Fantasy novelist Jonathan French seeks a design for the cover of his new book, The Exiled Heir: Book One of the Autumn's Fall Saga.
The author is open to all sorts of design ideas and aesthetics. The following are meant to be helpful guidelines not "must haves”. The winning design could very well contain none of the ideas presented. Having worked with artists in the past, the author is well aware that creative people often surprise with their ingenuity.
The Exiled Heir is an epic fantasy for adults (this is NOT a Young Adult book). The story is complicated, mature and large in scope. A winning cover should capture these qualities.
One of the key elements to both the book and the series is the idea that the world is trapped in eternal autumn. The season is almost a character in the story, so I would love to incorporate the rust reds and burnished yellows that come with the dying season on the cover.
The cover should capture the bleak beauty of a dying world, though it does not have to depict a landscape. The island is loosely based on Iron Age Ireland, so subtle Celtic design touches are welcome, though not necessary. Character art is discouraged for the cover, though a dynamic design with silhouettes or distant figures on a landscape might work. So-called "gothic" imagery is strongly discouraged. The cover should convey the epic fantasy genre and be haunting and rustic.
Those artists predisposed to landscapes should think Ireland in Autumn.
• Title: The Exiled Heir
• Author: Jonathan French
• Optional subtitle: Book One of the Autumn’s Fall Saga or Autumn’s Fall Saga: Book One
*Designers should feel free to arrange these elements in any way they feel is the most impactful.
Idea: Fallen leaves on the ground, some blowing through the air, some smoldering, turning to ash or outright burning.
Idea: An avian race is prominently featured in the novel. A clever and understated use of rooster feathers might work.
Idea: Fire and Iron feature prominently in the story. Red hot metal from a forge or smelted iron could be featured. (Perhaps within the title font.)
Idea: A cursed iron crown is featured in the story. It should be understated looking, but also appear menacing; an object of evil sorcery.
Idea: An historical weapon known as a seax or scramasax appears often in the novel. See reference images attached.
Idea: Ambitious designers and/or those with lots of art history knowledge might try and depict the Gate of Lost Kings. This huge, bas-relief set of bronze doors sits in a subterranean city. A description from the novel is attached.
Idea: The Tower of Vellaunus is an ancient structure featured prominently in the novel. It rises from the water at the convergence of two rivers inside the walled city of Black Pool. It should appear as if constructed by a madman. A description from the novel is attached.
Amazon/Createspace has specific requirements for their cover design. They can be found here:
To calculate spine width please use the formula for Cream Color pages.
Format Size: 6” x 9”
Page Count: 436
Images may be CMYK or RGB color. All images should be sized at 100%, flattened to one layer and placed in your document at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.
Please feel free to reference my website for sample chapters and character art: http://www.basementsanddrakes.com/afs/
Back Cover Blurb
You will find an attached word file containing the text needed for the back cover.