What is Book Brush?
— Book Brush can create ads with 3D cover images (30+ templates) in minutes
— Book Brush will let you choose pre-made templates for Amazon ads, BookBub ads, Facebook ads, and more…
… which you can create with over 1 million royalty-free images and book stamps
— Book Brush has a Video Creator to easily create Video Effects behind a Promotional Image.”
Book Brush is a web-based home for design tools for authors and promoters of books. The site claims to make it easy to create 3D book covers, ads, and other bookish promotional materials, either custom sized or pre-sized for various social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Book Bub, Twitter, and Amazon.
I’d say the easiest thing to do on the site is to take a book cover photo and create a 3D image as a hardcover book, paperback, or even displayed on a digital device like a phone, tablet, or reader. This will be most useful to independently published authors, especially those whose books may only be available in digital format. Here are a couple of examples I created for my recent read, Katherine Reay’s The Printed Letter Bookshop:
Beyond creating 3D book covers, Book Brush has its limitations and frustrations, so my own experimentation had mixed results. The available community templates are relatively few, and while you may find more using their filter search, the images are still limited and often too generic or unrealistic looking to yield high-quality results. Another thing I found very frustrating is that your chosen design elements aren’t automatically resized for the selected ad/image size. Background images need to be hand-manipulated to fit the frame.
Oh, and there’s another snag I encountered: When saving to my computer, Book Brush didn’t allow me to bring up my folders and see where files were being saved. It seemed to want to default to opening my creation with a chosen application, so I typically saved from within my image viewer software.
Here are more results from my experimentation: Pictured first is the graphic I feel turned out best for me, but I ended up having to use a 2D book cover because the 3D options were limited (maybe opening or displayed at the wrong angle, for instance) and produced results I didn’t like. Next is an image with a decent result, but you can see the limitations it would have if used on a site like Instagram — it likely wouldn’t hold up well in comparison to other user real-life photo creations.
Below are a few examples of stuff that I would say turned out less than satisfactory. Using design software or curating a bookstagram photo, a skilled designer or photographer should be able to achieve results similar to mine or better, doing all Book Brush can do and more. Admittedly, design software costs good money. However, given all Book Brush’s current limitations, especially for amateurs like me, I think there are better resources out there for folks unskilled in graphic design.
Finally, Video Creation is still in Beta, and it shows. As is, you are to create video by taking your book or other image and adding an “effect” that you can only find via search. It’s like a shot in the dark, trying to dream up words to describe effects rather than being able to browse available options. You are to put the two elements together, play with the image transparency level, and then choose a video length. Definitely not a feature worth paying for at this time.
There are both free and paid account options and a 30 day money-back guarantee on the paid option. Still, I’d recommend caution, as even the paid account has limits to how many designs you can download per month. I’m not even certain I can specify what that is; I only know that I saw my own “credits” go from five to empty as I was struggling to download created videos.
To conclude, if you are an indie author and are looking for a tool to help you promote your work, I would suggest you do the requisite homework and test-drive Book Brush to compare it with Canva and other similar design sites. If you want to use the site for anything more than 3D cover creation on a free account, I would warn you to keep your expectations low.
— Dawn Teresa
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Book Brush for providing this opportunity. Opinions are 100% my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.