Writers today arguably have it easier then any previous generation when it comes to self publishing and self promotion. The internet has created both a culture of self sufficiency as well as entrepreneurship, allowing writers to maintain autonomy and be in complete control of their book. However, despite the increasing ease with which this process can take place, there are still some decisions to be made. Namely, if a writer is looking to take care of all aspects of their book, they will likely have a number of companies or products to choose from throughout every stage of the process. Whether that is selecting which social media platform to advertise on, which website to run a blog or which platform to upload and sell their ebook.
Another area which writers will have to consider, is the aspect of cover art and graphics. We are often told not to judge a book by its cover, but it is human nature to be drawn to cover art that is visually appealing and creative in some way. It is perhaps easier to pinpoint when cover art looks bad than good but everyone will have likely at some point soon cover art that feels unprofessional, amateurish or simply uninspiring.
One company that amongst other things provides writers with the tools to create and design the graphics for their book, is Book Brush. In this review we will take a closer look at exactly what Book Brush do, whether they are worth consideration for writers looking for such services and what competition exists in the space.
What is Book Brush?
In essence, Book Brush is a virtual graphic design tool for authors. It is used to create cover art, back page artwork, blurb and marketing materials etc. One of the main aims of Book Brush is to be designed so that anyone is able to use it, not just those with graphic design skills already. Think of it like a plug and play system. They want to champion and facilitate innovate and creative imagery that compels readers to choose a writers book and maximises the chances of success for the writer.
Authors may use Book Brush to design work for a number of reasons including social media platforms, video platforms, cover art, e book sales platforms and much more.
Inside the platform, writers will find pre-made templates to help them get going, as well as easy functionalities like click and place, drag and drop etc, alongside tutorials and walkthroughs to create the easiest and simplest experience possible.
On top of this authors can actually use Book Brush to create virtual box sets, trailers for their book and promotional materials like posters or advertisements.
Book Brush Pricing
The tagline on the Book Brush website is ‘cheaper than paying a graphic designer and faster than doing it yourself’ which is a great encapsulation about why a tool like Book Brush exists. And with regards to pricing, there are a number of tiers with various features which we will take a look at below. Before we do that, it is worth noting that Book Brush does offer a 30 day money back guarantee with users able to cancel anytime.
Free – $0. 1 Author Usage. 15 image downloads. > 1.5 million photos. Author – Specific Stamps. 200+ 3D Cover Templates. 3000+ Author Specific Templates.
Plus – $8.25 Monthly. 1 Author Usage. Unlimited Image Downloads. > 1.5 Million Photos. Author-Specific Stamps. 200+ 3D Cover Templates. 3,000+ Author-Specific Templates. Upload Fonts. Animation Tools. Priority support. Cover Creator.
Gold – $12.25 Monthly. 1 Author Usage. Unlimited Image Downloads. > 1.5 Million Photos. Author-Specific Stamps. 200+ 3D Cover Templates. 3,000+ Author-Specific Templates. Upload Fonts. Animation Tools. Priority support. Cover Creator. 2 Reader Hub Pages. Instant Mock-ups. Box Set Creator.
Platinum – $20.50 Monthly. 1 Author Usage. Unlimited Image Downloads. > 1.5 Million Photos. Author-Specific Stamps. 200+ 3D Cover Templates. 3,000+ Author-Specific Templates. Upload Fonts. Animation Tools. Priority support. Cover Creator. 3 Reader Hub Pages. Instant Mock-ups. Box Set Creator. Trailer Creator. 10 Background Removal Credits.
As you can see there are various price points depending on the authors budget and what they are looking to get out of a tool like Book Brush, but some of the key features advertised on their website are only available at the higher price points of membership.
Book Brush Alternatives
As mentioned above, it will come as no surprise to learn that there are a number of competing tools available for writers looking to use such a service.
Perhaps the primary one would be world renowned Canva. The main upside of Canva is also what could be considered its downside for authors specifically. By that, Canva has an unrivalled amount of templates, images and graphics available. However it is not focused specifically on authors using their product so there a lot of images or tools that would not be relevant for authors and therefore may take some more time to sift through in order to achieve what they want.
Again with regards to pricing there is a pro and con. Canva’s free functionality is more extensive than Book Brush but beyond that the tiers for subscriptions are more limited in scope and provide less flexibility.
What’s interesting is Book Brush actually has a comparison page on their own website breaking down all the differences between the two services. Naturally such a page should be taken with a pinch of salt, as emphasise will of course be placed on the upside of Book Brush and there will be a level of inherent bias, but it is revealing that they have thought to include such a page and showcases the choice that many writers are likely to face.
Canva aside, a quick google search will reveal a number of similar tools that a writer could consider but truth be told it is unlikely that anything they are looking for from such a tool, will require them to search away from Book Brush and Canva.
Of course writers, will have the option of pursuing a submission to a conventional publisher or paying for the services of a hybrid publisher, both of which would take care of such elements as graphic design in the publishing process.
Book Brush Review – Final Take
Ultimately then, writers who are pursuing self publishing and are not already experts in graphic design or who do not have such a large budget in order to be able to afford to go private with a graphic design individual will likely have to cross this bridge in their self publishing journey.
It is clear that Book Brush is a valued tool amongst the writing community, various pages showcase positive testimonials and they consistently hold between a 4 and 5 star rating on various sites.
It is also true however that writers will have further choices to be made, primarily to use a competitor like Canva as well as which price bracket to select.
Ultimately it will be up to each writer and their individual circumstances to decide which path is best, but factors to consider in doing so should be budget, how many projects are being worked upon, do they have any graphic design needs away from books, which features are must haves amongst others.
At the very least, it is unquestionable though, that every writer embarking on this stage of their self publishing process should take a look at free version of Book Brush and start to explore the platform for themselves, putting them in a great position to make a final decision about opting for a paid version.