Being able to make a believable, interesting mockup of your book is critical when promoting it. It's easy to make it look fake, or perhaps cheesy—and that breaks a good, effective design. In last week's blog post, I showed you how to design a book cover in both Phot oshop and Apple Pages. Today I want to show you how to use that book cover design to quickly and easily make your own professional looking book cover mockup using free Photoshop templates.
First of all, what exactly is a mockup? A mockup is a model of a design used for teaching, demonstration, or testing (thanks, Wikipedia!). I usually create mockups to show clients my designs on final pieces. Why? Because you often can't get a good feel for the final design until you see it being used in a practical way.
Turning your flat book cover design into a "real" book brings life to it. It makes it more tangible in your readers' minds, and adds credibility. But, you have to be careful, because really fake looking mockups or poor designed mockups can have the adverse effect. So I'm going to walk you through some of the best, free resources as well as how to edit them to make your mockup look REAL.
How to Make a Book Mockup in Photoshop
1. First, let's go ahead and crop down your book cover design to just the front cover. Do so by opening the PSD or pdf file in Photoshop and using the crop tool to select only the front cover. Save it as a separate file.
2. Grab a PSD template of your choice from this helpful list: 37 Free PSD Magazine, Book, Cover, and Brochure Mock-ups. The one I'll be using in this tutorial is this specific cover: MEGA Book Cover. You can opt to use a template that shows the spine, but I've found it's easier (and more clear) to use one of just the front cover, especially when including it in promotional pieces such as posters or the cover photo of your social profiles. Open the file in Photoshop.
3. Place your cover artwork. Go to File > Place Embedded, then select your artwork file. Resize it so that it's roughly the same size as the book cover in the template (no need to be exact—it just needs to be close). Now turn off the Lighting and Background layers (just click the eye icon on the left of the layer). This helps us focus on just the cover.
4. Transform your book cover art to match the template's book cover. Select your book cover layer. Then go to Edit > Transform > Distort. Drag the corners of your book cover to the corners of the template's book cover. Hit enter.
5. Turn back on the Lighting and Background layers, and voila! Your book cover art is now a mockup!
Bonus step: If needing to place your book cover on a different background, you'll need to cut it out and away from the background. To do so, simply unlock the Background layer and using the masking tool, and mask around the book cover to get rid of the background.
To mask, simply select your unlocked background layer, hit the masking icon (third icon from the left on the bottom of the layers window), select your brush tool, then paint directly on the photo. Black takes away from the photo, white brings it back. This is why we mask instead of erase (gives us more room for error!).
Ready to use your mockup on something? Why not try your social media profiles first? Click here for my blog post that includes free Twitter and Facebook cover templates!