How to Give Sneak Peeks into Your Product with Box Shot King


You can use Box Shot King to create professional looking sneak peeks into any finished digital product you are planning to market.  Here’s how… 

Step 1.  Prepare your .PDF

Use your favorite .PDF creator to convert your book from its word processing file to finished .PDF format.  Most people use Adobe Acrobat, but you can also use products that are free – or offer a free trial period – such as Nitro Pro 8, which has not only gathered favorable reviews but offers simple, clear documentation and instructions.

We are going to use Nitro Pro 8 for this demonstration, but if you own Adobe Acrobat, you can follow specific instructions for that program in Box Shot King’s “How to” video section.

(The principles are the same for both.)


Once you have created your report or eBook in .PDF format using Nitro Pro 8, go through the finished result to find pages with images you would like to include in your sneak peek.

If possible, choose pages adjacent to each other (e.g. pages 4 and 5), since you are going to create an “open book” view for people to “peek” at.


Step 2.  Select Your Pages

Select the facing-page-display option from the icons in the bottom right menu bar – or press CTRL + 5 – to view your .PDF in a two-page format.


Grab the slider button in the Zoom Slider and drag until you can see both pages.


You are now looking at a double-page display.

Scroll down until you find a double-page spread you think looks particularly impressive, and take a screen snapshot.


Step 3.  Taking a Screen Snapshot

There are several ways to take a screenshot on your computer.  Pressing “PrtScrn” will take a shot of your entire browser display in Windows.  You have more options using Command-Ctrl key combinations if you are using a MAC. The best way is to use a highly-responsive, easy screen capture program such as TechSmith’s Snagit ($49.95 at time of writing, but there is a free trial period). Or use the totally free Jing (also from TechSmith).


Once you have your screenshot selected and captured, save it to your desktop for easy access.

Step 4. Creating Your Sneak Peek

Next, log into Box Shot King and click anywhere in the “Create” graphic window (or click the “Click here” anchor text).

1.     Click the “Create” menu tab

2.     Slide down through all the display types until you find “Open Report”.  Select it.


3.     Box Shot King will immediately show you the backgrounds page.  Choose “Upload Your Own”.


 4.     If your image isn’t already uploaded to Box Shot King (i.e. you don’t see it in the display that opens up), click on the “Choose File” button and upload your screenshot from the location where you saved it.


 5.     When your image opens up in Box Shot King, click and grab the corner of the bounding box and drag until you have selected the area you want to display in the Open Report (your two pages).


Be as exact as you can, when matching the edges of the bounding box to the “page” edges:  This will make the report display center properly in your Open Report.

 6.     When your Open Report displays properly in the little, top-right, double display, press “Select and continue”.


 7.     Press the “Finalize” button in the right-hand corner of your top-horizontal menu.


 8.     The moving bars will run across your screen display to let you know that your final Open Report display is being generated.

 9.     Finally, you will see your finished Open Report view.  (Be sure to check the “Transparent Background” radio box!)


 10.  Download your Open Report file and save it.


Step 5.  Editing Your File

You can still edit your file, if there is anything you’d like to tweak.

If the center spine of your “open book” looks off-kilter, this means you were out a couple of pixels in dragging your display area corners.  If it’s out just a pixel or two, don’t worry about it; but if it is obviously off-center, simply edit it and re-drag the corners of your display.


If you want to make your Report image smaller or larger within the display, grab the Resize arrow and drag the image to the size you want.


And if you want to select only part of your canvas area, use the “Crop” button.


Keep in mind that you don’t have to use “Open Report” to create your double page spread.  There are other options, such as “Open Book”.

Scan through all the different display options to pick the perfect one for your particular project.


You can also select a wonderful variety of other display formats to use in your “sneak peek” graphics.

Just be sure to choose the formats that best suit your digital product – and your viewer’s tastes!


Troubleshooting Color Selection

Box Shot King is incredibly easy to use, but there is one area where its functionality falls short: And that is in precise color selection for text elements.

When using the “Color Style” tab within your “Insert Text” tab, you cannot simply click on a color and magically have the code appear in the textarea box.  You need to know specific color codes in advance if you want to use precise ones – which can be a problem if you have a specific color in mind but don’t know the exact HEX code for your HTML.

However, there are many online color pickers that will let you find HEX codes, so if you are looking for a custom text shade – one, perhaps, that contrasts strongly with your background color – do this first.

For example, open another browser tab and locate and choose your exact text HEX color code at’s online Color Picker.

  • First, choose the general color.
  • Then in the column on the right hand side, you can adjust that color increment by increment to darker or lighter tones. 


