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3d Book Mockups: Necessary or nah?

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

Before venturing into the world of book publishing, I had no idea what a book mock up was. I now know that I have seen a book mockup many times in book catalogues and other advertisements. And I am pretty sure, you have too! So, let's talk 3d book mockups!

First, what are 3d book mockups? Book mockups are 3d visuals of your book. The pictures in figures 1 and 2 below show a book cover in 1d and a book cover in 3d. 3d book mockups are considered a more attractive way of showing off your book cover in hopes of catching the attention of a potential reader and buyer.

Figure 1 - 1d book cover

Figure 2: 3d book cover

Second, why do you need 3d book mockups? We use 3d book mockups to promote our books. 3d book mockups come in a variety of sizes, templates, backgrounds and backdrops. There are mockups for e-books, hardcover, and paperback books. There are mockups for text books and notebooks and magazines. There are mockups for every published item. You can even get a mockup showing your book in display at a store! Or of your book in children's hands!

Third, where to get book mockups? You can employ an illustrator or graphic designer to customize your book mockup. You can create your own book mockup using book mockup generators online. Go ahead and Google, "book mockups." Several websites will appear, some of which are free and others cost a small fee. You can also use to create book mockups (and book covers!). Otherwise, you can employ the services of a gig worker via, for example. Many gigs offer multiple book mockups for a reasonable fee. I have seen gigs offer 50 mockups for only $5 or $10! Keep in mind, generic book mockups should not be too costly, less than $20. Whereas, a single, customized book mockup may be $20 or slightly more.

Now that we know what they are, why we need them and where to get them, allow me to share a few tips and lessons I have learned along the way when it comes to book mockups.

  1. It will behoove you to have a book size nailed down before seeking a book mockup. You want the book mockup to look like your actual book that the reader will be able to purchase. For example, my book size is 8x10. Therefore, I will not purchase a board book mockup or a novel sized 6x9 mockup because those would not be accurate depictions of my book. As my book size is 8x10, I usually go with magazine mockups for paperback.

  2. Do not be afraid to ask the illustrator, graphic designer or gig worker for examples and samples of their book mockups. Particularly, gig workers! You definitely want to ask them for a list of their mockups to ensure they have mockups that fit your book before purchasing their services.

  3. There are not a lot of book mockups for children's books. Hence, why I use magazine mockups and if I search hard enough, I can sometimes find mockups that look like my hardback versions. Finding the right mockup for your children's book takes some research and creativity.

  4. Additionally, not only is there not a lot of mockups for children's books, there is also not a lot of children friendly mockups period. Meaning, the background or back drop will not suit your children's book. The background may be a picture of a woman with coffee. Or your background may be a picture of a grownup sitting on a bench. Or your background may be a group of individuals in a board room. None of these backgrounds scream CHILDREN! So, you have to be creative and find mockups that fit your genre. Otherwise, you can create your own using Canva or have one specially designed by an illustrator.

  5. Good news: There are several e-book mockup options available!

Side Note: Even where there are mockups featuring kids, the kids are usually not of color or diverse. So, keep this in mind if it matters to you.

So, there you have it! A crash course in 3d book mockups!

How is your publishing journey coming? Have more questions that need answers? I can help. See how, here!

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