Book Brush is a fantastic tool for those who lack Photoshop skills. While many of its capabilities are basic, they provide everything an author needs to produce quality marketing materials for their books.
And even if you have Photoshop skills, some Book Brush features may still be useful to you as a timesaver.
This Book Brush review will walk you through each of the most important features, what we liked, what we didn’t, and how you can use Book Brush in concert with the formatting tool, Atticus.
- What Book Brush is
- How to set up your account
- A pricing guide
- The important features
- What we liked and what we didn’t
- How you can integrate with Atticus
Table of contents
- What is Book Brush?
- How to Create Your Book Brush Account
- Pricing Guide
- Main Features
- Cover Creator
- Integration with Atticus
- Verdict: Is Book Brush Worth It?
Disclaimer: Just a heads up, I am by no means a designer, and while I had fun creating some of the designs you see in this article, including the sample book cover, nothing will quite beat designs from an experienced professional.
What is Book Brush?
Book Brush is an online design software for creating custom graphics for authors. It is a lot like Canva (see our comparison article), but built specifically for authors.
Book Brush is designed so that anyone can use it, even those with no design skills (like me).
The service allows you to create a variety of graphics for a wide selection of services, including but not limited to:
- Atticus ← hey there!
- Google Ads
- Email Headers
- Postcards/Business cards
Not only that, but BookBrush also has tools to create book covers, box set designs, and even book trailers.
How to Create Your Book Brush Account
It’s very simple to set up your account with Book Brush. You will be asked for the following information:
- Your name
- Your email
- Your desired password
Once you have that, you can immediately dive into the free tier for the service. You do not have to enter your credit card information to set up the account, which is a nice touch.
There are four different pricing tiers for Book Brush:
- Plus – $8.25/month*
- Gold – $12.25/month*
- Platinum – $20.50/month*
While I don’t want to provide a complete blow by blow analysis of everything you get with each tier, as these things are subject to change, here are some of the big takeaways…
What You Get for Free
With the free tier, you get the following features:
- 1 Author access with unlimited pen names
- 15 image downloads total
- Access to their photo library
- Access to all their templates
- The ability to save 10 projects/backgrounds/uploaded images
- Access to the Custom Creator
This is honestly a very good deal. By the time you create 10 projects and are actually using Book Brush enough to need more than 15 images downloaded per month, you will have a good idea if you want to stay with Book Brush in their higher tiers.
The fact that you get full access to their template library is huge! Because that’s where most of the good stuff is located, in my opinion.
Basically, if you’re curious about Book Brush but don’t want to shell out the money just yet, the free tier will give you an excellent idea of what it’s capable of.
Important Paid Features
Now, let’s talk about what the free tier lacks, and which of these features are definitely worth the money.
Upgrading can get you access to the following:
- Unlimited image downloads
- More saved projects, backgrounds, uploaded images
- The ability to upload your own fonts
- Priority customer service
- Access to the Cover Creator
- Access to the Box Set Creator*
- Access to the Trailer Creator**
- Access to Instant Mockups*
- Background removal features**
* Gold tier and above
** Platinum tier only
Having unlimited image downloads and more saved projects is definitely an important component of these paid tiers, but I’d say the Instant Mockup and the Background Removal features are the most interesting.
Instant Mockups allow you to instantly create some amazing templates at the click of a button, making the process MUCH easier.
And Background removals are particularly useful when trying to blend some images with others. And their AI system does a good job of knowing where the background is and how to remove it cleanly.
As someone who is fairly familiar with image processing tools like Photoshop, I can say that a good AI tool for background removal is an awesome feature. Unfortunately, it’s only available at the highest tier, and even then in limited quantities.
For this review, we had access to the Platinum tier, so our review will cover all of the major features available with that tier, starting with the custom creator tool which is available for all tiers.
Created from scratch using Book Brush.
The Custom Creator is available to all users on all tiers, with pretty much no differences between them, other than limited image downloads for those in the free tier.
I found the Custom Creator to be incredibly intuitive and has design presets for pretty much everything that you could want to create. From headers to ads to even bookmarks, they’ve about got it all.
After creating a book cover in the cover creator (see below), it only took me about three minutes to throw together the following ad, designed as a Facebook ad. With just a little effort, or use of some better-designed templates (also see below), you could easily come out with a library of great images to use in your marketing.
Here is what I managed to create in just 3 minutes:
The Cover Creator is a paid feature available for Plus subscribers and above.
