I am planning on launching a free novella in mid-2016, and what I want designed is the kindle book cover for this novella.
The cover should be portrait aspect, and Amazon recommend that the long edge is at least 4,500 pixels. I personally like an aspect ratio of 1.5, so I make that dimensions of 4,500 x 3,000, and this is the size of cover that I'm after.
The book is about a man who overcomes the odds to become the purge of the Mandahoi - hence he earns the nickname Mandestroy, which is (currently) the title of the book. For Mandahoi read: "deadly ninja-type warrior", which will get you close enough; but our protagonist is more of a straight-laced warrior who relies on force of will and brute strength to succeed. He's the kind of man who can carry stubble to any occasion.
For context, this novella is medieval fantasy, but without the introduction of magic in any real sense. Think Game of Thrones for positioning.
The book travels through both the present and the past of our protagonist's life, picking up on various political and social pivots of his time. For the cover, I have in mind the moment that he first encounters and overcomes the accursed Mandahoi foe, which I can briefly describe as follows:
Think of a battlefield between two great mountain shoulders - a deep V-shaped valley. Experimental cannons have been employed, and so there is an eerie mist right across the battlefield. Our protagonist's allies are defeated, fleeing from the enemy, and stalking through the mist come the accursed Mandahoi - in their grey ninja outfits, and with elegant sabres at the ready. Everyone is running away, but our protagonist isn't. He is waiting for them, because if anyone can beat them - and you can't beat a Mandahoi - then it is him. He holds his wide broadsword casually before him, ready to strike. He is calm, but only in the moment. When the Mandahoi arrive, he will explode.
I attach the prologue of the novel, which is the scene to which this text refers. It's not essential reading, but it might help offer more colour.
I have thought about doing a book cover myself, and my thoughts take me to a predominantly smoke-filled cover, with a sword and owner of the sword bursting through the smoke (stock photo idea attached). Other ideas include a sword silhouette upon a misty page, with some ninja silhouette Mandahoi stalking in the background. I am not particularly wedded to a single idea, but my thoughts are that the cover needs to be dark and explosive - because this is what is in our protagonist's soul when he is able to overcome the Mandahoi. I am imagining something which is coloured predominantly on the white-grey-black spectrum, though I'm not against the introduction of an appropriate accent colour.
In terms of other design features, I would like my author "logo" to appear at the top of the cover (I have attached a copy of what I have in mind - it is the grey and red logo above the 'MANDESTROY' text in the attachment; fairly crudely designed in MS word!), and I imagine the name of the book appearing at the bottom. As briefly mentioned, at the moment I am calling the book Mandestroy, but any other name suggestions would be welcome. In fact, it may be beneficial to leave a space for the name in case I decide to change the title closer to the time. We can discuss options on the other side!
And I think that's it. I'm not planning to go paperback with this (since it's going to be a free download) so we don't need to worry about extending the cover to wrap around. Just a Kindle cover will be fine.
Many thanks in advance!