Book mockup generators are the quickest way to make your book visuals look professional.
If you’re like a lot of writers, visual book marketing methods such as creating book mockups might be outside of your comfort zone.
Marketing is based around two basic components – copy and visuals.
As people who work with words, we naturally feel more at home writing copy than we do creating images.
While it’s true that readers will ultimately judge you on the quality of your text, you first need to attract their attention, and visual marketing is one of the most effective ways to do that.
By the end of this guide, you’ll not only realize the marketing power of book mockups, but also how easily you can create them using convenient book mockup generators.
This guide to book mockup generators covers:
- What is a book mockup?
- What are book mockups used for?
- How to create a book mockup
- Different types of book mockups
- Free book mockup generators
- DIY options to make a mockup of your book
- How to hire a book mockup maker
What is a book mockup?
A book mockup is an image that displays the visuals of your book cover in the format of a virtual 3D book template, audiobook, or another example of how it looks in real life.
Think of a book mockup image as an attractive alternative to simply displaying a flat graphic of the cover file.
As you can see from the above example using Scott Allan’s Empower Your Success, the mockup jumps off the page in a way that the cover file on its own doesn’t.
When you have a mockup of your book, you have an attractive visual marketing asset that can help catch potential readers' attention and encourage them to check out your book further.
So how exactly do you make one?
What are book mockups used for?
So now you know the basic concept of a book mockup, let’s stop and consider the ways they can be used.
After all, if you’re going to invest time or money into creating a book mockup, you want to have a solid idea of how it will fit into your wider book marketing plan.
Here are five effective uses of book mockups:
#1 – Social Media Promotion
Social media is a great way for you to get the word out about your book.
Seeing as many social platforms favor visuals over other types of content, they are the perfect place to share your mockup.
For example, tweets featuring graphics get 150% more retweets than text-only content, and Facebook’s algorithm favors visual content. Book mockups are also a natural fit for social platforms based around visuals such as Instagram.
The above image is a mockup within a mockup! The Instagram post itself is a mockup that also features a mocked up version of Ramy Vance’s Superhero Me!
When it comes to social media promotion, book mockup graphics are the perfect example of how you can show rather than tell a potential reader about your book.
#2 – Author Website Content
Your author website is the perfect place to feature a mockup of your book cover.
The above example of a book mockup on an author website is taken from Hannah Lee Kidder’s page for her book Starlight.
You could make the mockup part of a dedicated page for each book you have, use it as part of a lead magnet strategy, or include it in a list of all your available titles.
#3 – Paid Advertising Visuals
You have several different avenues for running paid advertising to your book.
Facebook, Amazon, and Bookbub are just a few places you can pay to get the word out about your work.
Depending on the type of paid advertising you run, and the image requirements of each platform, book mockups can form an effective part of your advertising campaign.
#4 – Author Platform Material
It's a smart move to have a presence on different places that potential readers hang out, as well as your author website.
You could use your book mockup image as part of your contributor profile if you regularly write for blogs, or incorporate it into your banner on YouTube.
#5 – Physical Promo Items
If you attend a writer conference or give a reading of your book, you might want to give away physical promo items.
These might include bookmarks, notebooks, or anything else you think your readers might enjoy. Here’s an example of a coffee cup showing a mockup of Stephen King’s The Stand, made using Media Modifier. Readers not only get a cool freebie but are also reminded of your book every time they see the printed mockup image, making it a win/win.
How to create a book mockup
You have three options for creating a mockup image for your book:
- Use a book mockup generator
- Take a DIY approach to making your mockup
- Hire a book mockup maker
For most people, using a book mockup generator is the best option. It’s quick and requires less effort than going the DIY route. It also saves on the expense of hiring a designer to work on your mockup.
Before we explore your options further, let’s take a closer look at the different types of book mockups you can make.
Different types of book mockups
Although the basic concept of a mockup of your book cover is simple, it can be deployed in a variety of different ways.
You can choose mockup image types that reflect the different formats of your book on offer.
Here are a few examples:
If you’re going to create an audiobook version of your work, why not make an attractive graphic to catch the eye of potential listeners?
This version of your mockup image speaks to audiobook fans directly and is more eye-catching than the boring square image shown on Amazon.
Banner image mockups
Banners are a great way to promote your book visually on social media on a more permanent basis than sharing a one-off image post.
When someone browses your profile and sees a banner featuring a mockup of your book, they are instantly aware that you have a title out as well as what it looks like.
Ebook Book Mockups
Sometimes it’s cool to show your book cover on an ebook reader device.
The above image shows Breaking Out of a Broken System by Seth and Chandler Bolt as an example of this type of mockup.
Full 3D book mockup templates
A full 3D rendering of what your finished book will look like has a certain visual pop that a flat image lacks.
The above example uses a book from Pedro Mattos to show how a full 3D book mockup can be combined with an ebook mockup in a single image.
Now that you have a solid idea of the different ways you can use book mockup images, let’s delve deeper into how to make them.
Free book mockup generators
If you ask a lot of authors how they feel about book mockups, you’ll probably hear at least some of them say they’re an additional expense they don’t see the need for. After spending money on a book cover designer and professional editing, there might not be a lot left in the budget for a book mockup.
However, unlike a lot of elements of book marketing, free book mockups are just as good as the paid option for the vast majority of authors.
Free book mockup generators aren’t just a frugal move, they’re also a convenient one. You can use them to get an attractive mockup graphic within a matter of seconds.
Here are some of the best free book mockup generators:
1 – Adazing
Adazing is a fantastic resource for authors, packed full of free goodies. You can use Adazing to create lots of cool things related to your book, such as bookmarks, postcards, and of course, book mockups.
Here’s an example of one of the mockup graphics you can make on Adazing, using Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens as an example.
One of the best reasons to check out Adazing's mockup generator is its choice of 12 different mockup templates. You can easily create a standard 3D rendering of your book, an image showing an open book on a table as seen above, or even of someone about to write in a spiralbound book.
2 – Book Brush
Book Brush is a specialist image service just for authors. It has both free and paid options and is a one-stop shop for all your visual promotion needs. As well as book cover mockups, you can use Book Brush to make box set mockups and more.
Here’s an example of a 3D mockup from Book Brush I made using Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.
3 – DIY Book Covers
DIY Book Covers is an incredible resource from Derek Murphy of CreativIndie fame.
As well as allowing you to quickly create a mockup of your book, you can also create a full book cover using the service if you’re not able to invest in a professional cover designer.
As you can see from the above image made using The Business of Being A Writer by Jane Friedman, the end results are excellent when you use DIY Book Covers.
4 – Media Modifier
If you’re looking for the widest range of mockup options possible, look no further than Media Modifier.
As well as being a place to get your book mockup image, Media Modifier also makes it easy to get print, social media, and logo mockups.
The above image uses Guerilla Publishing by Derek Murphy as an example of the type of graphic you can make on Media Modifier.
5 – Smart Mockups
You can choose from over 220 types of different book mockup templates at Smart Mockups.
Although the majority of their book mockups are premium options requiring a paid account, there are still 20 great free options available.
Of all the free options on the list, Smart Mockups probably offers the most customizability. The above example uses Dillon Barr’s The Happiness Gap to show what’s possible.
DIY options to make a 3D book mockup template
If you have skills in the area of graphic design, you might want to consider going the DIY route and make your book mockup image from scratch.
Choosing the DIY route obviously involves a trade-off. You need to spend more time and effort on creating the image, but in return, you get a greater level of customization.
You probably already know the tools you like to use if DIY is a viable option for you, but if you’re not sure where to look, consider checking out:
- Photoshop. One of the most powerful graphics software apps, but one that comes with a significant learning curve.
- Gimp. Quite similar to Photoshop but available for free.
- Canva. A very easy to use online graphics tool that doesn’t require any specialist skill or knowledge.
- Pablo. A free tool for creating graphics from Buffer.
- PicMonkey. Another online environment to manipulate photos and create graphics.
How to hire a book mockup generator
Your final option for getting a book mockup image is to hire someone to make it for you.
This requires you to put in the least amount of creative effort out of all the options, but you have the drawback of having to invest money to get the results you want.
It’s worth thinking carefully about if hiring someone to make your book mockup is really worth it. Although it might seem like a very convenient option, you’ll still need to find the right service and communicate with them about what you’re looking for. It’s not an entirely hands-off process.
If you decide this is the right option for your book mockup, consider looking for a designer on:
- Fiverr. A list of the best book mockup gigs available to purchase on Fiverr.
- Upwork. A list of freelancers on Upwork offering book mockups and other similar design services.
- Freelancer. A similar to site to Upwork allowing you to browse and hire freelancers. There is a dedicated 3D design category.
If you have some money to invest and want a customized book mockup image that doesn’t require you to get hands-on, hiring a pro is the way to go.
You now have everything you need to get started with your very own book mockup.
They are so easy to make and it’s actually a lot of fun to play around with the different options.
If you’ve ever made a mockup for your book, feel free to leave a comment to let us know which service you used and if you were happy with the results.