While I found the tools equally as easy to use as the custom creator, I will issue one word of warning to authors looking to use the cover creator for their books. While you can create decent-looking covers in this tool, they rely on stock images to do so, and some of the text-formatting tools are overly simple.
If you want to have a quality book cover that sells, I would primarily recommend that you pay a dedicated book designer over this tool.
That being said, if you need to do some simple tweaks to your design, such as change the trim size, then using art given to you by a designer and mocking up the rest in Book Brush could be a good fit. The tool is great for making it easy to see the correct dimensions you need for a paperback or hardcover book.
Here is the book cover that I created from scratch using this tool:
The Instant Mockups are one of the most important features that you get with the paid tiers, in my opinion. It is available only to Gold subscribers or higher.
The Instant Mockups provide a huge library of…you guessed it…mockups. These mockups are not designed to be adjusted. Instead, you just upload your book cover, select your template, and presto, you have a downloadable image. It’s great for getting high-quality 3D cover images and similar mockups fast.
For those who really want to take the effort out of creating professional ads or social media images, this is a very useful tool.
Here is one instant book template that I created using my custom book cover.
Also available at the Gold tier and up, the Boxset Creator is another useful tool for authors.
Boxsets are a little trickier to make if you don’t have Photoshop skills, and even then it requires some templates to work with. This Boxset Creator makes it easy to upload your book cover for the main design, then create separate designs for the spine.
Overall, the designs look pretty good. Here’s what I came up with in under five minutes using my custom book design and a template for the spines.
One nifty feature available in the Platinum tier is the Trailer Creator. In this, Book Brush transitions from an image creation platform to a video creation platform, which is an impressive feat.
You can incorporate footage that you have already created, or select from a variety of templates and video effects.
If you know what you’re doing, this can be a great way to get simple trailers ready. But understand that the features are incredibly simple, and any advanced trailers would require a professional. But this is a great way to make small announcement videos, cover reveals, etc.
In my opinion, the community templates are one of the most important and valuable assets that Book Brush provides.
This section gives you access to hundreds of pre-designed templates that you can quickly modify and work off of.
And while I had a lot of fun creating my custom designs above, I am not a designer, and I could have done much better to work with a pre-designed template, such as the following:
Way better than my custom design above, right? And the good news is, it’s all free!
Integration with Atticus
One of the most exciting features (for us, anyway) is the fact that Book Brush and Atticus have teamed up to help you create high-quality graphics that work in Atticus. There are two primary ways that you can do this: with chapter theme templates and ornamental breaks.
Note: In order to use Atticus and Book Brush together, you have to have purchased the software and have a Book Brush account.
Chapter Theme Templates
In Atticus, you can create custom chapter themes for your print books that incorporate images, as seen in this screenshot here:
Once you have the files from Book Brush, you can upload them into a custom chapter theme in Atticus. These will then show up at the head of your chapters for your print books.
Custom ornamental breaks are another great feature of Atticus that you can build in Book Brush.
Once you have a good design that you like, you can export the file from Book Brush, then upload it to Atticus as a custom design.
And the best part is that Book Brush already has all the correct dimensions and file formats down for you, so you don’t have to worry about getting any of that wrong.
If you haven't already, try out Atticus today!
Verdict: Is Book Brush Worth It?
If you lack in design skills, or want to save time creating marketing materials, Book Brush can absolutely be a huge asset to your author business.
And while it’s lacking in some advanced features, it wasn’t necessarily built to be an advanced program in the first place. Those who want these advanced features can learn them in a program like Photoshop, or hire out a designer to help.
Pros: What I Liked
- It is designed specifically for authors
- The registration process is easy and doesn’t require a credit card
- The creator tools are intuitive and easy to use
- You don’t have to keep track of all the different sizes for each platform
- The documentation is top notch
- Even if you have design skills, Book Brush can save a lot of time on some designs
- A great library of templates
Cons: What I Didn't Like
- Limited editing tools
- Still difficult to make book cover designs of the highest quality
Ultimately, I think Book Brush shines the most when creating marketing materials such as a book ad, banners, and mockups. It works best when you already have a cover design (preferably created by a professional), that you can then spin off into potentially hundreds of different social media graphics.
Thankfully, the service is totally free to start, which means you lose nothing by giving it a go.
I think you will find that it is incredibly easy to learn, and just might save you some valuable time.