We’re looking for a cover design for the first novel our press will be publishing. It’s called “Novel Explosives” and tells three interwoven stories surrounding the drug cartel violence in Juarez, Mexico. Our story begins when our Don Quixote-esque “hero” Alvaro wakes up in Juarez in a dissociative fugue state (no idea who he is, where he is, or how he got there). He only thinks he’s named Alvaro from the ID that’s on him. The other two stories follow “Douchebag,” a wealthy businessman, and the two somewhat hapless assassins hired to kill “Douchebag.” As these stories unfold, we learn Alvaro’s identity and how the stories interconnect.
The term “Novel Explosives” refers to a type of military weapon, also known as thermobaric weapons. They create horrific damage and are sometimes used by the cartels in their drug wars. In the novel it’s also a reference to the Big Bang; both the big bang and stars/constellations are important themes throughout the book.
One cover idea along these lines that the author had was to have a gold, graphic or cartoon-like explosion on the front that somehow can reduce down to five stars on the back (for example, perhaps stars are embedded in the explosion graphic and only the stars remain on the flip side). The five stars reference the fact that Alvaro reflects at one point that he can only name four stars and he “becomes” the fifth star at the end of the novel. These images would be on a dark background with just the title and author’s name (for now, use Jon Gower) on the front and nothing but the stars on the back.
However, we’re not set on this idea by any means and would like to see other ideas as well. The simpler and more figurative/abstract the design, the more likely it is to be selected. Feel free to use stock images. The cover will need to work for both hardcover and ebook. Dimensions for the physical book are 6x9. It runs 720 pages so the spine will be substantial.