is a self-publishing author’s friend

They say they are raising prices soon.

I do not get amazed easily. Definitely, not by software. The last time I was amazed by a software was when a multi-site submission software went through captcha images like it was child’s play.

Yesterday, I got an ISBN for my book Reptilian News Cartoons and I was trying to generate barcode images using it. Somehow, I landed on and their site offered to generate 3d mockup images of books. I can do this manually with GIMP but they were doing it on stock photos of outdoor and indoor settings.

I uploaded the back cover of the book and they created a ton of mockups. Three mockups were freely downloadable. The rest of it was thumbnail images. The thumbnails were not downloadable.

Now, I like a challenge as anybody else in a 100-mile radius and I immediately did ‘Inspect element’ on the page’s HTML. Apparently, they did not generate any of the mockup images server-side. No, Sir. They have stock images with certain regions transparent or semi-transparent (for lighting/shade effect). They, then use HTML5 Javascript to place the uploaded cover image behind in those transparent areas. This happens on client-side – in your browser. Non-transparent areas of the stock image will block part of the cover image, completing the photo-realistic effect.

Who are these people and how did they get my book?

I had done the same thing to Hillary Clinton’s photo on the front cover of the B/W version of Reptilian News Cartoons. The text ‘Pay For Play’ was placed so surreptitiously that most people would think it was real. However, I did not know the same effect could be implemented in so many other ways.

Even the video that they created with my book cover was faked. They have a video on Vimeo that uses a no-name book with nothing on the cover. Then, they use Javascript to render the image over the video. Everything looks A-OK.

Kudos to Adazing for making it a seamless experience. The site provides several other services such as in-store book publicity material and author media kits. Their services are for authors who cannot do GIMP or Photoshop and do not want to deal with graphic artists.

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