I need a design for an e-book cover, titled Vignetta in the Red House. It is a steampunk influenced fantasy loosely taglined: A girl and her homunculus thwart Grandmother’s plan to destroy the only home they have.
The main character is a girl of 11. The dress is very steam punk Victorian, and even the children wear “training corsets.” I really don’t want any sexualized tweens on the cover of the novel, however. Despite the fact that I keep referencing steam punk, that’s more of a flavor characterization, so gears and boilers are not really appropriate. The story takes place in a very fantastical Victorian-like setting.
Homunculi are small, petlike, artificial creatures created with alchemy.
More abstract would be fine. Gothic architecture and skeleton keys are good themes. I use a lot of red and sepia when describing things in the book.
I'm aware that there are limitations to a contest like this, especially at the level I'm participating, so I'm hesitant to ask for specific images. I know Trylle did quite well on Amazon with an abstract cover, so I don't think I'm too anxious about non-representational art. In fact, a really good non-representational cover would probably trump okay illustration.
That said, If I had my pick, I though it would be cool to have an illustration of a couple of dark skinned, African or West Indian women in Victorian dress, one a young girl with a winged albino monkey on her shoulder.
It needs to look good at thumbnail size, which mostly means that the Title has to pop.
All text needs to be at least half an inch from the outer edges.
It should be 5 X 8 proportions, RGB, 300 DPI and .JPG. and 2500 pixels on the longest side?
A photoshop file with various layers intact would be very helpful, as I might use the art for a free teaser on Amazon.
Current Cover Copy:
When Vinnie was five, her brilliant mother was institutionalized for madness. Since then, Vinni has longed to be a master homunculi maker, like her mother was before her illness.
Vinnie’s family is comprised of the women of the Red House – women who have built wealth, strength and standing using their considerable talent in alchemy to make hommunculi, artificial creatures that act as familiars, companions and helpmates. As Vinni begins to learn her craft, she feels held back by the strict rules of her Aunts and her Grandmother, leader of the Red House. Worse, no one will undertake to seriously teach her anything until she has had her first blood, which is supposed to be the essential ingredient in homunculi creation.
Vinni is unaware that her inquiry into how make a homunculi before her menses puts her on a collision course with Grandmother's plans for the Red House, which in turn puts the Red House on a collision course with the rest of Sangrila, the most powerful city state on the Red Coast. Vinni's discovery that her Grandmother’s plotting for power is responsible for her mother's insanity drives Vignetta onto the streets of the city. In order to save the only home she has ever known, Vinni and a group of her sorceress cousins and street urchins become the opposition to her Grandmother's monstrous homunculus.
Attached, find a couple of designs that I liked the look of from my first contest, keeping in mind that the title text is way too small. The last image is something I just kind of liked because of the skeleton keys.