a. The book cover is the most important marketing material for the book. It must be intelligible and compelling.
b. Recognition. Credit for the artwork will be given to the contest winner in the book’s front matter. As the author’s last series has sold over 25,000 copies so far, this should (hopefully) result in significant publicity.
c. This is the prequel to a full-length trilogy (with potentially more to follow in the series). Depending on sales, the contest winner will have the inside track to producing the others in the series.
d. The Spectre isn’t seen until the end; the story revolves around the other three characters and they are described. “John couldn’t tell if the first one was a midget or if he was just really young and really short, but he looked tiny, and his costume was nothing exciting. John did better with the odds and ends from his closet. The other two, though, were incredible. The first was some sort of orc or half-orc. Almost six and a half feet tall, she was pale green and had incisors that stuck out of both the top and bottom of her mouth. The makeup job was outstanding; John couldn’t see a single spot she had missed. The third person was dressed as a devil, and it was by far the best costume he had ever seen. Not because it looked normal, because it didn’t. The colors were way too garish. Purple eyes and purple hair? Come on, those weren't normal colors; the person had to have picked them to stand out. Like the orc, his makeup job was also perfect. He was brick-red all over, without a smear, smudge or missed spot. What really made the costume were the accessories. The horns he wore had to have been put on with some incredible adhesive; he couldn’t see the line where they joined his head, nor did they ever appear to move. The best accessory was his tail, which gave every indication of being prehensile. John had no idea how the guy (he thought it was a guy) controlled it; he didn’t appear to have a transmitter in either hand; the tail just seemed to move on its own. Barrel-chested and heavily muscled, the devil easily out massed the orc by 50 pounds, even though he was almost a foot shorter.”
e. Technical information. Two files are required. One for the eBook and one for a potential audiobook.
1. eBook Cover (for Amazon Kindle):
a. Media: JPEG.
b. Resolution: 2820 pixels on the shortest side and 4500 pixels on the longest side
c. height/width ratio of 1.6 Amazon Kindle reference:
a. Media: JPEG.
b. Resolution: 2400x2400 pixels
f. Criteria for Competition Judgment.
a. The cover must conform to the technical specifications above.
b. If the cover illustration portrays characters from the book, they should be in appropriate clothing (from their world, not ours) or leather armor.
c. The cover will be the most important marketing tool for the book. As such, the title must be readable and the cover art interesting even at the smallest book cover resolution on Amazon.
g. Design Suggestions. The cover should have the title (“Chasing a Spectre”) and the author’s name (“Chris Kennedy). While I would prefer that at least the two main characters (the half-orc and half-devil) be on the cover, I am not tied to that. Similarly, the mirror is significant to the story and probably should be there (perhaps with a shadow?), but it doesn’t have to be. Neither preference would preclude serious consideration of a different design approach. My other books are here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E4MIJA8. While they have all previously used the same theme for the way the title and author were incorporated, they don’t have to be that way on this one if it makes sense to do otherwise.
h. Files. I do not have the rights to the attached files; they are shown only for comparison. The half-orc, as envisioned is a cross between the first three files; the tall but fairly normal-looking body of the first, a face with protruding teeth like the second, and the coloring of the third (but NOT so sexified). The tiefling is envisioned closer to the one facing away from the viewer (somewhat like Hellboy). The tiefling needs to have the ability to use his horns (i.e., they need to be pointed).