NOTE: Please see the comments addressed to everyone before submitting a design. I have provided additional direction regarding the use of clocks, watches, stopwatches, alarm clocks, time-keeping devices, etc. In short, please don't submit any additional designs using them. Thanks.
Thanks for looking at my book design contest. Please pay careful attention to this design brief - I’m going to try and tell you everything I can think of in order to help you create a great design!
The name of the book is:
Small Business Marketing On Borrowed Time With Little Money
Author name for book is:
The subtitle is what the book is about, so please don’t underplay it. “Overwhelm Eliminator” is a brand I’m trying to build with this book, a podcast, and a blog.
This is a book of small business marketing principles and fundamentals. This is not an academic, theoretical book, but it isn’t a “how-to” tactical book either.
The audience will be small business owners in the first 5 years of business. These are “Main Street USA” people; not corporate America. The reason it is named “overwhelm eliminator” is because most small business owners are overwhelmed with everything they have to do to market their business. They are great at what their business does, but they either don’t have the knowledge, time, or money to grow their business through marketing. This book provides marketing principles to fix that.
The main title & subtitle must be readable in the search results thumbnail (120 pixels tall). Additionally, I would like the front cover to degrade nicely into grayscale. This means, to me, that there must be at least a moderate contrast between the background and foreground.
The winning design will not be "plain" but will be very clean and elegant. It will look and feel high-end, not cheap in any way. So cartoonish-looking or busy covers are not going to work.
What I do *not* want to see on the cover is...
People in suits/ties
People making presentations, talking on phones, or in meetings
Stock illustrations of charts with arrows going up and to the right
Stock illustrations of building blocks, targets, etc.
Stock illustrations of those weird, faceless stick-people holding hands, putting a puzzle together, etc.
Vertical text on the front cover
So yeah, I pretty much hate cheesy stock photos or illustrations. If you can be wonderful without them, I would be thrilled.
Colors I like (this is all negotiable, if your concept is good):
White for backgrounds
Blues, greens, and dark grays
Colors I don’t like:
Yellows, oranges, or too much red.
See how the top of the 99designs site has a some spots of light gray to add depth to the background? I like that, but I’m not sure it works for a paperback as well as it would for a hardback dust jacket.
The book will be packaged as a printed paperback book and Kindle e-book.
Printed version specs:
6x9 inch perfectbound
115 pages (which will be 70# white offset)
Spine should be .26 inches (if my calculation is correct)
2500 pixels tall JPG
After the winning design is selected, I will work with the winner and provide:
Text for the back of the book
Author picture for the back of the cover
ISBN for barcode
The Rock Ridge Media logo PSD for placement on the back
Final deliverables will be a 3D cover graphic for the website (left-facing, standing up, transparent background), cover design, and Kindle ebook front cover.