Our clients often have release schedules for their books that require promotional images before the book is finished printing. What do you do when customers want to see a book that doesn’t exist yet?

Using our photographic equipment and image editing software, we “create” promotional books digitally.

Houston Rap book and slipcase dummy book[title size=”2″]Dummies Come in Handy[/title]

Part of the regular manufacturing process involves the construction of blank dummy books to help the client visualize the final product. They’re made to size and have an accurate page count, but are blank inside and have white, unprinted covers or jackets. These dummy books are actually ideal for creating digital versions of the books.

First, we photograph the dummy using our lighting and camera setups. The end result is 2-4 high-resolution images with professional lighting and backing.

[title size=”2″]Wrapping with Photoshop[/title]

Next, we go to the finished print files. We take the finalized print files we’ve supplied to the printer and import them into Photoshop. In Photoshop, we turn them into high-resolution images, cropped to trim. Essentially, we create a digital flat file for the covers or jackets, whatever would be present on the final book.

Now that we have photos of the dummy books and high-resolution images of the print files, we use Photoshop to “wrap” the images over the photos of the blank books. This process uses a combination of scale distortion, masking, transparency, and multiple layers to simulate the printed cover, as well as the lighting present in the photo. The trick with these techniques is to use as little as possible. The more layers and complexity in the image, the more likely it is to look fake. Too little, however, and it will be obvious that the image has been “made” as opposed to photographed.

The end result is high-resolution promotional images of the finished book, ready for marketing well before the books have arrived from the printer. We’re able to create these files for our clients because we’re involved in every aspect of book production. To learn more about the ways we can help with your print project, leave us a comment or shoot us an email. We’d be happy to give advice and assistance.

The promotional book featured in this post is Houston Rap for Sinecure Books. For more information, visit their website.

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