Thank you for considering my contest.
Brothers Across Time is a family saga spanning twenty years and two generations, with multiple main characters. The book is a time travel adventure story, not hard science fiction. It has a "twins separated at birth" element. I have written for a gay romance publisher in the past, and although this book has romance elements, it’s not a romance novel—so don’t think romance cover. It does have several gay characters, but I’m not looking for a cover that reads gay either (no shirtless dudes).
Setting: The story takes place half in modern-day Austin and half in Renaissance Venice. The time-travel mechanism is a gondola. When it’s rowed under the Rialto Bridge in sixteenth-century Venice, it emerges from the Congress Avenue Bridge in twentieth-century Austin. The first time this happens (the gondola can go back and forth) is the middle of the night in 1997, when a pair of identical-twin brothers travel from the past and meet a pair of identical-twin brothers in the present. A third set of identical twins are introduced when the book does an 18-year time jump at the half way mark. This third set are the offspring of one of the original twins. These six characters are the “brothers” in the title. My writing is generally optimistic and the story has a happy ending, though the characters do suffer to achieve it.
Images/Themes the cover might utilize/convey: Time travel (adventure, not science fiction), identical twins (you don't need to deal with the fact that there are three sets of them), separated brothers, Venice (especially the Grand Canal), the two bridges, an unassuming but enchanted gondola. These are only suggestions. I’m not looking for a cover that hits them all. If you want to go with a minimalist design, you might consider the gondola. In the book, it’s unremarkable: small (only holds two people), built in a hurry, with no ornamentation at all. It’s a poor-man’s gondola, but hey, it’s a time machine.
Approach: I usually have a strong idea for a book cover, but I admit with this one, I’m at a loss. I know there are many brilliant designers on this site, and I’m hoping some of them will take up the challenge and guide me toward the perfect cover. This is my second contest, and it’s worth noting that the winner of my YES contest gave me something I never imagined. I provide lots of feedback and am never on the fence about whether I like something. I will not waste your time.
Colors: Blues are in my head. I like the idea of the cover reflecting that first meeting between the two sets of brothers at night. Blue is also a motif woven throughout the book (it’s the color of magic). The blues should be deep, warm, and inviting. I’m open to other colors if they achieve the same effect.
Attached images: The first four images are the covers of my previous books. As you can tell, there is no common style that connects them, and this cover can look equally distinctive. Image 5 is the back cover of YES and an example of how you should incorporate the previous covers into the design. They should be included on the back cover, below the blurb, and under the caption, “Other Titles by Brad Boney.” You can put them in one row or two. If you want to do 3-D versions like Image 6 (not required), Images 7-10 are the spine art for each title. Do not simply slap Image 6 onto the back cover. Create your own 3-D versions with transparent backgrounds so they blend seamlessly with the art of the back cover. Again, the 3D versions are optional.
Images 11 and 12 are for inspiration only. Image 11 is the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, and Image 12 is the Grand Canal in Venice.
Images 13 is the working interior title page. The title font is Aquiline Two and the author font is Open Sans. I am not a font expert and these are not even suggestions. I do like the look of Aquiline Two for the interior because of the Renaissance quill feeling. The book is told in six sections (one for each twin) and I will be using it for the section titles, but that means nothing for the cover. Designers know best when it comes to fonts.
The remaining images are book covers I like, so you can see where my taste lies. In my opinion, these are beautiful, highly effective covers that make me want to pick up the book and read the blurb.
Technical stuff: The trim size for the trade paperback is 6 x 9 inches. The final file must conform to the CreateSpace guidelines (https://www.createspace.com/Product…verPDF.jsp) for safe zone, bleed, embedded fonts, bar code placement, file set up and format, etc. Deliverable should be a single PDF. The book is 400 pages, so on white paper, the spine width should be 0.901”. The ebook cover should be 1563x2500px.
Good luck, and thanks again for considering my contest.