There are other programs which can be used to create 3D objects such as Aldus Freehand and Photoshop. These are "heavy" programs and too much hassle for the average person to use occasionally. They are however, a "must have" and "must know" for those who wish to become professional icon designers or graphic artists. Will be good as a hobby too.
GoMediaZine - How to create a 3D vector book icon
Vector Tutor Plus - How to create a 3D vector book icon
Photoshop - How to create a 3D book icon
|2D cover image|
|3D book icon (PNG) - book lying flat|
|3D book icon (PNG) - book in upright position|