magpie.eclectic.press got their new book cover by running a design contest:
Create a Bold, Imaginative, Eye-Catching cover for new, YA epic fantasy "Out of Darkness Rising"
Check out magpie.eclectic.press's Book cover contest…
Entertainment & The Arts
We specialize in publishing imaginative speculative Fiction, with a particular interest in Fantasy and Science Fiction for the Young Adult and adult age ranges.
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Our company is preparing to release a new Novella titled "Out of Darkness Rising" in February 2015. "Out of Darkness Rising" is a YA fantasy written by author Gillian Bronte Adams, and will be the first book to be released through our press. The book will be 5.25" x 8" front and back, and the spine will be narrow as the finished document after the final edits will still likely sit under 200 pages. However, I would still like to see the Title and the Author's name on the spine of the book, and if possible, I would also like to see the Magpie Eclectic Press logo. I have uploaded a createspace template in pdf and png formats below... the format of this template is for a 5.25" x 8" cover with a spine to accommodate 200 pages. It should be noted that the spine should be something relatively easy for me to adjust to the page count if needed. As the book will be released in both paperback and e-book formats, we are looking for something edgy and eye-catching... something that can compete with other books in its genre and age-group on a physical bookstore shelf, as well as something that looks good as a thumbnail on the amazon and B&N websites, respectively. Here is the book's blurb: **** Darkness reigns unchallenged. For the villagers on the accursed Island, life has only one meaning – death. Bound to the Island by the curse, the villagers suffer beneath the iron claw of the serpent, daily breathing the poison of his breath and dying to appease his insatiable appetite. When Marya’s parents are slain by the serpent for their belief in a legendary king, she becomes an Outcast. Struggling to survive and avoid the vengeance of the Tribunal, Marya is torn between legend and the harsh reality of the Island. Yet when a forgotten promise springs to life, she cannot help wondering if the old stories might in fact be true. And if they are, will the promise prove stronger than the curse? ***** Originally the book had a different cover, but unfortunately (since the book and the cover art had been contracted through another press at the time) I was unable to negotiate the transfer of rights concerning that cover art to our press. The previous art will be added in an attached file below so that artists can see what has been done in the past We are going for a bold, eye-catching look, and will need a full cover wrap for the physical release of the book, as well as a front cover image that would look good as a thumbnail on the amazon and B&N websites for an ebook release. Here are our ideas so far: (note: several of these design ideas are similar with only slightly varying details... Also, this is a medieval type fantasy... designs should be completed with that in mind. ) Idea #1) Similar to the original cover art, a picture of a black sea serpent or dragon rearing up out of a large body of the water. On the shore, a fair-haired knight in a flowing blue robe and silver armor is standing with sword drawn, facing the serpent. (Black and White sketches of the dragon and of the waiting knight have already been completed and jpeg and tiff files will be included below. It would be appreciated, though not necessary, if these elements could somehow be digitally colored and worked into the cover-art design, as they were originally intended to be part of it anyway. However, once these elements were painted, they would still need a background. I would be interested to see who could come up with a relatively good cover using these sketches, but please do not feel limited to only the use of these sketches as elements in the cover art. Also, the Sea Serpent/dragon is supposed to be so black that the highlights on his scales are blue and perhaps dark purple... cool undertones... you will sort of understand this when you look at the attached file of the original cover art.) Idea #2) A sword on a dark-ish background with a dragon eye or part of/all of a dragon's face reflected in its surface. Idea #3) A sword in front of a stylistic coiled serpent (The serpent would be white or charcoal grey... I will include a picture that the author sent me of her version of the serpent in grey on a black robe; it was part of a costume she made for the book's trailer.) Idea #4) the same as #3 only with flames (grey serpent preferable in this option) Idea #5) same as #3 but with a dragon's face reflected in the sword blade Idea #6) And Island wreathed in mist rising from a wide loch Idea #7) (Viewed from behind) A fair-haired young knight in a blue robe and silver armor standing with sword drawn on the shore of a mist-filled loch (The included drawing of the prince could be colorized and used for this option) Idea #8) A young, red-haired girl in tattered clothes kneeling on blood stained stone, either looking down at the blood or weeping. She could possibly be within a circle of standing stones with mist around her. Idea #9) An old leather looking cover design with a picture/painting of an Island rising out of a loch. Surrounding the painting would be a serpent OR a gold celtic-esque ring where the lines of the celtic knotwork are obviously creating a serpent figure. 10) A sword rising up out of a misty loch 11) A white ship scudding across the waves with a bare, black island in the background. Now that you have read the design ideas, I have included a few scenes from the book describing the elements to be involved in the cover: 1) The Serpent He raised his right hand above the water and looked down at it. His gaze riveted and a cry tore from his throat. A hideous iron claw met his gaze; a twisted, warped, disfigured hand with webbed fingers and curved talons. He lifted both hands and held them to his eyes, transfixed. He peered down at the Loch, searching for his reflection. The Loch became still at last. A truly monstrous face gazed up at him. Slanted redrimmed eyes sat about a long bony snout which housed a gaping mouth filled with jagged fangs. Black smoke poured from the mouth, settling over the Loch like a cloud. Consuming flames smoldered in the iron bound throat. Arientyl tore himself away from his reflection and looked back over his shoulder to behold the rest of his body. It wound away across the waves, a long, sinuous, snake-like form, covered entirely in black scales. *** The Serpent’s neck and forearms rested on the shore while the rest of his body stretched out across the Loch. His shining black scales glinted midnight blue in the glare of the approaching storm. “You could always come