A book cover for my ebook - Touch. The cover will have the following words on it:
A Charlotte Savage Crime Thriller
(not necessarily in that order. The subtitle can be left off if you have a design that really doesn't work with it on - bit it will have to be very good!)
Size: min of 1280 on the tall side
height/width ratio 1.6
final image supplied as tiff or 100%jpg.
72dpi for the web version, 300 for print.
All images in the design to be supplied separately (e.g. if stock photos have been used) as well as the text layers so I can create the spine image for the coming print version myself.
PSD or other layered file to be supplied.
The book reached number seven in the overall UK chart and has sold over 12,000 copies in the UK so it has already been a success. However, the cover was designed by myself and I am looking for a better, more professionally looking cover.
This next section now not in the brief, I have decided that it is sending people up the wrong path - but I have left it in for reference.
Of course since the existing cover has worked then if you think you can make it better then that is one option to consider. It is possible that I had a good concept but that it was poorly executed. I have attached the two stock photo files that were used.
It is important that the look/concept can be repeated across a series of books (font style, presentation, etc.). If I choose to repeat the concept then the winner will get the brief for the next book too. That is coming out in the New Year and will be called "Chains" - show me the design for that too if you want to really impress - although that would be a spearate brief/payment so proof of the concept would be fine rather than the finished work.
The cover must suitable for translation to print as well (there will shortly be a POD paperback) meaning the title and author name should be suitable for going on the spine (not necessarily the actual front cover image). We can talk about the print version after you have won the competition because there may be some adjustments to make as regards bleeds, etc.
The book can be found here:
The description and reviews should give you something to go on as regards the plot, but if you know anything about crime fiction/covers you'll be aware that the covers do not usually give anything away. I am not averse to using the woman on the existing cover and I have supplied the image. However, something new would be fine too and probably better since readers tend to assume that the girl is the female detective in the series and thus I might have to then include her on every cover.
I probably would like the name "Mark Sennen" to be larger than the title font (as is usually the way). It is IMPERATIVE that the cover looks good at 100 pixels high because that is what people see when they are viewing lists at Amazon, e.g.:
It would be good if the text could be read at this size too, but if the design is knockout then this is not totally necessary. The cover also needs to look its best at 300 pixels because that is what the customer sees when they click through to the book details page. And (!) it needs to look good larger as well... tricky!
I am aware that it is pretty easy to tell self-published books (like mine) by looking at the cover (browse the bestseller link above and I think you will see what I mean) and I am hoping that you can produce something better.
As a guide I like covers by the following authors: Graham Hurley, Stuart MacBride, Kate Ellis, Ann Cleeves and I quite like "scritchy scratchy" type covers with layer masks on the lettering (but you know best, so you don't have to follow this). I have included some of their covers in the project files.
As regards imagery it can be abstract or you can use something from the book. The novel is set in Plymouth, but scenes take place on Dartmoor, at a remote cottage, in/around a village, at a church, in the Major Crimes suite at Plymouth Crownhill police station, in a deprived inner city area known as North Prospect, at a large luxury house. I could go on, but as I mentioned before sometimes the covers have little to do with what goes on inside. You might also want to take a peek at my website: http://www.marksennen.com/
In the end it is up to you and should you ignore all the above but come up with a fantastic design then you can still win the brief.