This design is for the cover of a novel I will be submitting shortly. If I am unsuccessful in this endeavor, I will be self publishing in e-book format.
I would like the cover to use a limited number of colors, predominantly white, crimson and black on a pale pearly gray background. Metallic accents are acceptable in limited amounts, if you so desire.
The title of the novel is "Blood Leverage" and must be featured on the cover. (Obviously.) Placement is up to your discretion.
The same goes for the author name, J.S. Hazzard, font choices, colors, dimensions, etc. are up to you.
The imagery I have in mind, is that of a balance scale. Please see images below for sample details. The first photo shown is the one most similar to what I would like, though I have included others for your reference. I would like the scale itself to be made of a frosted glass, as opposed to the clear glass used in the photo. Furthermore, I am not a fan of the teardrop shape used at the top, nor the elongated waviness of the arms. I am looking for a more simple silhouette, and would prefer the two scale platforms to be supported by slim metal chains as opposed to the stiff glass depicted. The balance plates themselves should be made of the same frosted glass.
The scale should be imbalanced, and heavily skewed to one side. The more heavily weighted side should contain a small pile of gemstones (multiple shades of red, from pale pink to almost black, randomly arranged and in varying sizes and cuts) dissolving into a small pool of blood. It would be very cool to see the various colors dissolve and merge into the single crimson in the pool.
The lighter side of the scale should contain a trio of appropriately sized weights that obviously outweigh the stones and liquid on the heavier side. (So yes, this is supposed to look incorrect. The lighter object is supposed to 'weigh' more in this instance.) The weights could be made from numerous materials, be it a dark marble, a dark iron, or a dull pewter - so long as they are obviously much heavier than the items on the other side. I do want them dark, no light marble or shiny silver. (The chains on the scale should also be of a darker metal, no shiny silver.)
The perspective of this image should not be straight on, but rather as though you were sitting or standing in front of it and looking slightly down upon it. Therefore you will see a portion of the surface the balance sits upon but not necessarily the base of the balance itself. (I leave that to your discretion and sense of proportion, since mine sucks.)
The surface the balance is sitting on should be something solid and very heavy, even though the viewer won't see much of it. (Dark marble, dark stone, iron, etc - whatever looks substantial. If I love the rest of your design and don't like the surface, I imagine that can be easily changed.)
The scale should be sitting toward the rear end of the surface. I see it almost as the corner or edge of a table in my mind, but I'll leave the positioning and proportions to you. I would like a clear distinction between the dark 'surface' and the paler gray general background.
Also, I would like a crimson envelope (or part of it) showing at the back rear edge of the 'surface table' - perhaps as though it had been casually dropped there or wedged beneath the base of the scale. (Again, not a requirement to see the base of the scale - your call.)
The envelope should be positioned flap-side up, and opened, with a piece of white paper (more of a parchment texture) showing and folded inside. The envelope itself should also be a high end texture, like the linen textured envelopes used for expensive invitations.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: After receiving my first submissions, a few more thoughts that might eliminate required changes later. Looking at my photos below, particularly the first photo (the one you have to click on for some strange reason, of the glass set of scales), I've realized that I would prefer my scale to have a more flat pair of plates. Not completely flat, since we're going to put liquid on it, but very shallow.
Also, the gemstones in question should be modestly sized as opposed to gems the size of cherries. I'm looking for something realistic as opposed to pirate booty.
Furthermore, the blood I've spoken of should be a nominal amount. At my best estimate, a tablespoon or two at most. I'm not looking for a few gems floating in a bowl of blood, I'm looking for a small pile of gems that has begun to dissolve (melt?) into blood as soon as they come in contact with it.
Finally, I'm not sure that I want any blood dripping or having spilled anywhere. Definitely nothing slopping or gushing. I'm not going for anything lurid, I'm thinking more of a stark look, something austere, clean. Elegant lines, simplistic, no flourishes or curlicues.
I really hope I'm making sense here, but if I'm not, please please please ask me! I truly don't care how many times someone has to contact me.
And one last thing, people keep inquiring about the 'content' and I realized that I hadn't specified that I'm not doing a back cover at this time. I'm simply purchasing this to have it professionally printed and included with my query letters next month. (So I'll need a high resolution, which I assume you all do automatically.)
I eagerly await your submissions.