a. The book cover is the most important marketing material for the book. The book cover must simultaneously: capture the reader’s attention, evoke emotions, hint at the story without being cluttered, be visually pleasing, and be simple. Easy, eh?
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 28,000 copies so far, this will (hopefully) result in significant publicity for the winner.
c. This is the first book in a new trilogy (with the potential for more books to follow in the series after that). Depending on sales, it is expected that the contest winner will also produce the other book covers in the series when these books are ready to be published.
d. The scene to be pictured on the cover is a battle that takes place between the heroes and Scylla, the monster from Greek mythology. The fight takes place on board a xebec (a 3-masted sailing ship) as the heroes fight the beast. A picture of a xebec is below. The ship in the book has already had most of its main mast (the center one of the three) broken off and the Scylla has wrapped its tail around the ship and is crushing it. The book cover can have as much or as little of this background as is needed. The main thing I’d like to be pictured is one of the heroes fighting one of the Scylla heads (there are six). Other heroes or Scylla heads can be pictured in the background. Here are the hero scenes (pick your choice of 1-5):
1. Dantes: half man/half devil pictured on the cover of “Chasing a Spectre,” the prequel to this story (pictured below). He could be shown throwing a fireball spell into the mouth of one of the heads.
2. Ghorza: Half-orc pictured on the cover of “Chasing a Spectre.” She could be pictured with a knife, protecting two small human children from one of the heads.
3. Fitzber: Earth Gnome archer that is three and a half feet tall, with pointed ears and angular facial features. Light brown like the trunk of a tree, with tufts of forest green hair sticking out from under a large hat. Solid black eyes. He shoots an arrow into one of the head’s eyes from the cover of some of the ship’s rigging.
4. Lady Ellyn: Beautiful human female paladin with silver hair wearing silver plate mail. She has a sword in her left hand and a scimitar in her right as she battles one of the heads. A picture of what I have in mind for her is below.
5. Combination of Fitzber drawing an arrow while Dantes shoots a missile spell (two missiles) at the nose of one of the heads.
Scylla: “Scylla was enormous, with six dragon-like heads on long, serpentine necks. Each of its heads was 10 feet long and could open up wide enough to swallow a gnome sideways. Their mouths had three rows of shark-like teeth, top and bottom, for seizing their prey and cutting it to ribbons. The heads were almost hypnotic as they rose swaying from the water on their 60 feet long necks. The body remained mostly under the surface, but its underwater shadow was far larger than even the orc ship. A shadow passed in front of the sun as the monster’s tail came up from the water on the other side of the ship. It rose 50 feet into the air and then fell across the ship, crushing two of the crewmen that had the misfortune of being underneath it.” A picture is below.
e. Technical information. Three files are required. One for the eBook, one for the print book and one for the audio book. Of note, the font used for the cover of the prequel was DejaVu Serif. You don’t have to use this, but (all other things being equal) I would like this cover to have a similar feel to “Chasing a Spectre.”
1. eBook Cover (for Amazon Kindle):
a. Media: JPEG.
b. Resolution: 2820x4500 pixels
c. height/width ratio of 1.6 Amazon Kindle reference:
2. Audio Book
a. Media: JPEG.
b. Resolution: 2400x2400 pixels
3. 5.5” x 8.5” Print Book:
a. Media: JPEG
b. 1600x2400 pixels, and a minimum resolution of 300 DPI
c. Safe Zone. Text and images must be at least .125" inside the trim lines to ensure that no live elements are cut during the bookmaking process.
f. Criteria for Competition Judgment.
a. The cover must conform to the technical specifications above.
b. Characters 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 has to have the title (“Can’t Look Back”) and the author’s name (“Chris Kennedy”). While I would like the cover image to show someone (or more) fighting the Scylla, it doesn’t matter to me who. I do NOT want a picture that looks like a cartoon or anime. My other books are here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E4MIJA8, if you are interested.
h. Files. I do not have the rights to the attached files; they are shown only for comparison.
i. The prize in this competition is guaranteed.