Another option:  If you don’t know the hex codes for text and background colors on your own website, but you want to find out your own color HEX codes for branding purposes, open your website page and do one of the following:

  • Right-click anywhere within your web page.  A pop-up menu will appear.  Select “View Source”.  See if you can spot the appropriate HEX color codes within the HTML.
  • Open up your WordPress dashboard and find your CSS sheet in the Themes editor.  Select your HEX codes.

Many people find the final option to be both quickest and easiest:

  • Install and use the Colorzilla color picker bookmarklet in your browser.  (Colorzilla works with either Firefox or Chrome.)  To use it, simply click your little Colorzilla eye-dropper bookmarklet in your browser bar, and then choose one of the options in the popup that opens. 


Note that you can simply choose Colorzilla’s “Webpage Color Analyzer” to instantly get a read-out of all colors used on any particular web page.


If you click on any color box, you will be shown (a) its RGB value (b) the HEX code (c) exactly where the color was selected from in the style sheet.

The only thing you will need is the exact HEX code.  So, for example, if you wanted the particular shade of orange we’ve selected in the example above, you would copy “#FFA500” and insert it into your Box Shot King HEX textarea box.


Most of the time, Box Shot King’s color selection options are perfectly adequate – but for those times when you need to know specific HEX color codes for matching purposes, this is the best way to find out.

How to Make Your First Kindle Book Cover


Now it’s time to create your first eBook cover with Box Shot King.  Before deciding on a template, consider the venue where this book cover is going to be displayed.  For example, if you want to upload a Kindle eBook, go to and take a look at how similar books in your genre appear. You won’t have any control over this in Amazon:  You’ll merely upload your cover photo as a placeholder, which will appear without any 3D effects.  (Don’t worry:  Box Shot King will allow you to create a “Flat Cover” version of your 3D graphics.)

On your website, however, you’ll want to spice things up a little more.  You want your book to read as a “real” book, so choose one of Box Shot King’s 3D templates.

Step 1.  Choose your Template


Step 2.  Choose your Background

The moment you choose your eBook cover template, Box Shot King will present you with a selection of backgrounds.


Choose one, upload your own, check out web resources for further backgrounds or customize the default style with your own colors.

When you select one, it will populate in your canvas area, and you can resize to the area you want to select, as well as move your borders around to capture just the right area.


Once you like what you see in the selection area, press the orange “Select and continue” button.


Step 3.  Create Your Title

When creating your title, make sure the font supports the feel and tone of your book.  For example, if you are producing a Hallowe’en collection of spooky recipes, you might choose a “creepy” font – one that people traditionally and automatically associate with horror movies — such as “Zombie Zone” or “Nightmare”.


(Remember, you add text by pressing the “Insert Text” button, once your background has loaded in.  Type your text into the textarea box; then apply your desired font and effects.)


You will also now be able to drag-to-resize your title, so it will fit anywhere you want on your cover. Press the “Submit” button, once you have typed in your Title and applied your selected effects. Your title will now render over your background.  You can then drag-and-resize it by the corner of your bounding box, as well as reposition it on your “page”.


Note that you can customize your Title text even further, using the options available in the editing bar:


Step 4.  Add an Image

Click on the “Insert Images” tab in your top, horizontal menu, and select a tab; then select a graphic; much as you selected your background.


You can select from galleries, stock photos or upload your own from this location.  (You can also use the “Upload Images” tab instead of the “Insert Images” tab.). Your graphic will render (i.e. load slowly within the canvas) and be added to your cover.


You can:

  • Resize it by dragging
  • Move it around
  • Send it behind your text.  (You are working here in layers.)

Step 5. Edit Your Image and Working with Layers

By default, since you created your graphic after your text, it automatically populates as the front [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][top] layer.  You may not want the title underneath your graphic, so:

a. Click on the element you want at the front (i.e. your title text).  You will know if you have selected your graphic or your title, because the element you click on will be outlined in white.  (Use the double arrow as your click point for drag-resizing or moving.) 


b. Once you have the element you want to position on top selected, click on the “Bring to Front” button


Previously, your graphic was right over top of your title, coloring the letters.


Move your text to the front by selecting the title and pressing the “Bring to Front” button puts your graphic behind the text letters, which usually looks more finished and professional.


Remember; if you don’t like the graphic behind the text after moving it, you can send it “back” again by:

  • Selecting the graphic
  • Pressing “Bring to front”

You can add as many graphics and text elements as you want.

But what if you find part of the image is obscuring your text, yet you still want it on front?

