creative book cover designs

If you’ve been around the interwebs (not my word but I love it) or this blog for a while, you may have seen some animated book covers. I don’t know yet if they’ve taken off. But, they are good at getting attention online. And, they can be videos.  You know how social media loves videos. I’ve also been seeing more animated still images, mostly on Instagram. I made this for fun.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Auden Johnson📚 (@audenjohnson) on

For me, this is basically adding a video to an image then turning it into a GIF. 

Instead of animating a certain part of the book cover, I like to play around with how the cover is revealed. Give me some cool transition videos. 

https://youtu.be/Wt5pSVyn7kQ

Since I’m broke, I like to stick with free royally free videos whenever possible. I usually go to Pixabay. The fire video came from that site. So did the black brush video.  The content is free to download and use for commercial projects. I generally like Pixabay because they have useful vectors and abstract videos. 

paranormal fantasy book

Because you need to be able to blend layers, I don’t know if you can create these in something other than Photoshop. Something’s that not expensive and difficult to learn. There are other design software out there but I’ve never used them. If you know of another software, please comment below. 

These animated still images are surprisingly simple to create once you get used to the workflow. It does require you to be comfortable with Photoshop.

  1. Convert base image, your book cover, into a video layer
  2. Add video(s)
  3. Blend video(s) with base layer
  4. Render video
  5. Import rendered video using the Video Frames to Layers tool in Photoshop. File-Import-Video Frames to Layers 
  6. Save as GIF and share

Animated book cover design

You may know this. GIFs are a series of images stitched together and looped, like a digital flip book. Some videos can create a series of 100+ images.  The above image is a screenshot of the GIF. You usually don’t need more than 100 images. Your file could be too big to share. You saw at the end of the video, I spent a few minutes deleting images. I try not to go above 100. Usually, I like to cap it at around 80.

I wouldn’t call making animated covers simple. But, in terms of my other Photoshop designs, this is pretty straightforward and it can take between 10-20 minutes to create when you get the hang of it. You can even skip the GIF part and share your animated cover a video. Add some floating text at the side and you have a short video ad for your book. 

Instead of using still book covers at the end of this video, I animated them.

https://youtu.be/bjhil6sPlO8

I made this video from mostly free royal free stock videos. To learn about the process, read this post.  If you’re leaving it at a video,  I would suggest downloading Adobe’s Media Encoder. These short videos could come out as large as 2 GB. Too big to share on certain social medias. Media Encoder makes your large video sharable. 


4 Comments

Rosie Russell · September 4, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Wow, wow, wow, Auden! How fun is that?

This is perfect timing as it appears to be cover reveal week for many of us. I hope to try this someday.

Very cool and thank you so much for showing us all.

Best wishes on your new book!

Julie Gorges · September 4, 2020 at 4:31 pm

Didn’t even know animated book covers existed. Technically behind as usual. Thanks for sharing valuable information!

Sandra Bennett · September 8, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Wow Auden! You are so clever. I thought my video for my cover reveal made simply through creator studio in the tools on my author Facebook page was being clever. You are a shining star, not sure this tech challenged author could do what you have done. Congrats and good luck with the new release.

"Just Between Sam and Me" Cover Reveal and More... ~ Books by Rose · September 4, 2020 at 11:49 am

[…] Auden Johnson – Design Idea: Make A Unique Animated Book Cover […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *