I need a book cover for my novel "Azahrú - Wer den Weg verliert" (roughly translated: Azahrú - Losing the Way), and I pray for one that's knocking everybody out. At first sight. It should be such a big pleasure to look at this outstanding cover that you just want to buy the book. Before you even know what kind of great novel is waiting under the fantastic cover.
"Azahrú - Wer den Weg verliert" is an epic, historical novel. The biggest part of it takes place in the Sahara desert (Niger, Agadez, Fachi oasis, mountains of the Air), and the story goes with the Tuareg nomads, over a period of nearly 30 years in the first half of the last century. It's the story about a boy, whose german parents die in the desert, and after that he is raised by Tuareg people. Later, as a young adult, he spends some time in Europe, following a french girl. He also comes to Germany, where he takes a late revenge on the murderer of his natural father. But in the end he returns to the desert - because the land of sky and sand is his real (spiritual) home.
The book cover has to show the beautiful purity of the desert, yellow/orange sand, deep blue sky. In addition to that I can imagine a traditional looking Targi, dressed in long blue indigo clothes, his face covered with a veil, so you can hardly see more than his eyes. These eyes could be blue, because the central character has european roots. He's proud. Strong. Elegant. Also full of warmth, depth and intensity. One or more dromedaries with light fur (mehari) could be a good idea. Maybe he's standing beside the dromedary or is leading it through the dunes. The cover should give the very special attraction of the desert - sand dunes, loneliness, solemnity, sublimity. An invitation to infinity. And it should tell the viewer that he's standing at the beginning of an exceptional universal journey through a young man's life, a real powerful, breathtaking story. Like a promise: "What you will find under this gorgeous cover will be larger than life..."
But the cover can't be kitschy - no way. The story isn't, and the cover not either. It should transport something traditional, but still fresh - the same goes for the font of the text.
On the first attached picture (named "Azahrú cover") you can see - to give a first clue - the cover I used until now.
The cover is meant for hardcover and e-book. The hardcover version will have the following measures: height 22,0 cm / width of cover (front and back) 14,0 cm / width of spine 3,3 cm / width of inner folds each 8,5 cm. Please take a look on the second attached photo (named "Measures").
The text elements of the front cover are (all in capital letters):
AZAHRÚ - WER DEN WEG VERLIERT
I guess the book title (Azahrú - Wer den Weg verliert) should go in two separate lines, without the hyphen. Please don't overlook the accent on the "u" in "Azahrú"
In addition, the publisher's logo of "EDITION TAKUBA" belongs to the front cover (the third picture named "Logo").
On the spine will be written (again in capital letters):
AZAHRÚ - WER DEN WEG VERLIERT
... and again (maybe bigger than on the front cover) the publisher's logo "EDITION TAKUBA"
The text for the back you'll find in the fourth attached picture (named "Back").
The text for the inner front fold you'll find in the fifth attached picture (named "Inner front fold").
On the inner back fold I would like to have a photograph of me (the sixth attached picture named "Richard Mackenrodt"). Beside the photograph should be written: (C) Heinz Lütticken
And under the photograph will be written the text you'll find in the seventh attached picture (named "Writer").
At the bottom of the inner front fold you put your own credit. Please write:
Umschlaggestaltung: (your full name), (the city you live in)
These are a lot of guidelines, I know. But - honestly - in the end I'm open for every kind of idea. The cover can show a photograph, but it also can go into the abstract. The main thing is that it gives this unbelievable strong desert feeling. No matter how.
I don't want to put too much limits on your creativity - let your imagination run wild! I'm dying to see your ideas and designs! Thank you very much and good luck!
(For additional inspiration you could have a look on the successful crowd funding campaign of "Azahrú - Wer den Weg verliert" on http://www.startnext.de/azahru.)