How to Make Your eBook Look Real Instantly

Here’s an annoying problem e-publishers face. I have a book, Game Theory 101: The Complete Textbook. It’s a really awesome book. But it’s also completely digital. As such, I can’t do promotional images of a book. All I have is a two dimensional cover:

I think I have a cool looking cover. But it would be really nice to have a physical book for promotional images.

As luck would have it, I accidentally found a way to accomplish this when I wrote my previous blog post. I wanted to create a promotional image for the book that wasn’t just the cover. After playing around for a while, I eventually got to this:

Looks pretty nice, right? The best part of it is that it is (mostly) a default setting in PowerPoint, so it is extremely easy to replicate on your own. Here’s how to do it for yourself in a few simple steps:

1) Grab the original image of your cover. This process isn’t going to turn a sucky book cover awesome, so I hope you already have a decent one to start with.

2) Open up Microsoft PowerPoint. Paste the image into a blank slide. (I’m using the 2007 edition here, which is still pretty standard. I’m not sure if it works on 2003 or 2010. I suspect these settings did not exist in the 2003 edition. They probably exist in the 2010 edition, but I have no clue if they are still default settings.)

3) Click once on the image. This should make a Format tab appear in the tabs bar. Click on it.

4) Click on Picture Effects, go to Presets, and choose preset number 10 (pictured).

5) You now have an image of your book that looks like it is a physical copy. You can right click to save the picture or just copy and paste it into the image editing program of your choice.

You can also make some further edits to tailor the image to your liking. For example, I made two changes to my final image. To access the options, right click on the image and select Format Picture. I removed the transparency by clicking on 3-D Format, selecting Material, and choosing Warm Matte. Also on the 3-D Format menu, I changed Depth to 15 pt. This makes the book look a little bit thicker.

Even with these additional changes, the entire process takes under a minute. I think the end product looks great, and I hope this you sell a few more copies of your book.

8 responses to “How to Make Your eBook Look Real Instantly

  1. William, when saving the picture as jpg it includes the white background as well. How did you take just the book’s picture with no background around?

  2. Save it as a PNG and the white background will not appear.

  3. I messed with the 3-D Rotation (right below 3-D format) a little and got this:

  4. This is awesome. SO simple and quick.. Thank you for sharing

  5. Thank you so much, that saved me all kinds of time, and worked really well. I also rotated it so my graphic was standing up. It took some playing with but your idea was brilliant.

  6. Wow! This was so helpful! Thank you!!! I am amazed and so appreciative!

  7. Wow!! I was looking for a software to do this but I stumbled upon your post!! Who would have thought that The simplest tools such as microsoft word can do the most amazing things! We just need to experiment a bit more!! You’re a genius!! You’re the best!! Thanks alot!!! 🙂

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