You can simply cut out the offending portion by pressing the “Cut Selected Area” button and moving your editing window until the area you want deleted is greyed-out.


Then press “Cut”.



Step 6.  Save Your Cover

When you are completely happy with the finished look of your eCover, press the black and red “Finalize” button.


Your final eCover graphic will display, along with a menu bar on top giving details about its contents, including:

  • Background color
  • Width (in pixels)
  • Height (in pixels)

This is what your finished 3D cover will look like, displayed on your Sales page or anywhere else on your website:


You can now choose to:

  • Edit your cover
  • Download your cover

If you are happy with the look of your graphic, click “Download”.

If you are not happy with any of the elements, just click on the “Edit” button and you will be able to go back and tweak that element.

Step 7.  Creating a Transparent Background

For seamless integration into your website, create a transparent background to your actual, finished eCover graphic by simply checking the “Transparent” radio button.


You will know you were successful because the white page background to your finished cover will instantly change to a checkered background, which in the graphic design world signifies transparency.  And the “Background Color” tab will display the word “transparent” inside its textarea box, instead of displaying a color code.

You will not see these checkers on your website.  Instead, your actual website background color will show through behind your book cover.  (White is the best color for displaying elements such as eBook covers, especially if they contain effects such as drop shadows.)

Any final graphic file with a transparent background will download as a .PNG file.  Note that if you change that to a .JPG file, you will lose the transparency.

Step 8.  Creating your “flat” Book Cover

But wait – we’re not quite finished yet.  Remember how we looked at earlier?  We realized that Amazon does not display book covers in 3D.  Instead, they want a perfectly flat graphic.

When you are ready to “Download”, you can create that Amazon-style flat rendition of your eBook cover very easily – simply by pressing the “Download 2D” button.


You can do this before or after you press the “Download” button for your main 3D eCover…


You will instantly be rendered an Amazon “placeholder” version of your eCover that looks like this:


Make sure your size is consistent with Amazon’s 1/6 ratio (height and width ratio).

Amazon’s ideal recommended size is 1,563 X 2,500 pixels, but you can downsize all the way to the Amazon minimum of 625 X 1,000 pixels.

You can adjust the size right on your 2D screen:


Once you’ve downloaded your flat file to your desktop, you can then upload this graphic to Amazon to act as your placeholder.

Step 9.  Retrieving your Covers

Your created eCovers are not lost, once downloaded – it’s not a one-shot deal, when it comes to creation.  They are stored in the cloud, in your Box Shot King files, and you can access them again at any time.

To do so:

1.     Open the Box Shot King home page and click on the “Members” tab

2.     Log in

3.     Click on the anchor text “Click here” under the “Welcome [Your Name]” heading

26-retrieving-your-ecovers4.     Click on the “My ECovers” tab.


 5.     Click on the “Edit” button within the thumbnail of the version you want to edit.


And that’s how easy it is to create, customize and retrieve your first eBook cover with Box Shot King.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

How to Create Professional Designs with no Graphic Skills

website redesign

It doesn’t matter if you prefer to work using pre-designed templates and gallery images or from scratch; every marketer who regularly needs or uses digital graphics should try Box Shot King.

It combines the options of high-powered graphics editors like Adobe Photoshop with easy pre-designed graphics subscription sites, resulting in a complete combination that until now was often considered impossible:

  • Significant time saving in graphics creations
  • Highly-customized, professional-level results
  • Zero outsourcing costs

Your graphics are created in the “cloud”, so when you are finished, you simply download them to your desktop. (You can also upload your own designs.)  Most of the customization is done using easy drag-and-drop inserting, re-sizing and applying. You don’t have to possess graphic design skills – just the ability to press a button.

You don’t have to have technical abilities.  And Box Shot King will work on either MAC or PC.  Everything is simplified to the ultimate degree.  Every task is easy.

Even professional graphic designers are likely to use Box Shot King, just for its simplicity and time-saving capabilities alone.

What You Can Create

Box Shot King is designed for online marketers who need standard marketing graphics.

These include:

  • eBook Covers, spiral bound
  • CD covers
  • DVD covers
  • Mobile covers
  • iPad screen displays


Things you can do with Box Shot King images:

  • Insert text
  • Insert images
  • Upload images
  • Resize images
  • Create 3D images
  • Download and save them to your desktop

How the Image Editor Works (Overview)

Box Shot King’s image editor is much easier to edit than either Adobe Photoshop or Gimp.  Let’s take a look at some simple tasks.  First, log into Box Shot King.

Click on the “Start Now” button or on any portion of the graphic below the “Create” tab – it doesn’t matter which one.


