williamstacey got their new book cover by running a design contest:
Need a kick-ass dark fantasy cover for the first book in a trilogy
Check out williamstacey's Book cover contest…
Entertainment & The Arts
Dark Fantasy/urban fantasy/sci-fi books, with a strong horror element, for a mature, adult audience. The target audience is a 25-40 year-old, about 60-40% female-male fans of G.R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Steven King, and Robert E. Howard. Picture someone who loves the new Battlestar Galactica, and I think you've got the target audience.
What's your vision?
I need a dark fantasy book cover for an ebook (primarily) but also one that will also work well as a paperback cover. So, most of the picture needs to be on the "front" half of the book, with the book description on the back. This is very much a grown-up dark fantasy novel about the search for a magic sword (which needs to figure prominently on the cover. There should be a viking-like, horror feel to this book cover. I have a couple of suggestions for the cover, but I'm also open to creative ideas. The main idea I have is the following: Suggest # 1 The main antagonist, the vampire queen, is standing in an underground crypt with an army (or just a bunch of) of zombie-like medieval warriors behind her. She is wearing only a ringmail coat (sex sells, so her bare legs should figure prominently), and she is holding the magical longsword against her leg, the sword point against the stones of the crypt, with her hand resting atop the edge of the blade so that people can easily see the ornate hilt. To have an idea of what the vampire queen looks like, I wrote her picturing Katheryn Winnick from Vikings (don't draw her exact likeness; this is intended just to help you draw the type of character). The upper half of the Vampire Queen's face is covered in blue tattoos (the image is kind of like a mask). While I haven't gone into detail describing the tattoos, they are eldritch symbols, so think viking runes. She is a necromancer as well as a vampire, so the runes are a mark of her occult learning. I've also included a drawing of what the sword (The titular "Blood Fiends' Bane") should roughly look like. The drawing is poor, but should serve as a starting point. The sword must look very exotic (but just a straight, double-edged longsword, no weird flame blades or flanges or spikes, just a sword); it was built by a long-dead, not-quite human race. The hilt is an alien-looking woman with her arms outstretched serving as the cross-guards. There are circular holes punched in the metal of the blade itself running down the center of it. The blade could glow with an eldritch light in the cover, but it's not absolutely necessary.The hilt should be white, with the carving of a woman's body looking sort of half-woman half beast (her legs are hoovelike and perhaps furry). To be fair, I don't know how much of the sword hilt will be visible on the book cover, so the exact specifications are somewhat open to interpretation. At any rate, the vampire queen should be the main draw, and she should be standing in a proud pose. Her legs and arms could be filthy or bloody, but that's not a requirement (she's spent the last 50 years sleeping beneath a pile of corpses). In the book she has all-red eyes, but again that's not a requirement for the cover, and it may not really show up that well anyhow. The undead warriors behind her should look like freshly killed zombies in ringmail armor (no weapons). Maybe there's mist or fog on the ground. Also, while the cover could be placed in an underground crypt, it could also be outside at night, with a red moon in the background. (This is a book point; there's always a red moon when the vampire queen raises the dead). Suggestion # 2 The hero, young, big, muscular blond warrior, is holding the sword while spying around the corner of a crypt as the vampire queen is brought back to life atop an altar (piles of dead bodies around her). Suggestion # 3 Young blond hero fights off an army of undead warriors using the magic longsword two-handed. This would be an action picture. Suggestion # 4 Feel free to be imaginative. Dark fantasy, evil vampire queen, swords and sorcery, horror, sexy -- you're the pros, you tell me what you think would be awesome.
This is the title and book description. The font should be dark fantasy, or viking-themed. I've also included the logo for Bastard Sword Press, which should figure on the spin and on the back of the book. Blood Fiends’ Bane: Book 1 of the Vampire Queen Saga William Stacey (author) Some treasures are best left buried. (Tagline) Sentenced to five-years’ service as a soldier for a violent crime, Owen Toscovar now serves the noble Dain family as a man-at-arms. Because he is large and powerful, most deridingly refer to the young man as “Horse-Boy,” believing him to be little more than a quick-tempered brute, a tool for violence. But Owen is far cleverer than most suspect, and he bristles under his forced servitude, wishing to experience adventure and see the world beyond his northern Duchy. Owen is about to get his desire. The Dains, a once proud royal family, have fallen into disfavor, but their fortunes change when a deathbed confession reveals a shocking secret—the location of the mythical longsword Sight-Bringer. The magical sword was long believed destroyed in an apocalyptic battle fifty years ago that killed the terrifying Vampire Queen, Serina Greywynne. Now, Owen will accompany the new young Dain lord and his sister on an expedition to retrieve the holy relic. They will journey across an ocean and through a monster-filled swamp to the ruins of an abandoned fortress long believed haunted by the ghost of Serina herself. But the legends are built on lies, and something evil stirs in the catacombs beneath the fortress. And in the slaughter that follows, Owen must somehow protect the Dain bloodline from an unholy evil, because if he fails, everyone he loves will die. Intended for a mature audience, Blood Fiends’ Bane is the first book in the Vampire Queen Saga, a dark, gritty tale of sword-swinging-action, blood-curdling horror, and selfless duty in the face of unspeakable evil. Author William Stacey is a 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist.
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.
williamstacey 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 2 winners!
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
We think contests are a super fun way to get design.
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