*Please use only original designs and artwork. I don't mean to say that there can be no use of stock images which have been altered for use in this project, but I would have some biases against them. I want the cover to be unique and it should not use elements which would cause it to closely resemble someone else's potential work. I do of course also need to be able to have full rights to use the final product and be in no jeopardy of infringing someones copyrights.
I have written a full length novel called The Sigil Blade. It is the first book in a trilogy of classic fantasy novels. The successful designer will be able to create a cover that will help brand this series (called the Archon Sigil Trilogy) and create designs for both an ebook and print editions.
These designs should meet requirements for the publication channels which I will be using, including Amazon and Smashwords for the ebook, and Createspace for the print edition.
The tone of the book is dark, and deals in themes of contrast. My concept of the cover would be an image of the main character on a burnt out ship, as described in the books prologue, a descriptive portion of which is quoted below.
The cabin had been reduced to a pile of smoking timbers and most of the ship’s railings were similarly destroyed. The deck, though thoroughly charred, was largely in-tact. The sails and the rigging were completely gone, but the double masts, too thick to have burned through completely, still remained; a pair of lonely blackened spires guarding a small solitary indistinct object in the middle of the deck.
As the ships drew nearer, the object gradually resolved into a recognizable shape. It was a man, seated unmoving on the deck, covered head to toe in soot and balancing an oversized sword across his legs. On close approach, Aelsian realized that some of what he had taken for soot was instead clothing stained with blood. As they drew nearer yet, he saw the man’s face. The man, who remained perfectly still as he took in slow silent breaths, was deliberately staring, calm and unperturbed, in Aelsian’s direction. The Interdiction came into position alongside the doomed ship and the crew connected the two vessels with a boarding plank. The man rose in response, ash and soot falling from his cloak and swirling in the ocean wind around him as he stood."
another description of this character is given later:
"a man of less than average height, slender to a degree, but physically strong in appearance"
"The stranger had intense grey eyes, which were the color of spent charcoal, and a dark sun-weathered complexion"
As the title of the book is The Sigil Blade particular emphasis should be given to his sword. In contrast with the blackened ship and the ash covered character, it should be bright, simple, clean, and untarnished. The sword could also be featured in a graphic on the cover to accompany the the text. Another description of the sword, given later in the book, is quoted below.
It was awkwardly long, with no adornment or markings of any kind, but it had a beautiful clean form. It was pristine, as if newly forged and freshly polished, with no outward indication of what Aelsian knew to be its ancient age and history of use in violent conflicts.
I am partial to the image of the main character standing with the ashes swirling in the wind around him, but also like the idea of him sitting with the sword balanced across his legs. I do want you to feel free to try different ideas. I am happy to share more of the book with anyone who feels it would help them get a better idea of what to design.
Feel welcome to visit my website - jeffwilsonbooks.com. For reference, I have already published a very short story that introduces the trilogy, which is available as free download on Amazon, called The Blood Prince, which also includes descriptions of the sword.