Book Title: The Birth of Chaos
Series Title: The Eversoul Chronicles (or just Eversoul Chronicles)
Author Name: Ethan James Clarke
Tagline: Every end has a beginning
Back Cover Text:
IN TIMES SUCH AS THESE, GREAT MEN ARE MADE. OR THEY ARE BROKEN.
(THE ABOVE TO BE RENDERED IN SMALL CAPS OR ALL CAPS)
The boy plucked from his idyllic home in a brutal invasion and the sister who follows desperately to rescue him. The iron-willed queen who risks everything to win a crown for her son and the righteous soldier who finds himself walking the fine line between justice and vengeance.
Together, these four weave a tale of loss and redemption in a world slowly going mad, stirred by dark things long aslumber and now awakening, and driven by the machinations of a prophecy older than time itself.
Target Audience: Mature epic fantasy and swords and sorcery readers, similar to the Song of Ice and Fire demographic.
This cover is for a 6x9 paperback through CreateSpace, and should comply with all of the CreateSpace guidelines (for instance resolution, barcode positioning, bleed areas etc. See https://www.createspace.com/Product…erPDF.jsp). Minimum resolution of 300 DPI, but 600 would be preferred. Spine is 1.625 inches wide, and the cover will be matte.
Files in handover should include the following:
1. Print-ready PDF version of the entire cover (see CreateSpace guidelines).
2. Layered source files (PSD or whatever format you use) so we can edit any portion of the cover at a later time.
3. We also want a JPG and layered PSD versions of just the front portion of the cover for Kindle and other online distribution options, in a 1.6 ratio (ideally 1600x2560 pixels).
Cover can lean towards dark and gritty, perhaps a bit ominous. Alternatively, cover can use fire-based design (real or abstract fire) and/or splashy designs, if you can do those well.
Time of day will usually be at night (see forest and moon elements below) but we’re open to ideas (sunrise, sunset, twilight, even midday if you want to give it a try).
In general we prefer illustrations over manipulated photographs, and 3D or pseudo-3D images won’t do very well at all for this cover.
Try to make any text on the cover readable using simple contrast rather than fancy drop shadows, if possible.
FONTS: For the title, the author prefers the font Moonlight Shadow by David Kerkhoff (we already acquired the licence) http://www.fontspace.com/david-kerk…ght-shadow. We are aware that this might not work, because the cover should work well as a thumbnail as well, but if you can make this font work for the title, that would be great. You might also try only rendering the core words of the title (birth, chaos) in this font, and the other words in some regular font (with or without any capitals). Use your own discretion here. If Moonlight Shadow doesn’t work, some other stylish but simple font will be fine.
For the author name, use a contrasting sans-serif font, with wide letter spacing and preferably in small caps or all caps. The book title should be much larger than the author name. Try to fit the series name in somewhere, and also the tagline. Important: The title must be the lightest or darkest element on the cover.
Note: For all fonts on the cover, simple will work better than complex graphic effects. Please don’t resort to gradients, drop shadows, unreadable fonts, or any other weird effects, UNLESS you know you can do it really well. We’re open to all ideas, as long as they’re done well.
The publisher logo (Wicked Wolf logo attached to this brief in plain black and gradated gold) should be rendered on the bottom left of the back cover (if that section is black, you may use the gold version if it suits your colour palette, or reverse the black one to obtain a white version), and the image portion of the logo should be reproduced on the spine at the bottom.
Barcode is attached and should appear at the bottom right of the back cover opposite the publisher logo in 2 x 1.2 inch size.
There should be no hard lines in your design running along the spine fold lines, as the position of these lines may vary between print runs. The backdrop image/landscape should wrap around across the spine to the back cover. To see an example of this, take a look at the Al d’Rien book cover contest at http://99designs.com/book-cover-des…ign-198386, #64 (and to a lesser extent, #63). These examples also show a great use of fading the top half so that the back cover text displays well by contrast.
In addition to the published logo, the spine should contain the book title and author name.
Certain thematic elements appear in the book that might work well as material for the cover. It is up to you which of these (or combination of these) to use.
