I need a compelling visual design for the book cover of my recently completed literary novel. I'm looking for something more artistic rather than with realistic photographs/images, if that makes sense. Indian motifs are great. Here's more of what you need to know:
ABOUT THE BOOK
1. The title is Darshan (Darshan means sight/clarity)
2. The story is a family saga that focuses on 3 generations of Sikh Indian men
3. It is split into 3 parts of equal length (Part I is about the grandfather and is set in the north Indian region of Punjab and takes place from 1910–1937; Part II is about the father and is set in Greater Suva, Fiji and takes place from 1947–1966; Part III is about the son, whose name is Darshan, and is set in the Bay Area, California, including San Francisco. This part takes place from 1969–2005).
4. The main theme of the novel: We are often forced to carry the burden of our parents’ (in this case fathers’) sins, and yet we often don’t know what those sins are and this lack of understanding then fosters and intensifies self-doubt. The hope is that one day we will be able to release this accumulated drama and not pass it on to the next generation. Take a look below at the synopsis for the back cover. This should also give an idea of what the novel is about. The characters are often harsh and/or stubborn men, but this is not because they are horrible people, but because they are scared; the great love they have for their children is more akin to fear for them in a very difficult world; this causes them to make a great deal of mistakes that then counter intuitively hurt their children.
5. Some recurring images/themes in the story: hand tools; coconuts (coconuts are everything anyone needs for survival: water, oil, meat); a coconut tree that Darshan climbs—from that height he has greater perspective; family trying to build a home/life across time and in different lands / migration across continents; sorrow, guilt, hope; a chest that passes through the generations which contains items that belonged to dead loved ones; drama (there’s a murder, opium addiction, molestation, a fire, and a disease that curves one of the main character’s spine forward); a hint at the idea of reincarnation
SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE
1. I would like a design that is not only visually appealing (and beautifully literary) for a paperback print book, but also catches the eye in thumbnail, on my business card, on a bookmark I will be creating, as well as on an e-reader like the Kindle
2. I need the spine and back cover as well as the front cover (see synopsis below for the back cover); my tagline is “Sometimes forgiveness takes generations.” This could possibly be incorporated on the back cover above the synopsis (although I’m open to suggestions).
3. I have included a .jpg of my barcode/ISBN for the back cover. Please somehow edit out the $0.00 price tag.
4. For the front cover, I would like to include the words “A Novel” as a small subtitle.
5. I will initially be printing through Amazon’s CreateSpace, but will eventually also publish using other outlets (Smashwords, Lulu, etc.). At the moment, Amazon only offers glossy covers, but the others have the choice of glossy or matte. I prefer matte, so outside of Amazon, I would definitely use that. Is glossy vs. matte important for design considerations?
6. My website (www.amritchima.com): please visit to read an excerpt and learn more about me and the book, or contact me (email@example.com) with questions.
7. Book size is 5"x8". The length is 570 pages, so on CreateSpace, this makes my spine 1.425"
SYNOPSIS FOR THE BACK COVER
In the sleepy, North Indian town of Amarpur, a young boy named Baba Singh Toor secretly murders a moneylender in a moment of blind sorrow and rage, setting events in motion that will shape the coming generations of Toors.
Hardened by a life of serial misfortune and loss, many years after the murder for which he was never caught, Baba Singh infects his son, Manmohan, with the misery and guilt he was unable to overcome. Two generations later, his grandson, Darshan, the most loyal and unassuming of the Toors, finds himself dragged to the center of conflict as the family demands that he correct past wrongs. How will a chest containing a collection of Baba Singh’s numerous life tragedies allow Darshan to free himself from the dysfunction that has amassed over three lifetimes? And will he live up to his name—meaning one who is blessed with clarity of sight—to finally bury the shame of a long-ago concealed crime?
Spanning continents and cultures, chronicling three generations of Indian men—traveling from the Punjab to Fiji to San Francisco—Darshan is the story of one family’s great capacity for forgiveness, learned after nearly a century of heartache.