I am going to publish this as both a print and ebook, so I need to have cover files for both formats.
1. The print book will be 6x9.
2. My best estimate is .20 inches. I arrived at this number based on a 75 page book. If you have a different opinion about what the spine width should be, please let me know.
The cover needs to look at home in the following categories on Amazon:
Children’s comics and graphic novels
I like the covers for the “Arthur” books by Marc Brown, because they are simple and colorful, with a clear focus. I also like the dynamism of the “Captain Underpants” books by Dav Pilkey, although I think these covers are a bit cluttered.
I would like my cover to strike a balance between these opposites.
Specific thoughts on the front cover:
I have a Pinterest board with images that show the general direction of my thinking for a front cover. Please see the board here:
I based the black-and-white cover on an illustration from the book. In the book, the shoes have eyes and expressions. You can see this a bit in the mockup. (By the way, this cover shows a right shoe, but ignore that. It would need to be a left shoe.) I think the expression could be taken further, with the shoe’s eyes popping out more, and even more of an expression on his mouth.
I also think it could be funny if there is a ball dropping on the shoe, but it hasn’t hit him yet—so the shoe is looking up with a pained, “Oh no, not again” expression right before he’s squashed.
There are many illustrations of Jim in the book, so the cover portrayal of him cannot be radically different. I have included some illustrations from the book on the Pinterest board.
The only things that absolutely have to be on the front cover are:
1. A left bowling shoe that generally matches how the shoes look in the illustrations.
2. Big, easy-to-ready title text: Adventures of a Bowling Shoe. (Please note that in the mockups, it says “Autobiography of a Bowling Shoe”, because I made them before finalizing the title.)
3. My name: Tom Rozek.
4. It needs to be in color.
Everything else is fungible. So if you come up with an idea that is quite different from my mockups, I am totally open it to, as long as it has the fundamental elements.
Things that should NOT be on the cover:
1. The bowling shoe (or the action in general) facing toward the left of the image from the viewer’s perspective.
2. A photograph, or something that is recognizably based on a photograph. It seems like all books in my target genre have illustrated covers. I’m okay with artwork that starts out as a photograph and then is manipulated to look like an illustration.
3. A super-cheery, childish appearance in general. This book is for youngsters, but they are old enough not to want to read a “children’s” book. I’d like the cover to have a bit of grit.
Content for spine:
1. Adventures of a Bowling Shoe
2. Tom Rozek
Content for back cover:
1. It could be a solid color. Then, there could be a box around the perimeter made up by little illustrations of bowling shoes, pins, balls, and cockroaches. The text would go in this frame.
2. ISBN: 978-0-9700392-4-8
3. Barcode: See attached image file.
TEXT FOR THE BACK:
Think you are having a rough day? Try being a rental bowling shoe…in New Jersey!
Meet Jim. He began life as the skin of a cow. Jim had no idea that one day, he’d end up as a left rental bowling shoe in Bayonne, New Jersey.
Working at 12 Strikes Bowling World, he has to put up with long hours, sweaty-footed customers, splinters on the floor, the incompetent brothers who run the alley, and arrogant coworkers.
But not everyone is rude to Jim. In fact, the many cockroaches that live in the alley are quite friendly. And then there’s Sally, a piece of leather Jim met in his youth whom he dreams of finding again one day. But to do that, he’ll somehow need to escape 12 Strikes Bowling World—a tall order for a short shoe.