Sarah W. Sparx got their new book cover by running a design contest:
Book Cover for: Gothic-flavoured romantic suspense set in southern France
Check out Sarah W. Sparx's Book cover contest…
Entertainment & The Arts
I write contemporary romantic suspense novels, with a strong Gothic flavour.
What's your vision?
I need a book cover for my gothic-flavoured romantic suspense novel. The design should work a) in thumbnail size on Amazon b) on the e-book c) on a paperback. It should encompass a spine for a paperback and back cover design for the ebook and paperback. My book is called "The House on Rue Obscure" and my pen name is Sarah W. Sparx. The book is set in 1999. The book is set in a real place that you can Google: Cordes-sur-ciel, in south west France. The town, established in the twelfth century as a refuge for a heretic sect called the Cathars, is noteworthy today for its nearly perfectly preserved medieval buildings. It is a place full of mysteries and legends. I will upload a series of photos. You may not be familiar with Gothic-flavoured novels! Key elements include a heroine in jeopardy, a brooding hero who the heroine thinks (for at least a while) is a bad guy; a spooky house that is practically another character in the book, and typically has secret doors, a crypt and/or cemetery; there's often a legend or curse; someone will suffer hallucinations and hints of madness. These books fell from popularity about 30 years ago, meaning that most of the book covers are very 1970s in look and feel. The illustrations (never photos) are of a young woman with long blonde hair and dressed in lingerie or nightwear.... her face full of fear.... a brooding house or cemetery behind her... yada yada. I have uploaded an example. A cover design that totally updates this concept would be interesting option. But it should by no means the only option.
[UPDATE 14 JULY 7pm GMT] I have discovered that I dislike italicised fonts; I find them harder to read. [UPDATE 14 JULY Noon GMT] Having reviewed the first wave of submissions - for which I thank the designers because you have all helped me clarify my thinking - I would like to emphasise that this book is: 1. contemporary, set in 1999. Any people shown should be in modern dress. Given the setting, any buildings shown should be clearly medieval, however. 2. not a fantasy book. Though there are spooky, Gothic elements as described elsewhere in the brief, the book is fundamentally a modern murder mystery with an interwoven love plot. 3. low on sexual content. The heroine is a self possessed, modern woman aged 27, tall, with auburn hair, who dresses soberly - and warmly, because (I forgot to say, sorry) the book is set in late March. Thus a pouting, writhing, scantily clad vamp is not a good fit. Lastly, the title, though quite long, needs to be legible. It's Gothic in style and says a lot about the kind of story readers can expect. Thanks! This book is likely to be the first in a series of three romantic suspenses with Gothic elements. All will be set in the same general area of south west France, in places that were linked to the Cathar sect. As such, a strong identifying theme in the design would be good. You may find this Goodreads link helpful as it shows covers of recently read books tagged with "Gothic" (Below these you will also covers of 'popular/ classic' Gothics. These are often the 1970s style ones). https://www.goodreads.com/genres/gothic-romance
Every design category has flexible pricing for all budgets. Book cover starts at $299.
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.
Sarah W. Sparx 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!
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
We think contests are a super fun way to get design.
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