This project is a book cover (both ebook and print) for a science fiction novel called "The Eternal Front" (subtitle: "a Lines of Thunder novel").
The genre is military science fiction, but it's not "marines in space." If anything, it's more "British empire with aliens (in space)." Tonally, the book gets close to Patrick O'Brian's "Master and Commander" series. The storyline has some of the complexity and depth of Frank Herbert's "Dune" or Iain M. Banks's "Culture" series.
The design of the print book interior is not modern/edgy sci-fi, but closer to what you'd see for a Charles Dickens reprint. Physically, the book is a chunky door-stopper (more information below).
About the story
The technologies in the book range from very advanced (nanotechnology and sentient starships) to retro/steampunk (a World War 1-style trench war, fought with primitive weapons). The planet where the action takes place is earth-normal but has only one large continental land mass. Thousands of years before the story, an advanced alien race abandoned a genetically-tampered group of "twisted humans" on the planet. These humans have a high birthrate, little sense of self-preservation, and built-in fighting skills — they are essentially a fast-growing disposable army for some long-forgotten interstellar war.
In the book's scenario, these humans have been tricked into a long-lasting trench war (the "eternal front"), with the northern half of the continent fighting the southern half. The storyline involves characters who try to stop the war, and discover a technologically advanced off-world conspiracy that wants to keep the war going.
About the cover
The book cover SHOULD NOT have a military guy standing in an apocalyptic wasteland, or soldiers running/shooting/dying. This kind of cover was already developed (and it looks amazing!!) but it did not test well with certain audience segments including female readers.
The book cover SHOULD have some large-scope scene that reflects an element of the book's setting or scenario. See the attached prototype image for an example concept: [A futuristic spaceship hovers over a planet. On the surface of the planet, the trench war bisects the continent; it's so big and devastating that it's visible from space as a fiery, smoking gash in the ground.]
A cover which uses the same concept as this example, but with more realistic graphics, and improved design & readability, would be perfectly acceptable!
One other example concept (but no image available): [A view from the surface of the planet: a horizon with a arcing, glowing artillery barrage. Looming in the atmosphere above the barrage is a huge futuristic spaceship.]
Ideally the cover will communicate that there is (1) war / politics / intrigue, happening (2) on land / in space, between (3) land armies / space ships… and (4) that it's exciting. :)
Specifics and deliverables
The print book dimensions are 8"x5" page size, with a .8"-1.2" spine, but this might change for final publication. Other cover details like title/blurb may also change; as well, portions of the cover may be used for marketing collateral (advertisements, websites).
For these reasons, I'd like to receive a non-flattened layer file compatible with Photoshop CS6 or earlier.
The resolution of bitmaps should be 200-300dpi and the front cover should be crisp and sharp when it's converted into a 3000x2500px ebook cover. For full cover specifications, see CreateSpace for print, and Amazon Kindle publishing for ebook.