You will be taken straight away to the eCover Template Gallery.  This is just a sampling of its designs…


Select the template you want.


You are now ready to begin customizing your promotional graphic template with additional text and images.


Step 1.  Setting a Background

You have four choices when it comes to selecting a background for your image:

  • Choosing a background pattern from the images offered in the Background Gallery (“System Default)


  • Uploading your own custom background image 


  • Using web resources to find the right image


  • Entering HEX color codes for your signature branded colors


No matter what method you choose, after you’ve made your selection, you will see your chosen background rendering (i.e. loading in) – almost as if it was “painting” itself.


Once it has filled the “canvas”, you can drag-and-resize anywhere within the canvas to select only the portion you want to use.  Your book cover will display in the upper right hand side of the canvas as you drag, reflecting how these changes will look within the “real” cover.

To resize, you will see little square “nodes” in each of the four corners.


As you move your cursor over a node, it will change to a double arrow.


This indicates that you can:

  • Shrink the size of the area to be visible as your cover background
  • Expand the size of the area to be visible as your cover background
  • Move the visible area around

Go ahead and experiment with changing the areas to be visible by dragging and re-sizing the bounding box (dotted, movable edges of the highlighted canvas area).

The area that becomes greyed-out in your “canvas” – outside the bounding box – will not appear in the final eBook cover.


(It can take a couple of seconds for changes to render, or appear.)

In other words, you are not obliged to keep the entire background.  Note that, in resizing and area selection, below, we have selected only a small portion of the available background graphic to appear as our book cover graphic…


Press the orange-gold “Select and continue” button.


Step 2.  Modifying a Font

You will add elements to your background – text and graphics.  First, let’s look at the text options.

In the top, horizontal menu bar, select “Insert Text”:


A new window will open up under the menu.  It will contain a textarea box where you first input your text by typing it; then selecting and applying text options and effects (found in the menu bar below the textarea box).


Let’s go through the options on this menu bar…

  • Color Style – Use this if you know your preferred HEX color code for your text color.  Simply type it in the tiny textarea box within the Color Style tab.


The background color of the textarea box will change to show you the actual text color you’ve selected.


  • Text Outline You can also add an outline to your text. 


  • Alignment – Next, decide if you want your text centered, left-justified or right-justified. 


  • Font – When you press “Font”, however, an entire gallery opens up.  Simply click on the graphic thumbnail of the font you want to apply it.


  • Text Effects – Another gallery opens up when you press the “Text Effects” link. You can apply any of these effects to any font you have selected.


Once you have selected all your text preferences, press the orange-gold “Submit” button.


Your text will take a few seconds to render (load in).  You will see the horizontal bar of squares within the load window moving continuously to indicate that rendering is proceeding… Finally, you will see the text you typed into the textarea box, with your effects, fonts and outlines applied.

Step 3.  Adding a Graphic

To add a graphic to your template, go back to your main, horizontal menu bar and select either of the following tabs:

  • Insert Images
  • Upload Images

Notice that the options bar below the menu will change to offer you graphics customizations options, such as blur, flip, arc, rotate and the like.


Let’s insert an image from the collection supplied by Box Shot King and apply each of these effects, so you can see what each actually does…

First, we’ll press “Upload Images” and upload one of our own images.

(Notice that you can upload only .JPG, .GIF and .PNG file types.)

Choose a file from your hard drive.  While it is uploading, you can glance at the bottom-left corner of your canvas and check its progress. Once it has loaded in, you will see the plain, unadorned, unfiltered image over top of your chosen background.  (You can drag your photo to the size and proportion you want.)


And here is what your photo looks like with various graphics options applied…

1.     Flip

You can flip your graphic vertically or horizontally (e.g. our boat, here, is now pointing the opposite direction).

30-flip 2.     Arc

Applies an arcing effect on a black background to our photo.

31-arc3.     Grayscale

Removes all color from our photo.

32-grayscale4.     Sharpen

Provides you with customizable options to sharpen details or edges in your photo.

33-sharpen5.     Blur

Provides customizable options for softening all the edges in your photo.


6.     Contrast

Increases the range between light and dark areas in your photo.  You can customize the degree to which you want to showcase lighter or darker contrasts.


Copy”, “Cut” and “Rotate” should need no explanation.

You can apply each effect alone, or in combination with other effects.  For example, here’s what happens if you apply “Arc”, “Blur” and “Grayscale” all at once…


You can undo any effect if you are not happy with it very easily – by pressing the “Undo” button.

37-undo button

You can delete your graphic, if you are not happy with it, by pressing the red-lettered “Delete” button next to “Undo”.