1. I do NOT want any images of people on the cover :)
2. I tend to avoid cartoony-looking covers... they're cute, but I don't think they are ideal for this niche.
3. Lastly, it's very important that my cover does not blend into the Amazon Kindle store's white background.
I'm leaning towards a non-white cover, but if you have a great design that just has to be on white, please put a subtle grey border around it so that it won't fade into Amazon's background.
4. If you win the contest, I want the layered .psd file and/or the .ai file, the names of all fonts used (so I can buy them/download if necessary... this makes it easy for me to change the title or subtitle text at a later date if needed), as well as the source of any stock imagery used on the cover (I am fine with purchasing those files directly from the stock photo site for use on the winning cover).
5. re: text layout
I don't like the following:
P a y c h e c k <- i.e. with the bottom "paycheck" stretched out to the same width as the top line "paycheck to"... because both lines contain the same word, "paycheck", I find the stretching too noticeable.
I like this better:
Mind you, if none of the text is stretched, then either option works.
6. I love the image of the money tree on my current cover (see attachment) - it makes one think of never having to worry about money again, which is good - However, I think the background is a bit too new-agey...
Generally speaking, I prefer the covers where the money tree has been isolated and removed from the current background over those that include the sky in the background.
**please avoid money trees with $1 bills... better would be $50 or $100 bills since that's generally more appealing to people than $1.
Also, please beware of using too much green on the cover and making it look like a book about gardening :) (I know... the text of the title gives away what it's REALLY about, but I'd like the overall appearance of the book to be in keeping with classic business books.)
Remember, I feel like I made a mistake with the current cover, so I want something better... something more business like... and yeah, if you can keep the money tree and accomplish that, awesome. But if you can come up with something better than the money tree, I'm cool with that too!
7. A recent reader poll of some of the covers show that they aren't into the super dark background colours that have been on some designs. Although these types of covers look amazing from a design standpoint, I suspect that the really dark colours are too solemn and don't give readers that feeling of hope that they're looking for in this subject.
Mind you, I don't want the book to look like a book on spirituality or religion either... gotta balance the need for an authoritative feel with giving hope. It's a tricky dance I think...
I can't wait to see what you come up with! :)