with me,” he said. ***** The Loch heaved and the Serpent surfaced. His hideous head shot out first, followed by yard after yard of sinuous neck and his two mighty forearms. (The Serpent) drew nearer, halting only a few feet from the Stone. His great head towered high above. Smoke billowed as he opened his mouth, revealing a double set of jagged fangs. Red fire burned in the depths of his throat, reflecting off his fangs so that they appeared to be covered in blood. The air, bitterly cold a moment before, now felt dry and hot as though the Serpent had sucked all of the moisture from the sky. The Serpent spoke. His voice seemed to come from a great depth, grating and rumbling like the clatter of falling stones. “Corridan and Ayanna, foolish ones. There is no King. I rule – I alone. I decide your fate. You will hail me as King. All will hail me as King or perish.” ***** 2) The Prince I could find no sufficient scene to describe the prince, but the author has told me that he is to be fair haired and be wearing silver plate armor with a blue cloak flying out behind him and white surcoat/tunic over the plate. ***** 3) The Prince's Sword Marya peered toward the spot his finger indicated. There, the Loch gathered into a strange whirlpool, a swirling circle of water about four feet in diameter. The whirlpool spun faster and faster, the speed and fury of the lashing current thrusting the sides up nearly a yard out of the water. In the middle of the churning maelstrom, a gleaming object caught her gaze, flashing as the water whipped it this way and that; bobbing up and down, now above the waves, now below. Glinting silver and gold, the stranger’s sword rose up from the water, lifted by the mounting eddy. Then, as swiftly as it had begun, the whirlpool died away and the waters resumed their normal course. The sword remained floating on the misty Loch, rocking back and forth on the undulating waves. ***** 4) The Island A dark shadow appeared ahead, like a thick bank of fog. It loomed larger as the Serpent approached, sharpening into the distinct form of a rocky shore that vanished into the mist a few yards above the tide line. This was it. The Island. ***** The final threads of fog scattered before the strengthening breeze. Hadriel’s mouth dropped open, a cry frozen on her lips, and she fell to her knees. No paradise met her eyes, no land glowing with light or teeming with life. It was a place of death and darkness. A bare black rock piercing the turbulent waters of the Loch as the tip of a mountain breaks through the surrounding clouds. Craggy boulders dotted the barren landscape, here and there joined by stunted thorn trees and twisted bushes wreathed in sharp spines. Cold wind wrapped around the island, a ceaseless sighing as it passed over the deserted rocks and desolate shore. ***** 5) Marya Again, I could find no sufficient scene to describe Marya, but she has long wavy flaxen hair probably full of tangles. Her clothes are basically rags. Her parents were taken before the Serpent in a circle of standing stones out on the rocky beach, and there they were killed. After that, she became an outcast. ***** 6) The Fight between the Prince and the Serpent Circling, moving as lightly over the waves as if he were walking on firm ground, the Prince held his sword at the ready. The Serpent lunged and the Prince sidestepped, darting forward with a striking speed that rivaled that of the Serpent. His sword flashed and the Serpent screeched. Boiling blood streamed down the monster’s back from a stab wound in his left shoulder. A stream of flame stabbed at the Prince and he threw up his blazing sword to protect his face. The Serpent’s spiked tail whipped through the water, smashing into the Prince’s legs. He fell on his back, rolled as the Serpent’s teeth fell, recovered and charged. Ducking beneath a thunderous slash of the Serpent’s claws, he leaped onto his armored back. The Serpent’s neck coiled and the Prince barely dodged the sweeping teeth. He gripped the serried rows of ridged scales with his left hand, and unleashed a blinding barrage of blows with the sword in his right. Though the Serpent’s scales were hard as iron, the Prince’s sword was keen and sharp. The glowing blade sung through the air, drawing blood again and again. ***** Bright flashed the sword in the strong hand of the Prince; many and serious were the deadly wounds which it inflicted on the Serpent. Yet though that vile monster strove his hardest, not once was he able to injure the Prince. The mighty combat raged until the Loch was lashed with foam and streaked with the blood of the Serpent. Light battled darkness, life battled death. Until at last, the Prince threw down the Serpent and stood with the point of his sword at the beast’s throat.
Be bold, daring, and creative. :D We want a cover that will stand out on a shelf FULL of other YA fantasy books. We want a cover that will catch a reader's eye and make them want to turn the book over to read the blurb, and then open the book to continue reading the story itself. And now, before I post the links to the books whose covers we admire, first here is a link to the "Out of Darkness Rising" Book Trailer. The trailer is several years old and was made when the book was contracted by another press, so the cover art at the end is still the original cover art and the press name is wrong as well, but it should give you a better idea of the story itself. (As a side note, the trailer was made by the author and some of her friends... the author herself plays the main character, Marya.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XknufpWw6Gs And now, here are the links to the images of book covers we rather like the looks of: http://tinyurl.com/nmoqxcv http://tinyurl.com/oe4d4uh http://tinyurl.com/lm2w2rx http://tinyurl.com/kwfnnbe http://tinyurl.com/qjdcf2j http://tinyurl.com/pu78umg http://tinyurl.com/pmqbjx3 http://tinyurl.com/kas5udw
Every design category has flexible pricing for all budgets. Book cover starts at €269.
Full copyright with production-ready files for digital and/or print.
It all began with a design brief.
A quick, interactive guide helped them understand their design style and captured exactly what they needed in their book cover.
Designers across the globe delivered design magic.
magpie.eclectic.press collaborated with designers to refine their ideas
When design entries come in, you can rate them so designers know what you’re looking for in your logo design.
99designs has great collaboration tools so you can pinpoint and capture your ideas
And then… they selected a winner!
This was my third time working with Paganus, and he never disappoints! The artwork he creates is beautiful, and I hope to use him many times in the future. If you need an artist, he's your man. Highly recommended!
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
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