Winning design by G E O R G i N A

eBook cover for latest novel from Apport Press

BEastonfield picked a winning design in their book cover contest. For just $299 they received 99 designs from 25 designers.

Here’s a peek at the client’s brief

Contest title


eBook cover for latest novel from Apport Press


A Merchant of Virtue (Novel)

Background information

Organization name

Apport Press

Description of the organization and its target audience

Publisher targeting readers of quality fiction.


Entertainment & The Arts

Content details


Book cover for eBook to be published on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Sony, etc.

Title: A Merchant of Virtue
Subtitle: Book One Of The Real Victorians
Author: Brett Eastonfield

Elias Wharton is a self-taught man with a keen eye for a deal living in Victorian England at a time when such men were changing the world. Both dashing and explosive, fair and vengeful, he plies his unusual trade in London, and pursues his obsessive interest in the beautiful Elizabeth. She has loathed him since a child for his lack of social status and meddlesome ways. When Elias agrees to find a gentleman a wife, and help Elizabeth’s father with a debt, he sets in motion events which threaten to destroy them all. Intrigue, deception, occultism, and sex entwine to set the stage for the stunning conclusion.

GENRE: fiction, literature, historical fiction (not erotica or romance)

The reader’s likely first contact with the cover will be browsing an electronic bookstore. They will see a thumbnail size image and the promotional blurb above. If they like what they see, they can click on the image to enlarge. Therefore, the cover must be appealing enough in the thumbnail size image (not too much detail) to attract their attention and make them want more. For examples of the types of covers that have done well in this area, see
Should the book go to print, the same image should be able to be used for trade paperback or hard cover. No images or fonts requiring additional permissions or licensing should be used.

I am open to any design which appeals to potential readers. There is plenty of sex in the novel, so conveying this to the reader is both acceptable and appropriate. The cover image should reflect the period of Victorian England in 1860, London being the primary location. Elias is the central character in the novel; tall, handsome, blond, and would be characterized in literature as a ‘dangerous lover.’ Think a less savory Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Two other women figure prominently, one beautiful, one plain, and of course, Mr. Hawksworth, the villain. Any images of people should reflect period dress.
Other possible content from the novel that might be reflected on the cover (not required); trains, London Bridge, manor houses (not castles), brothels, or the Thames River. Also, Elias’ well-appointed office with a globe, crossed swords hanging on the wall, a marlinspike, a tea service, two chairs near a window overlooking London, and his oaken desk.
Central scenes from the novel which might be reflected on the cover:

• Elizabeth confronting Elias in his office, in which he forces her to hold a sword (foil) at his chest.

• The chase through London in a horse drawn cab to save Elizabeth’s life.

• A formal dress house party (ball) featuring the central characters.

• A séance featuring the central characters.

The overriding guidance should be: What would make the average reader want to read this book?

type: electronic file
Format: both high resolution jpeg and tiff image
Size: 500 x 800 pixels