Thematic element 1 – An AMULET: made from silver metal, a red ruby set in a three-pointed pendant. You can style the amulet almost any way you like, as long as it has the three points and the ruby in the middle. The author imagines the three points to look almost like the tips of daggers, like perhaps it’ll cut you if you gripped it too tightly.
Thematic element 2 – A BLAZEFLOWER: Reddish/orange/yellow flower, perhaps similar to a lily. These flowers have seed pods attached to them that only open in a forest fire. This flower’s connection to fire is strong, but design of the flower and seed pod is mostly up to you.
Thematic element 3 – FIRE has a powerful role in this book. The vengeance that brews in several of the characters is often equated with fire, and there is plenty of literal fire as well. Abstract shapes and designs that remind of fire are more than welcome.
Thematic element 4 – A young BOY and a GIRL, twins, 13, fleeing desperately through the forest in the night. If they appear, it’ll most likely be in partial silhouette or quite obscured by shadows. These silhouettes or figures may be rendered realistically or highly stylised, your choice. (For an example of a stylised silhouette as opposed to a realistic one, see the Castings Trilogy omnibus edition’s cover at http://www.amazon.com/Castings-Tril…316102857)
Thematic element 5 – The FOREST itself might work well as a backdrop. The author imagines a forest at night (in the book it takes place in summer, but you may take artistic license to depict some scraggly bare branches to enhance the ominous feeling). It might be misty or hazy; rendered in a palette of blue, dark purple or grey. If the forest is used not just as a background but as the main imagery (as in, the boy and girl above fleeing through the forest), then there will typically be a large MOON hanging somewhere above.
Thematic element 6 – A PALACE built on a huge rocky outcropping overlooking a bay and with a city stretching to the other side. There might be ships or other implications of being near the sea (seagulls flocking, for instance). This palace might work best on the back cover, off-centre, as part of the landscape that scrolls around from the front cover.
Now, for the detailed compositions that we have in mind. You can try your hand at any one of these compositions, or design and present your own, if you prefer that.
FIRST: You may try a simple composition showing only the amulet already described, in reasonably fine detail. Specular highlights on the ruby stone might be nice to show reflecting light. The stone may or may not have facets. Several shapes might work for the ruby, but likely not square cut (princess) or perfectly round. If the ruby is in trillion cut (three-pointed with curved edges, this shape is preferable) it should be reverse aligned with the three prongs of the amulet – meaning the three points of the ruby should NOT line up with the points of the amulet.
BONUS: If you depict the amulet, we would like you to insert a VERY SUBTLE form of an unborn baby into the middle of the amulet, as though the ruby is a womb. This is an easter egg and shouldn’t be obvious at all, and should only be visible if someone is specifically looking for it.
This simple composition might be augmented with the blazeflower either next to the amulet or behind it somehow, or with fire elements, or fire-like abstract designs.
The background behind the amulet could be simple white or black, with fire-based abstract shapes and interesting splash patterns, or it might be a hint of a forest.
You might also make the background a textured gunmetalgrey, in which case the lettering of the title would probably look better rendered like silvery/shiny metal (see the Obsidian Sky cover for the look I’m suggesting: http://www.amazon.com/Obsidian-Sky-…00GJKOR68)
SECOND: A dark, hazy/misty forest under a bright moon (either full or in some phase which you can make look attractive). This kind of haunting image might almost be enough for the cover by itself.
This composition might be augmented by depicting the boy and girl fleeing through the forest, typically obscured and/or in silhouette. A forest fire is NOT ever the reason they’re fleeing. That being said, you might combine the idea of the fire with this image by having the rear edge of one (or both) of the characters fray a bit, as if they’re flaking into ashes from being burned. If you’re subtle about it you can even suggest the flames or fire doing this burning, but keep in mind that it doesn’t happen literally in the story that these characters burn while running through the forest. This would be the suggestion of something figurative that would fit perfectly with the story, so by all means, try it if you think you can pull it off.
THIRD: Again the hazy/misty forest and the moon, but instead of depicting two figures fleeing, you might show them (or one of them alone) simply standing or walking or sitting on a rocky outcropping. In this case, the figure can be somewhat bigger than if there had been two, and showing the figure flaking off like ash is even more important, to add intrigue.
Note: whenever you’re depicting the moon, you might try to add an interesting starscape with it; the world in this book has nice, dense sets of stars at night.