I need a book cover for a middle-grade novel. (Target age: 9 - 12, roughly)
Front cover only. Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches at 300 dpi. PSD file with unlocked layers.
Title: THE BULLY MONSTER
Author: Anita Valle
Story description: The kids at school call him "Monster". Twelve-year-old Mo is the school bully - and darn proud of it. That's before he finds himself homeless and forced to move to the only place available: a building called Monster Manor.
At first it's all cool. Giant apartment, creepy forest scenery, nice girl across the street. Then Mo meets the tenants and the shock hits harder than a drunken landlord: real monsters, every one. Cyclops, dragon, fairies, werewolf - and a Minotaur maniac with a taste for tormenting Mo.
Before you can spit, Mo goes from bully to bullied. The Minotaur knocks out everything Mo's got - his confidence, his safety, his friendship with the new girl. Like it or not, Mo's got to face it that two monsters have to be stopped here: the bully in the building, and the bully that he is.
The Bully Monster is a coming-of-age novel in which the bully learns firsthand just how "monstrous" his bullying really is. Add a cast of unconventional monsters (such as the agoraphobic dragon and the cyclops with his own medical practice) and The Bully Monster is a fun tale for middle-grade readers.
ELEMENTS I THINK SHOULD BE ON THE COVER (though I'm open to considering other ideas):
A small castle (it's an apartment building that looks like a castle).
A 12-year-old boy, dark hair, dark eyes, sort of mean looking (after all, he's a bully).
The SUGGESTION of monsters. This story features traditional monsters: dragon, werewolf, vampire, fairies, cyclops, minotaur. I think it would be more enticing if the monsters were merely suggested rather than explicity portrayed. For example, a tail curling out of a window, or silhouettes.
Important: A minotaur must be present somewhere. This is the 'bad guy' of the story. NEW EDIT: Try just horns somewhere, instead of a minotaur.
VERY important. Thorny vines. The castle is set in a forest that is overgrown with crawling thorny vines. I included a picture of the vines. They can be used in the image or to embellish the edges of the book cover.
STORY TONE: Mostly funny. While I want the cover to be a little creepy, it's not a horror story. Most of the monsters are funny or dysfunctional in some way.
ART STYLE: willing to consider most any style.
IMAGES: I have attached two covers that I attempted to do, as well as drawings of the thorny forest, the main character, and a scene from the story. Use them as loose guides. Please do NOT use these images on the cover.
FEEDBACK: I am conscientious about providing feedback. Just bear in mind that I am a busy mom who works 2 jobs, so my feedback may not always be immediate.
Thank you so much. :)