can’t recall off the top of my head. You can see them all at the link above.
So, how to do it. Well, I considered making a video, but it really isn’t necessary. The developer who made the photoshop scripts included a how-to video in the package! It’s just a few basic steps that literally took me less than 10 minutes to use, though.
All you have to do is take your flat cover, add it to a “blank” (he’ll tell you which one to use and how to add it in the instructional videos), then press one button to compile the action script. Boom! Then, you watch the screen in wonder as your flat image is turned into a 3D one in about 5 seconds.
These do require Photoshop. That’s the only downside. Photoshop Elements WILL NOT work. The book files used action scripts, but some other things, like the brochures, use smart templates (from what I understand, those are even easier to use! No compiling required on those.) From their website: the smart templates require Adobe Photoshop CS4 or CS5, whilst the action scripts require Adobe Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4, or CS5.
I hope this helps those of you who design your own covers. If you have a designer who makes them for you, you might point her in the direction of this site. Back when I was creating cover art for folks, I was asked to do this all the time, but I didn’t have such a quick, efficient way to do it. I wish I’d know about this method back then!
If you find this helpful, please share!