areteus (areteus) wrote,

Cover design Project Brief

A couple of days ago I posted on facebook asking for any graphic designers who might fancy doing some book cover design work. I got a few responses and realised that I could not just pick one person to do the project as that would be unfair on all the others. So, I decided I would post the brief of the project publically and let any and all designers who want to have a go submit their designs. Somewhere along the line, I'd find someone to be an independent judge who has some knowledge in this area and make a decision based on what they tell me.

In other words, a contest...

A few years ago myself and a group of other writers (some Canadian, some American, one Australian and, er, me here in the UK...) set out to produce an anthology of Romance novellas with a paranormal theme and with the stipulation that at least one of the main female characters had to be a woman of 'non standard size', in particular women who are taller or larger than is considered appropriate by Hollywood. This group had already produced two other successful anthologies with similar guidelines - a contemporary romance themed book and a fairy tale themed book - and were looking to produce a third.

It took a while (the recession meant getting a publishing contract for this anthology was harder than it had been for the first two) but the paranormal anthology is being released this year. In fact, each individual novella from the book is being released first as an ebook with its own cover (mine is due out in August) followed by a print publication of the complete collection.

So, why do we need a cover designer? Well, it is true that the publisher is doing cover designs for all the novellas and one for the print collection. The cover designers are in place for those and I am told it is being dealt with (promises of draft covers being pending have been made...). The requirement we have is for the final story in the collection which is not like the others.

The Curse is what we call a 'Round Robin'. Every writer in the anthology took it in turns to write a bit of it, the challenge being following on from what the last writer did and keeping things following the overall plan for the story but having the freedom to make things interesting for the next writer... Originally, the Round Robin was going to be a special bonus story on the end of the print publication but it was decided not to include it on cost grounds (it pushed the word count above a particular level where it would have been necessary to up the cover price to compensate and cheaper cover price and therefore more potential sales was seen as a better option). Instead, the Round Robin story is going to get its own ebook release and be used as a freebie - a taster of what is in the anthology.

So, the story needs a cover. However, because it is not a book that is going to be sold, we cannot afford to pay someone to design it for us. If we could, we would love to pay professional rates but we can't do that at present. However, the cover used will be seen by people including the publishers and while I cannot promise this will lead to anything, I am sure a well done cover will likely lead to them possibly considering you for any future paid work.

Full credit will be given, which makes it a very viable portfolio piece, and since at least one person has offered to do the job 'for the price of a pint' I am prepared to offer at least that much. Whether this will be me actually buying you a drink in person somewhere sometime in the future or Pay-Palling you the money to buy your own depends on where you live... For the purposes of clarity, I am going to say that the price of a pint is £3 :)

So, here are some details of the story:

In 1707, Lady Cassandra is cursed by a witch whom she betrayed and had burned at the stake. The curse condemn the female line of the family to be visited by a spectre in their sleep, and have the gift of second sight but be unable to act upon the visions they see, thus shaming them. Only someone who is pure of heart can break the curse.

In present day Salem, Mass., Dierdre McCall experiences strange and unsettling dreams that leave her shaken. She knows her family history, and the terrible curse placed on the women in her family, and she knows her dreams have some significance, but she is at a loss to understand what.

She works in the local hospital as a physiotherapist, and tries to forget her strange legacy.

Bronson Jacobs has a legacy of his own to deal with. His family is wealthy and powerful, but with all this, he’s unhappy. His sleep is also plagued by disturbing dreams that he doesn’t understand.

He is under the thumb of his dominating mother who is lying ill and dying in the hospital where Dierdre works. At the story’s beginning, he has arrived in Salem to meet with associates in business, then report to his mother, a task he despises since she is a vicious bully.

I am not sure what sort of time frame is appropriate for this type of task. Therefore, I am not setting a deadline as yet. At present I am merely offering up the details of what I want and letting all interested parties think about it and let me know if they are seriously interested and how long they think they might need to complete this. is the e-mail to use to contact me about this. Use it if you have any questions, want to pitch ideas or anything. I have not posted the full synopsis here as, obviously, this will contain spoilers. However, if you want to see the full synopsis for ideas then I can e-mail it to you.

So, I look forward to seeing what you all come up with...
Tags: cover design, judy bagshaw, mundania press, romance, skyla dawn cameron, the curse, writing

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